Saturday, June 02, 2007

Free the bloggers!

A while back, a posting on the Middle East's new blogging culture described one of the few positive trends in the region. I was trying at the time to set aside my pessimism about the Middle East's future and not sound so negative. The blogging culture, taken at face value, is certainly an encouraging sign of constructive change there. To reiterate, this is one of those cases where I'm pretty sure my pessimism is right - but I would love to be proved wrong.

Egypt's best-known blogger is undoubtedly Abdel Kareem Nabil Soliman (Kareem Amer). Soliman had been a law student at Cairo's famous Al-Azhar University, but was expelled in March 2006 for his criticism of the school's curriculum. As of February 2007, he's been in an Egyptian jail for the crimes of defaming Islam and Egyptian president-for-life Hosni Mubarak. Soliman's friends and supporters here and in the UK have pressed his case in various media.

You can follow their work through the online networking site Facebook.com, which has a Free Kareem Amer! group. The facebook.com site does require registration.

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