This study aims at investigating the nature and characteristics of Arab blogs that are now spreading among the Internet users in the world including Arabs. Aiming also at collecting all available data about blogs in general.
I have surveyed a number of 378 Arab blogs, and then I statistically reviewed 30 blog that were randomly selected. The test of geographical facts indicated a significant gap between countries regarding blog numbers, e.g. whilst there are 120 blog run by Kuwaitis representing 31.7%, 0.5% for Yemen, Sudan and Mauritania each.
Blogs review detected four major types:
1/ A mix of linking and comments.
2/ Personal blogs.
3/ Journalistic blogs.
-Topics cover different areas out of which 26.7% for general issues of daily live, 20 % for politics, 6% are personal diaries, 50% discusses domestics and specialized topics, 33% comment on issues of regional or international dimensions .
-Language study shows that 30% of bloggers use Arabic language, 16.7% use Arabic and English, 3.3% use English French and Arabic, 50 % of blogs are in English.
-Format study shows that 56.7% are texts only blog, 36.7% use both text and graphics. 6.7% are photoblogs.
- Other results show that 53.3% of Arab bloggers write their entries in nicknames and male bloggers are dominating.
All figures and other facts are interpreted in the conclusion of this paper outlined the nature and characteristics of Arab blogs.
My approach to study this new media application is a review of selected blogs statistically to outline their nature and characteristics for the period of three months from January to mid March 2005. I will start by researching the definition of blogs along with history, types and other facts.
Before it became popular, digital communities had many forms, including Usenet, bulletin boards and other early web dairies applications such as online diaries and web journals. These applications reflect experiences of linking to pre-surfed websites:" Thus the first web site entitled “What’s new in ’92,” is considered as the first weblog was created by Tim Berners-Lee, who used to keep lists of all new sites as they come online on his personal site". (Blood 2004).
When Geocities opened the Internet in 1996 for everybody in the world to have a free homepage, those who run them add and maintain a constantly updated list of links to other sites. They did not make any commentary about those links and they were not taking the collaborative features of the Internet, but that type of homepages paved the way to a new phenomenon of weblogs.
By the year 2000 there are thousands of blogs reflecting the shift from an age of carefully controlled information provided by sanctioned authorities, to an unprecedented opportunity for individual expression on a worldwide scale. Each kind of weblog empowers individuals on many levels. (Blood 2000).
On March 2003, the Oxford English Dictionary included the terms blogs weblog, weblogging and weblogger in the dictionary which now used to describe personal websites that offer "frequently updated observations, news, headlines, commentary, recommended links and/or diary entries, generally organized chronologically." (Werbach 2001).
These personal websites is also called a blog or a newspage or a filter which refers to a webpage where a blogger- sometimes called a blogger, or a pre-surfer- 'logs' all the other webpages he finds interesting." (Jorn Barger 2004).
Between 2001 and 2004 there are three major events that reshaped the way people behaved toward news online. When the World Trade Center was attacked in September 11 2001, the Internet news buckled under the pressure of millions of visitors trying to get updates. Blogs kept information flowing out with many of the webloggers who updated their websites with thousands of visitors posting opinions to make weblogs transformed into huge forums that discusses issues relating to international (terrorism).
Catherine Seipp described changes in trends of blogs after Sept. 11: "In general, 'blog' used to mean a personal online diary, typically concerned with boyfriend problems or technical news. But after September 11, a slew of new or refocused media junkie/political sites reshaped the entire Internet media landscape. Blog now refers to a web journal that comments on the news often by criticizing the media and usually in rudely clever tones, with links to stories that back up the commentary with evidence." (Seipp 2002).
In early 2002 blogs began to spring up to debate the invasion of Iraq. American right wing used the blogs to advocate the war against Iraq. The Iraq War was the first "blog war". Salam Pax, a blogger in Baghdad described conditions in Baghdad during the war and gained wider readership and became one of the major sources of information of the war (Wikipedia 2004).
The third major event that popularized blogs happened during US presidential election in 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants, news services and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion formation. Both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions credentialed bloggers, and blogs became a standard part of the publicity arsenal "in USA". Blogs also were among some of the driving forces behind the so-called Rathergate scandal involving Dan Rather of CBS and some memos addressed in the show 60 Minutes II.(Wikipedia 2004 ).
Journalistic features of bolgs
Some blogs features were reflected on the "Online Diaries" and "Web Journals" both of which have been in use almost as long as the web was created. They are a mix of personal information and commentary online. Blogs and web journals are often confused because they can frequently overlap in content and style. The differences between web journal and blogs are blurred and undistinguished.
Although the tools that are used in both differ, and the objectives also are differ almost completely from each others. They are both created by diary minded authors who write temporally articles, or collect articles of other writers or link to other web sites and give his visitors a space to put their commentaries. A well experienced eye can distinguish the characteristics of both.
Online journals, known since 1995, are the precursor of the personal journal blog as well as of journal hosting sites such as LiveJournal. Like journal blogs, they contain self-revealing content, are updated frequently, and tend to present messages in reverse chronological sequence. A number of people who maintained online journals in the mid-1990s have since switched to using blog software, further blurring the distinction between the two. (Herring, et al. 2004).
Some classify blogs as online journalism or a platform to gather data as mentioned by Mike Ward advising reporters: "There is an opportunity for the reporter to use weblogs platform to get information from its members" (Ward 2003). Others argue that there are many facts that should be considered on such relation, whilst weblogs reflect the nature of the Internet as a collaborative medium and contribute in publishing news and views. Some strong arguments see blogs have nothing to do with journalism because they are not always objective and most of them are not written by professional journalist or edited by professional editors. They have no editorial oversight, and no respect for the news media's rules and standards, but still there is a debate on it is relations with journalism and other media news online applications.
This debate sprung up when blogs reported on Sept. 11, the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and during US election. Warblogs were strongly appeared on the debate over war against (terrorism). It is also known among media people that in Jan. 17/1998 blogger Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal in Drudge Report.
Another example of warblogs is Salam Pax, he is a blogger from Iraq whose site "Where is Raed?" received notable media attention during and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq -I will come across his experience later in this paper-.
Mark Deuze and J.D. Lasica both identified weblogs as a new online journalism. Deuze put it within the frame work of share and discussion sites: "Each type of journalism online has a distinct added value as compared to that what the media offer through other modalities - print, broadcast, and wire (Deuze 2001).
While Lasica advocated weblogging as a new form of journalism, he still argued that not all blogging is journalism, nor is it likely that will supplant traditional media or, as some have suggested, that blogging will drive news organizations out of business. When a major news event unfolds, a vast majority of readers will turn to traditional media sources for their news fix. But the story doesn't stop there. On almost any major story, the weblog community adds depth, analysis, alternative perspectives, foreign views, and occasionally first-person accounts that contravene reports in the mainstream press. (Lasica 2003).
An Overview on Arab blogs
In this part I reviewed 30 Arab blogs reviewed country by country selected randomly from among 378 already surveyed. At the end of this part I will analyze the selected blogs statistically to help outline different facts on their nature and characteristics .I will disregard the history of Arab blogs since even the first Arab website in the Internet is unknown as Jon Anderson argued:" The first Arab on the Internet is unknown and probably unknowable but was surely among those found their way into the high tech. corners where the Internet and its components and ancillary technologies were developed". (Anderson: 13, 1998).
Iraqi bloggers are renowned for their early appearance in the Internet and for the contributions of Salam Pax who runs Where Is Raed? Pax started in Sep. 2002 posting on his passion for music and pop culture, his fear of death by allied bombs or by former regime in Iraq. His diaries discuss the daily life in Baghdad during the war received notable media attention. (dear_raed.blogspot.com).
Free Iraq blog belongs to Imad Khadduri, the Iraqi nuclear scientist who wrote the book "Iraq's Nuclear Mirage". His blog reflected his views on free Iraq from occupation. He placed links to some articles that supported his views in English and Arabic. A slogan in his blog is reflecting his views against the US existence in his country saying: "The US's pre-emptive occupation of Iraq will see that, the Lion of Babylon rises again". (abutamam.blogspot.com).
Different stand could be found in blogs such as: Healing Iraq by an Iraqi dentist reflecting the views of other Iraqis who were suffering from Saddam regime. It is mainly devoted to news and comments on the situation in post Saddam.
(Healingiraq.Blogspot.com), one of his articles on Feb.3.2005 stated: "The thing I dread most these days is washing my face. Tap water is freezing cold because of the short electricity hours.Both of our telephone lines have been dead for weeks probably as a result of rain or a roadside bomb or something of the sort.".
Iraq the Model blog is another example of Iraqi blogs and it has a different story. It runs by two Iraqi brothers who receive support by American pro democracy organizations called Sprit America and Friends of Democracy in building their blogs. (IraqtheModel.blogspot.com).
A survey of 90 Egyptian Blogs most of them are listed in Egyptian Blogs Ring showed that they are ranging from personal diaries , culture, entertainment , photolog ,current affairs , society ,computer and technology (bloggingegypt.info).
A blogger at Egyptian Blog writes in Arabic from USA discussing every thing of daily life and current affairs. In a reaction toward President Bush State of the Union Speech (Feb.2.2005). He was mocking when he asked President Bush to visit him if he could manage to fulfill his promises to spread democracy in the Middle East! (beyondnormal.blogspot.com).
Another Egyptian blogger named Big Pharaoh stated in English: "Hello from the land of the Pharaohs Egypt. This is my first blog ever, I would like to use it in making my voice heard". His blog along with comments are mainly dedicated to pan-Arab issues e.g. Iraqi election, the situation in Palestine, and nothing on events from Egypt. (bigpharaoh.blogspot.com).
Tak Hank blog is devoted mostly for comments on the other Arab blogs. He provides his visitors with links to articles about blogs which appeared in different Arab mainstream media and other Arab blogs, but he also posts on every thing. He commented on fast food restaurants, corruption, television etc.
Palestinian blogs are not only devoted to the political issues on Palestine-Israeli conflict, but are also shedding lights through diaries and comments on the daily life. AquaCool wrote on Feb 2.2005 about Maria Asfour, a thirteen-year-old Palestinian swimmer from Bethlehem as:" An example of the Palestinian persistence in proving real talent and achieving success regardless of all difficulties, her dream is to raise the Palestinian flag at the 2008 Olympic Games in China" (aquacool.blogspot.com).
Others like Pro-Palestine blog is one of many in this field run by Haitham Sabbah. He is a cofounder of Best Arab Blogs Awards with Mahmood Al Yousif.
Sabbah in PalestineBlogs gives his diaries the flavor of resistance and this is reflected in many articles and links campaigning against occupation (palestineblogs.com).
Arjan El Fassed puts it in a different manner introducing himself in a post dated 22 Jan 2005: "Home is the thing that is lost, the awaited return, home is not a map, nor a birth certificate. It's, as Mahmud Darwish, the famous Palestinian poet wrote: "Your life and your cause bound up together, before and after all of that, it's the essence of who you are. It is the essence of being a Palestinian." (arjanelfassed.mediamonitors.org).
Omar Alarabi posts from Jordan as one of the most active Arab bloggers .He posts on politics and current affairs, but he is mainly maintaining his views on religious issues criticizing some traditions and believes dominating Arab culture. (omaralarabi.blogspot.com).
Shifaa is an example of educational blog from Jordan acting as a part of a website which addresses Arab health needs and offers counseling. It is also a platform for Arabs to ask questions regarding their psychological needs. This blog reflects very few Arabic projects in this concern. But whilst addressing Arabs, its posts and comments are all in English. (shifaa.org).
Azbi runs a blog called Moodless. He is the most well known Kuwaiti blogger since he has won the Deutsche Welle International Blog Awards in 2004. According to Deutsche Welle:" A 25-year-old Kuwaiti voices his critical views in this blog that deals mainly with social and political topics. Moodless.net encourages readers to reflect on problems facing Arab world and contribute to a cultural dialog "according to the German radio. (Deutsche Welle 2004).
Azbi writes his short dairies in a journalistic mood on current events in Kuwait. In a diary he posted on 30 Jan. 2005, he criticized Kuwait TV. for being so mild in dealing with the terrorist operation that killed two innocents . (Moodless.net).
Another Kuwaiti bloger is a female who runs a blog devoted fully for space and the world of astronauts. She stated that she is "A girl simply dreams of being an astronaut and be the first Kuwaiti Arab Muslim female who goes to space ". She published a lot of articles, photos, and news reports from related web sites regarding her interest e.g. one of her articles on black spot. Another one shows images of Tsunami damage from the International Space Station etc. (q80girl.blogspot.com).
Serdal is a famous bloger from UAE. His real name is Abdullah, but his colleagues from other Arab blogs called him the God Father of Arab blogs. He posts daily in Arabic from Abu Dhabi on almost every thing from social issues and technology concentrating on local issues.
One of his posts on Feb 2. 2005 commented on the bureaucracy in Abu Dhabi Municipality. Another on Feb 7. on the misuse of car horns in Abu Dhabi streets. (serdal.com)
Burjwazi dedicated all his posts from UAE to Arabic literature and to his own experiences. Some of his visitors asked him to teach them secrets of writing, but he politely apologized because he is not an expert, describing himself as a lover of letters and his experiences are only notes of his daily diaries. He provides his readers with cuttings of classical and modern pieces of short stories, poems and links to other sites of Arab literature pioneers. (burjwazi.net).
Between Serdal and Burjwazi, I have come across a blog called: The Lands of Sands. Posts are published from UAE for a blogger called Benkerishan who described himself as: "I am an underground writer combating the terrors of the power seekers and Islamists". He attributed the situation here to his people believes and traditions. (benkerishan.blogspot.com).
Almohareb from Saudi Arabia is interested in computer applications as well as social issues. It is clear that he is well acquainted with web designing technologies as he commented on the designs of other Saudi web sites. He provides different post on the use of new technologies that helps enhance web sites functions. (www.al7ot.net).
Abduh blog is a personal diary of a Saudi computer engineering student devoted fully to computer and physics. Most of his posts and comments are either news cuttings from newspapers or book abstracts. He said that the Internet gave him an unprecedented chance to write and to reflect his own views. (abduh.net).
Saudi jeans is one of the most renowned Saudi blogers describing his blog as:" Rants and raves from Saudi Arabia". His posts in English are reflecting this slogan, e.g. in Feb.3.2005 he wrote:" I'm glad that Dr. Raffia Ghabash, the President of Gulf University in Bahrain, protested against the sexual segregation at a workshop " We respect local traditions but the role of women must be activated and increased because the discussions are about human and social issues of importance to women." Then he commented:" In other countries, local traditions are respected but they are not sacral. They can be changed and modified to suit the modern world. Traditions are not a part of the religion, and even religion is flexible and can undergo changes.
Mahmoud Al-Yousif is an active blogger from Bahrain, he co-founded the Best Arab Blogs Awards with Haitham Sabbah as mentioned in this paper. In his blogs called Bahrain Blogs he puts his mission statement like this : "Bahrain logs empowers blogers by providing them with a free, robust and easy to use blogging engine on which they can share and chronicle their thoughts relating to various aspects of life in Bahrain, thus giving the world a truer sense of Bahrain and its communities" . Al-Yousif placed a list of charity organizations and asks his visitors to help: "fellow human beings who have suffered from the Asian Tsunami".
Ali QuixotiQ is another Bahraini blogger describing himself as the first Bahraini to write and publish a novel in English language. His posts are mainly about the craft of writing, literature, his life as a writer and his stories. He presents his blog as: "A journal basically focus on my debut, self-published novel 'QuixotiQ' and everything related to my life as an Arab writer of English fictions working towards breaking into the literary scene, as well as my experiences and thoughts on the craft and my work." (Quixotiq.Bravejournal.com).
In Morocco, B. Adel runs Al Modawana, a linking place to other Arab blogs as a part of a project called Planet Arab's Blogers:" I can't remember all blogs addresses. So I had to write my own solution to grab the goodies , then Planet Arab's Bloggers was born, and since I'm open source developer, I went on to share it and release "Al Modawana" as Free Software (netdur.info).
Most other blogs from Morocco are in French. Only a little number of them is in Arabic, such as Bluesman at :( jomfery.blogspot.com) run by Rayhane Najib and specialized in miscellaneous news of sport, cinema, music and famous singers.
Arab Kick Boxing blog from Lebanon provides visitors with circulars and rules of this sport by the Lebanese Federation of Kick Boxing. Although this blog is not run by an official body but it looks in official shape. (kickboxing-leb.blogspot.com).
Another blog example from Lebanon is Mysteriouseve run by a female who writes in Arabic, English and French reflecting her daily life diaries as she is trying to contribute in different activities in her society, she described her self:" I'm just a normal girl, though, not like any other girl I know!" (mysteriouseve.blogspot.com).
From Syria there are two photoblogs, one of them is: Photos from Syria. A photography album collected or captured by Abdullah Najjar. This blog deals with photography as a fine art and provides links to famous photographers along with samples of their works. (syriait.com).
The Damascene Blog by Ayman Haykal presents also photos reflecting the daily life in Damascus. In Feb. 8 .2005 he published a photo about the Minaret of the Bride which he described as the oldest and most beautiful minaret of the Umayyad Mosque. Other photos go in the same pattern. (damascene.blogspot.com).
Except a blog from Algeria called Mesothelioma Reporter at (mesotheliomareporter.org) presenting a unique issue devoted to mesothelioma news and asbestos information ,other blogs from Sudan , Algeria , Libya , etc are very limited repeating the same look of other Arabic blogs , e.g. Motasim from Sudan started his blog at :(motasim.blogspot.com) on April 12.2004 and stopped on the second day .
Findings and Discussions
I have surveyed 378 blogs statistically for the basic geographic and demographic data. Then 30 blogs were analyzed to disclose nature and characteristics of the contents and format. The analysis came out with these findings:
Geographically: There are 120 blogs run by Kuwaiti's representing 31.7%. Egyptians came next and represent 23.8% with 90 blogs. UAE represent 11.1%. Palestine and Bahrain represent 5.2% for each, Jordan 5%, Iraq and Tunisia 5% each, Lebanon 3.1%, Saudi Arabia 2.6%, 1.3 % for Qatar, Morocco and Oman, 0.7% Algeria, 0.5% for Yemen, Sudan and Mauritania .
Locations: 20% of bloggers were not revealed their locations, 13% said that they are expatriates, including Palestinian who write from Jordan.
Demographically: The results of gender analysis revealed that the number of female compared to male bloggers is not fair. It indicates that there are only 2 females blogers representing only 6.7%.
Identity: 53.3%of Arab bloggers do not declare their identity in names or photos. They instead put nicknames, especially those who write in politics, religion and daily life topics. Names of bloggers and blogs reflect culture and environment, e.g. Big Pharaoh from Egypt and The Land of Sands from UAE.
Content: Topics cover different areas, 26.7% for general issues of daily life. 20 % devoted to politics, 6% tend to reflect personal diaries on different issues including views and thoughts on current affairs. 50% discuss domestics and special issues (science and sport), 33% comments on issues of regional or international dimensions. All can by review as follows:
1/ Blogs such as Serdal from UAE and Beyond Normal from Egypt focus on daily life issues and often tend to touch local political and economic issues .
2/ some bloggers criticize political, social and religious situations in their countries. An example for this is Saudi Jeans and the Land of the Sands.
3/ some bloggers tend to write in pro democracy in Iraq, other against occupation, those against Saddam receive foreign support e.g. Iraq the Model blog receive support by two American pro democracy organizations.
4/ Pan Arabian issues are common in many blogs with voices against occupation extend message to refuse any Western existence in the Arab territories e.g. Palestinian use blogs to campaign against Israel. It is obvious to find some bloggers who avoid criticizing political and socioeconomic conditions in their countries and instead they jump to discuss pan-Arab issues, e.g. while the Bahraini blogosphere contain frequent discussions of local politics, the Jordanian bloggers are much more inclined to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Arab World in general.
Science: % 10 of blogs are devoted to science or related subjects. From Algeria, a blog delivers information to society of Mesothelioma. Another is dedicated to space and the world of astronauts which reflect dreams of a girl who loves this world.
Sport: 3.3% blog is specialized in sport and devoted to Kick Boxing.
Literature: Literature and related writings represents 6.7% .The bloggers post pieces of their views, feelings and experiences of short stories, poetry and provide links to related sites.
Computer: Computer and related technologies represents 3.3%. The bloggers provide articles on different subjects on products solutions and new releases etc.
Blogging: Bloggers write articles and comments on other blogs e.g. B. Adel runs Al Modawana where he developed his own system to collected posts from other blogs. This activity has helped in building a new community among blogers.
Types of Blogs
There are four major types of Arabic blogs:
Type one: Type one is a mix of linking and comments. Here a blogger surf the web to look for topics he feels that it serves his target, then he adds his own comment. This type is found in Saudi Jeans and Tak Hank.
Type two: Type two is a diary blogs. Bloggers write their own diaries like this:" Today I went to the theater, or today I received a message from a friend. Diaries tend to be personal as if the blogger is talking to him self.
Type three: Type three is written in journalistic mood. Serdal - for example- writes an essay on daily life issues that look like a column in a newspaper. He reflects his personal experiences.
Type four: Type four is photoblogs. This type comes in two flavors, one publish photos in journalistic pattern reflecting daily events. The other one deals with photo as a fine art.
Language: 30 %of Arab bloggers use Arabic language. 16.7% Dual Arabic and English. 3.3% use English French and Arabic. 50 % are in English language. This reflects that most of those who run Arab blogs are educated and computer literate people who speak English. The people who read blogs are not different from the bloggers themselves, which means only a certain type of people, are communicating with each other.
Frequency: 86.7% of the surveyed blogs are updated frequently. Those who write in a journalistic mood such as Saudi Jeans can be classified as an active blogger that updates frequently. Some bloggers update many times a day and provides links to current news. Others give the feeling that they have no commitment to continuing the blog they have initiated.
Publicity: The main facts about Arab blogs community can be observed in the following points:
- Most Arab bloggers know each others , they exchange views, write on their experiences and they add links to each others .
- Many of them have contributed in discussion forums about Arabicization of the word blog in different occasions . They discussed options and reached an agreement on the used the word "Mudwana which means a record in Arabic.
- Some bloggers have built portals of blogsphers to help collecting blogs in one location , e.g. There is a group in Egypt which helped develop an Egyptian bloggers community called Egyptian Blogs Ring. Another example was observed in Kuwait and Jordan.
- Haitham Sabbah from Palestine and Mahmoud Al Yousif from Bahrain founded an annual competition for Arab blogs called Best Arab Blogs Awards . Now their site became the most renowned place for Arab bloggers community. The same situation occurred when Deutsche Welle organized an international blog competition in 2004 in seven languages including Arabic.
- Most of Arab bloggers have a blogroll or links to sites that authors think are interesting, informative, or useful. The blogroll is where you can see the political relationships between Arab bloggers.
- Although the components of Arab blogs community is known within the circle, yet it is unknown outside except for few press reports that shed light on blogging experiences in some Arab countries.
Format: The format of most blogs shaped like a newspaper columns with news and opinions. Saudi Jeans and Tak Hank use the same shape. Some blogs are personal diaries only. Most have commentary on the materials they link to. Some blogs publish articles in the format of essay. Few blogs are just headlines and links. 56.7% are text only blogs, 36.7% use both text and graphics (pictures and paintings etc.) . 6.7% Photoblogs.
Tools: Most Arab blogs use Blogger software on Blogspot. The free blog service tool from Google. 56.7 % of them use this service, others use deferent services.
It is obvious that most of these blogs come from the Arab Gulf area where the use of the Internet is growing rapidly, while the case is different in countries such as Yemen , Sudan and Mauritania which represent very low blogging .
Local issues of politics, religion and society etc, are touched, but most Arab bloggers depend on Arab mainstream media sources to build content , which is mainly written in English. It indicates that most of those who run Arab blogs are educated and computer literate people who speak English. The people who read blogs are not different from the bloggers themselves, which means also that certain types of people are communicating with each other only.
Another major fact is that some of bloggers have managed to catch the opportunity expressing their beliefs and declare their ideologies, yet most of them hide their names and instead write nicknames. This reveals that legal or de facto constraints on freedom of speech and of the press have a chilling effect on what is expressed online in the Arab region, especially in public forums such as open bulletin boards, chat-rooms and blogs .Thus practicing blogs in this region is not without risk. On February 27. 2005, three Bahraini bloggers were arrested for their political stands, among them a well known blogger called Ali Abdulemam who runs BahrainOnline.org.
The research has detected that some Arab blogs are run by none Arab citizens, e.g. Sudan Watch at: (sudanwatch.blogspot.com). Some receive help to run their blogs. This help is not without controversy as disclosed by Nathan Zuckerman who wrote : " Spirit of America CEO Jim Hake raised some eyebrows when he declared that the Arabic-language blogging tool would provide free blog hosting for "friends of democracy", indicated that the site would be willing to host any blog that did not advocate violence or terrorism. As Rebecca Mackinnon noted in her report on the meeting on Personaldemocracy.com: .Many attendees of the Global Voices workshop voiced skepticism at any attempts by an organization to determine who has the right to a free blog and who doesn’t" (Zuckerman 2004).
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Head of research section, Abu Dhabi TV.
21 years of work experience as: Researcher, Journalist and University Teacher of Online Media, Multimedia, and Computer Assisted Journalism and Electronic Journalism.
2002- PhD. In Electronic Journalism, Omdurman University, Sudan.
Thesis on the characteristics of online Arabic journalism.
1997- Master in Journalism (Computer Assisted Journalism), Omdurman University, Sudan.
1987- Post Graduate Diploma in Communications, Omdurman University, Sudan.
1984- B.A of Art. Sudan University for Technology, Sudan.
1992- Dag Hammarskjöld Fellowship for journalists, UN Head Quarter, New York.
2001- Thomson fellowship, Thomson Foundation.
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