How to be a blogging heroThe first week of 2008 has brought some bad news for bloggers of this world. It started with the arrest of Saudi Arabia's most popular blogger, Fouad al-Farhan who has long been calling for political reform in that country.
Farhan was arrested "for violating rules not related to state security" and it is the first known arrest of an online critic in Saudi Arabia.
Big Governments and Big Businesses alike fear and loathe Blogging. Why?
Because, blogging frees us. It provides channels and platforms to our voices.
India, where I live, is ruled by mostly lazy morons under the garb of elected officials. However, this country, best considered as an idea in progress, allows everyone to freely air one's opinions and rants.
We have not progressed to the levels of The Tonight Show but we sure stick it up to the man once in a while. In contrast, Saudi Arabia has all the money in the world. But, it is still a kingdom, not a democracy.
Fouad Al-Farhan once estimated that if only 10% of one of the richest countries in the world have access to the internet, less than 1% of Saudi Arabians have heard of blogs.
Sad News2: US Army Major Andrew Olmsted, who blogged under the name G'Kar, died in Iraq yesterday. Back in July 2007, Major Olmstead wrote a post which was to be published in the case he died in Iraq. His last post starts with a quote from Plato:
"Only the dead have seen the end of war."
It is up to all of us, the living, to fight for our words, and pray and work for all wars to end.
Let a million more free voices bloom.
Read Major Andrew Olmstead's last post here.
His other writings
Farhan's blog, written in Arabic, is down. I don't know who took it down but hopefully Google has indexed all of it. (An older, inactive blog is here)
My post about Abdul Kareem, the Egyptian blogger