Weeks ago, the 4th Arab Bloggers meeting held in Amman-Jordan to “explore the transitional role of online actors in a rapidly changing MENA region”. Nevertheless, many bloggers have been invited, several Iraqis and Syrians bloggers were forced to go back due to permit restrictions. According to some bloggers who attend the meeting, some Syrians were treated badly in Amman airport.
Freedom of internet usage and privacy from governments eyes were main threads for the 3 days, 2 close and one open, conference. Arab bloggers as, their global colleagues, share governments fear barriers of such social tools to change (coup according to politicians) the power scale.
In this regard, the meeting send a solidarity message for Arab bloggers detained in prison and named both Syrian blogger Bassel Safadi (#Freebassel) – in detention since March 2012 – and Egyptian Alaa Abd El Fattah – (#FreeAlaa) – He is currently imprisoned in Egypt for allegedly organizing a political protest, an activity that became illegal in November 2013 with a new anti-protest law.
— Global Voices (@globalvoices) January 28, 2014
Global Voices in Arabic on Twitter @GVinArabic was tweeting in Arabic with @Advox and @Globalvoices in English while all the 70 participated Bloggers were tweeting on technical & privacy matters in both Arabic & English. The blog of the meeting carry both languages posts and focus mainly on bloggers rights to write freely. A team of professional coders and international Creative Commons enrich the audience with their ways of protection/sharing especially by hiding identities in dangerous and on-conflict areas like Syria and Egypt.
Tools and techniques to use the best practices in protesting, social media use, editing, privacy tools, coding, citizen rights, internet freedom among many subjects were addressed as well. Some speakers refer to the-only-3 Arab countries who adopt access to information: Jordan, Yemen and Tunisia.
How can you build a free Internet if you don’t have a free, democratic country says speaker at #AB14
— dona (@donatelladr) January 23, 2014
— Habib Battah (@habib_b) January 23, 2014
The participated activists, journalists and bloggers from the Arab world expressed their message for change. This project brought by the Blogger Amer Sweidan on his Blog. These short, deep meaning words hold hope of change and better future for Arab generations.