CyberDissidents.org Launches Blogger Board
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CyberDissidents.org Launches Blogger Board
Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman (Kareem Amer), Egypt. On November 15, 2010, Amer was released from Egyptian prison after serving a four year sentence for criticizing Egypt's dictator and "insulting" Islam. He was kept in prison an additional ten days even after his sentence was completed. Amer first began expressing his secular, pro-democracy views on his blog as a student at Al Azhar University in Cairo. Upon discovering his writings, the school expelled him in 2006. His case was referred to state prosecutors and, in February 2007, Kareem was convicted on the aforementioned charges. He was sent to Borg El-Arab prison and continued to write fiery letters in jail against dictatorship. A large global campaign was waged by groups throughout the world on Kareem's behalf. His term in prison was the longest any individual has faced for expressing opinions on a blog.
Soufiene Chourabi, Tunisia. Known throughout Tunisia as a staunch defender of freedom of speech and democracy, blogger Soufiene Chourabi highlighted human rights abuses committed by former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime. Chourabi is also a journalist who works for the Attariq Al Jadid and Al Akhbar newspapers in Lebanon. Many international media outlets rely on Chourabi's videos, photos and articles, especially during the recent unrest, and he is frequently quoted by Arabic news organizations on the subject of anti-government protests in Tunisia. Chourabi is a member of the Tunisian Syndicate of Journalists.
Abdulwahab Saleh Al Oraid, Saudi Arabia. A prominent blogger, journalist, and activist, Al Oraid is a leading voice in Saudi Arabia advocating for social media's role in facilitating change. A co-founder and member of several civic organizations in Saudi Arabia, Al Oraid has researched and written a range of articles on the subject of freedom in the Gulf. He is the Editor-in-Chief of ِthe Al-Duwalia newspaper and an editor at Al Shorfa. For 17 years, Al Oraid has written for prominent newspapers in the Gulf region and Jordan. He blogs at http://abaloraid.blogspot.com/ where he writes about a diverse range of social and political topics affecting the Middle East.
Kacem Al Ghazali, Morocco. Even at the young age of 20, Moroccan blogger Kacem Al Ghazali holds leading positions in several human rights organization in his country. He is the head of the Youth Chapter at the Moroccan Center for Human Rights and is a member of the Executive Board of the Moroccan Blogger Association. Al Ghazali is the author of bahmut.com, one of the most controversial blogs in the Arab world, and has received a number of death threats. He is a passionate supporter of separation of religion and state and recently started an English blog, http://atheistica.wordpress.com, to reach non-Arabic speakers interested in atheism and minorities in the Arab world.
Imad Najjib Bazzi, Lebanon. Imad is one of Lebanon's most prominent bloggers, journalists, and civil society activists. He is a co-founder of the Arab Bloggers Forum, an organization dedicated to improving bloggers' professionalism, generating debate about social issues, and defending internet activists from censorship in the Arab world. He previously worked for Greenpeace and the Center for Sustainable Democracy in Beirut. Bazzi has won several awards and honorable recognitions for his activism in the blogosphere, most notably the 2008 Young Arab Artists Prize in Amman. His writings have also appeared in numerous Arabic newspapers and magazines. His blog covers a wide variety of topics relating to Lebanese politics and society, monitors domestic human rights abuses, and condemns sectarianism and ideological agendas. But Imad's pro-democracy positions and outspoken criticism of sectarian ideologies have not come without a price. He has been arrested three times and has been detained by Hezbollah's paramilitary forces. Nevertheless, he remains committed to spreading his message of democracy and pluralism.
Rami Nakhla, Syria. Rami is a Syrian writer and journalist. His interest in cyberdissent began with a personal experience with a victim of "honor killing." He came to the conclusion that these killings were symptomatic of the broader problem of authoritarianism in his country and throughout the Middle East. Rami has been involved with initiatives aimed at law reform to protect women and minorities, and he spent a year on the Syrian Women Observatory team which highlights human rights violations against Syrian women. He has participated in international training courses and conferences in Germany, Jordan and the United States. Nakhla is the founder of Syrian Press, a daily electronic news service, and he established a group called "Get Your Rights" to help Syrian citizens circumvent Internet censorship.
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