I keep asking myself why did Obama choose the most
repressive regimes in the Middle East to honour not only with his
presence, but also to use as a launchpad for his Utopian vision of a
peaceful and democratic Middle East? A vision that will continue to
remain as illusive as a desert mirage for us Middle Easterners.
Then I try to select an alternate of the 22 Arab countries where he
could have used instead, but I fail to find a single one which could be
worthy of such an occasion.
Or how would you find out about Mariam Zouaghi,
a Tunisian student sentenced to six years in jail for her online
activities? (search for her Google News turns up 3 articles, none in
English) without Global Voices Advocacy?
Global Voices is important to me not because it brings us “citizen
media” from around the world. As I have opined repeatedly, I don’t care
whether media is “citizen” or “mainstream” and I live for the day when
those words (as Henry Jenkins proposed so eloquently here at Beyond Broadcast) have gone the way of the term “horseless carriage.”
I care about good stories and authentic perspectives. And I care
about the lives of people in countries that mass-market legacy media in
my country ignore except when there’s a war or a US economic or
diplomatic interest at stake.
Full disclosure: I’m friends with many of the people who make Global
Voices what it is and I’m writing this today in response to an
interesting challenge that could help bring some more money to Global
Voices. But I’m not doing it to help my friends, I’m doing it because I
know how hard they work, how many amazing new projects they’d like to
do and how important they are to the project of bulding the
cross-border connections that we all need to become global citizens.
It is election time in India. Painted walls tells stories of political
loyalty. India is rich with political symbols some more obvious than
others. Congress’ symbol — THE HAND. Photo by Carol Mitchell via Global Voices and Flickr.
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