Global Voices Digest


March 24, 2006, 2:01 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Mar. 24, 2006

Belarus: Protest Stories and Conversations

“For the past four evenings, thousands of people have been gathering at Kastrychnitskaya (Oktyabrskaya) Square in Minsk, Belarus, to protest the fraudulent presidential election” begins Veronica Khokhlova, who has translated several posts from Belarus’ vast Livejournal community. The importance of the internet as a means of communication becomes clear when one blogger, three hours from Minsk, says that those without internet access have little idea that anything is happening at all. This is your chance to hear directly from the protesters and the skeptics regarding Belarus’ future.

Landing at the Iraqi Blogodrome

This week has brought us both the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq War as well as the 18th anniversary of Halabja massacre, where hundreds to thousands of Kurds were poisoned by chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war. Bloggers use both occasions as measuring sticks of what their country has become since the fall of Saddam and what it was beforehand.

Cambodian Weblogs in the Spotlight

It is a sign of the times, if not the nature of the web, that much of Cambodia’s blogosphere consists of Cambodians living abroad and foreign expats who now live in Cambodia. ThaRum Bun introduces us to bloggers of both sorts including Cambodian students in Australia, South Korea, and Norway and a food-focused blog from Phnom Penh.

Fouad Al-Farhan: We Have to Move On

After reading and observing weblogs for some time, pioneer Saudi blogger, Fouad Al-Farhan explains that he decided to start publishing online himself because of the “limitations on freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia.” During an email interview with Ahmed, Al-Farhan compares Saudi Arabia’s blogging community to that of the United States, where he lived as a student, and speculates on the future of citizen media in his country.

Finnish and Spanish Paper Mills Generate Tension in Latin America

Newly planned paper mills along a shared river between Argentina and Uruguay have caused a not-so-minor diplomatic spat between the two countries. They have also generated an online debate (and several new weblogs) over the balance between the need for strict environmental regulation and foreign investment.

Slanted coverage of riot police demolishing protest camp in Belarus, remembering Guyanese activist Walter Rodney, scolding two visiting American senators in China, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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March 23, 2006, 1:33 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Mar. 23, 2006

Ethiopia’s bloggers remember their poet laureate

Andrew Heavens points out that the death of Ethiopian Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin in late February didn’t make many headlines in the international or even African press, including complete silence from the BBC. “So it was largely down to the country’s bloggers” he says, “with their vastly superior stores of cultural memory and local knowledge, to step in through March to make the appropriate tributes.”

Nigeria: And it’s Census Time Once Again

The national census is currently underway, 15 years after the last count, and Nigerian bloggers are using the occasion as a measuring stick for the progress of their country. David Ajao navigates the pessimism, criticism, and stay-at-home glee.

Moroccan Doctor-Bloggers

Farah Kinani’s latest dispatch from Morocco’s busy blogosphere once again has a little for everyone. This week’s sundry conversations include thoughts on an American Neoconservative’s war conversion, blogging in French versus Arabic, and a rundown of Morocco’s many doctor-bloggers including a new medical research blog.

The (virtual) life of a regional editor

Global Voices Managing Editor Rachel Rawlins highlights a podcast interview by Kamla Bhatt with South Asia Editor Neha Viswanathan. Viswanathan divulges that she reads around 2,000 weblogs a day in her search to discover relevant and timely posts from around the region. Other regional editors have reportedly taken this as a challenge and are adding new feeds by the hour.

The Week That Was – Bolivian Blogs

Soybeans and water take center stage in Eduardo Ávila’s weekly summary of Bolivian weblogs. World Water Day and the concurrent World Water Forum taking place in Mexico city have inspired several activists and commentators to remind readers of the social upheaval caused by Bolivia’s failed water privatization around the turn of the century. Also, hear what bloggers have to say about a free trade pact with Colombia that is said to threaten soybean exports.

Day four of Belorussian protests, banning overseas Vietnamese films in Vietnam, celebrating Pakistan Day, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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March 22, 2006, 1:51 am
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Global Voices Online – Mar. 22, 2006

Iranian New Year

On Monday we mentioned Phagwah, the Hindu springtime festival which is also celebrated throughout the Caribbean. Yesterday in Iran was Norouz, a celebration of the coming of spring and the Iranian new year. Farid Pouya finds that many Iranian bloggers are using the first day of 1385 to remember political prisoners.

Voices from Central Asia and the Caucasus

Unruly traffic police in Armenia, Podcasts from Kazakhstan, law students from Kyrgyzstan, video footage from Tajikstan, federalism in Turkmenistan, internet use in Uzbekistan, and much more all await you in Ben Paarmann’s online journey through Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Images from Venezuela: From Bolívar Avenue

No one has the talent of convincing people to get naked like American photographer Spencer Tunick. On Sunday he was in Caracas, Venezuela where he did just that. Hear (and see) what attendees thought of the experience.

Chilean Art through Blogs

Chilean artists have discovered weblogs as a way to introduce their work to new audiences at home and abroad writes Rosario Lizana. She links to several artists who are using the medium as an outlet for their artwork and social commentary.

Media coverage in Belarus, a Cuban mourns the World Baseball Classic final loss to Japan, India’s new arranged marriage, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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March 21, 2006, 1:53 am
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Global Voices Online – Mar. 21, 2006

Free Hao Wu!

Global Voices Northeast Asia Editor and Chinese documentary filmmaker Hao Wu has been detained by Chinese authorities without charge. Global Voices co-founder Rebecca MacKinnon explains the situation and points readers to freehaowu.org, which will be updated regularly as news emerges.

Voices from Zimbabwe and the Great Lakes

The authors of, This is Zimbabwe celebrate their one year anniversary amid depressingly ironic reports of a new ‘Interception of Communications Bill,’ which would empower federal authorities to “intercept telephonic messages passed through fixed lines, cellular phones and the Internet.” In his weekly review of Zimbabwe and the Great Lakes, Zim Pundit also features one blogger’s vision of Congolese Monopoly and much more.

African women blogging this week

African women bloggers continue to put forth heartfelt and insightful commentary about their lives, countries, and communities. This week Nish Matenjwa brings readers meditations on Kenya’s political amnesia, technology for development, and a nascent grassroots project that seeks blogging mentors to “encourage African women to report their own stories as an alternative to mainstream media.”

This week in Israel

Israel’s national elections are just over a week away and contributor Lisa Goldman says that some of the country’s bloggers are finally posting on politics. Here’s your chance to discover what the Knesset is, why one former Labor party supporter plans to vote for Kadima, and which political party would legalize marijuana and same-sex marriage. Also, reactions to the Israeli army siege of a prison in Palestinian-controlled Jericho.

What Salvadoran bloggers are saying — post-election edition

More analysis from Salvadoran bloggers about their country’s recent elections has been translated and summarized by contributor Tim Muth. Find out what the close election in San Salvador’s mayoral race means for the leftist FMLN and why the color of your shirt could get you into trouble.

Thailand: BlogconThai 2006

About 25 participants from Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bali met at Thammasat University’s Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication on Sunday for the first annual BlogCon Thailand 2006. Global Voices contributor Enda Nasution was there and has this report. Don’t miss the mp3 recordings of each of the presenters including Enda himself.

The Caribbean blogosphere does Phagwah

Phagwah, or “Holi” as it is referred to in Hindi, is the Hindu, springtime festival of color. And colorful indeed are the photos from Trinidad and Tobago posted by Caribbean Editor Georgia Popplewell. Bloggers from Guayana and New York also document their Phagwah experiences.

Tents on Belarus’ October Square, three years of debating ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’, Sri Lanka recently, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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March 20, 2006, 1:23 am
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Global Voices Online – Mar. 20, 2006

Views from the Horn of Africa and Sudan

More than eighteen months after former US Secretary of State Colin Powell declared genocide in Sudan, the mainstream media has largely forgotten the bloody conflict. Global Voices contributor Chippla Vandu, however, has not and offers readers a straight-forward summary of what expertise bloggers are saying about Darfur and the ongoing efforts to bring peace to the region, including a 300 mile walk by a former Sudanese slave and NBA basketball player. This plus a rundown of Ethiopian politics, poultry prices, and much needed rain in Somalia.

The Balkans: “Finally, the Post-Milosevic Era”

An era ended, writes Veronica Khokhlova, when former Yugoslav leader and war-crimes defendant, Slobadan Milosevic died of a heart attack in his prison cell in the Hague. Hear what the region’s bloggers have to say about the significance of his death and what the “Post-Milosevic Era” means for the Balkans and the International Criminal Court. Khokhlova ends her plentiful post with two interesting comments from Belarus; especially when taken in context of yesterday’s elections.

Who Won the Elections in El Salvador?

El Salvador’s long history of political polarization was only more pronounced by last Sunday’s elections. That was the analysis of leftist Salvadoran blogger “JJmar” last week as votes in San Salvador’s tightly contested mayoral race continued to be counted. Thanks to Juliana Rincón Parra’s translation, you can read first-hand what JJmar has to say about the future of El Salvador’s left.

The Week That Was in Bahrain

Car racing, jazz, and dance fill the Bahraini blogosphere this week. On the political side, Amira Al Hussaini links to two interesting perspectives on the recently released human rights report from the US State Department.

Buen Provecho!

Modern Irish cuisine, Australian oysters, and the best sandwich in Saigon. Yup, it’s time for another global food roundup from chef Melissa De Leòn Douglass.

Francophone African Bloggers on Social Mobility and Education

Take a glimpse inside Africa’s francophone blogosphere with Alice Backer’s translation of four thoughtful posts that deal with getting by, losing touch, selling out, and looking within.

This week in the Lebanese Blogosphere

And finally, from Lebanon, Mustapha gives brief notice to the continuing political debate before setting out to translate from Arabic a poetic dialogue between God and an angel as well as a blogger’s letter to her deceased father.

Belarus’ inaudible opposition, photos of freed Iranian journalist, Akbar Ganji, unethical journalism in Guyana, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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March 17, 2006, 1:49 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Mar. 17, 2006

Baobab Tree

Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Editor Sokari Ekine introduces readers to the multipurpose, multifaceted, and medicinal Baobab tree.

Landing at the Iraqi Blogodrome

A family of Iraqi bloggers lost an uncle who was mistakenly shot by American soldiers. The victim’s niece makes clear, “I doubt, there is any Iraqi still trust the Americans, even the most peaceful optimistic..” Salam Adil’s thorough rundown of the Iraqi blogosphere pays tribute to the country’s influential female bloggers, rounds up the pundits’ perspectives, and takes a look at how continued violence has an impact on education.

Creative Commons Mexico

Mexico joins Chile, Argentina, and Brazil as Latin American countries that have adopted Creative Commons licences. The official launch coincided with the end of the first day of iLaw, a legal conference in Mexico City related to the internet, which was attended by bloggers Eduardo Arcos, León Felipe Sánchez, and Ariel Vercelli. Hear what they have to say as well as why the Mexican Presidency decided to license all of its content under a Creative Commons license.

Whether or not to celebrate a revolution’s first anniversary in Kyrgyzstan, a Taiwanese choreographer lambastes a newspaper publisher, another horrific account of a Rwandan survivor, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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March 16, 2006, 1:16 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Mar. 16, 2006

Excerpts from Some Nigerian Weblogs this Week

Press censorship, President’s Obasanjo’s potential third term, social unrest in the Niger Delta, and Big Brother Nigeria. Want more? An expat pediatrician discusses the suppression of HIV, Bola Odegbami tunes readers in on how to offend in Nigeria, and Sokari Ekine documents the trials and tribulations of African immigrants in Europe. Here’s your chance to catch up on the past week in Nigeria with Imnakoya’s choice selection of excerpts.

Mohamed Choukry and Jill Carol Remembered

Searching for sex on the Moroccan net, kind words for journalist Jill Caroll, and a new social web portal that is attracting local bloggers are just a few gems of featured cyber-chatter by Farah Kinani.

The Week That Was – Bolivian Blogs

President Evo Morales continues his mad pace of legislation and diplomacy as he met with several regional heads of state this past week says Eduardo Ávila. Find out what one of those meetings means for soy farmers and what Morales has in common with Castro and Chavez (it’s not politics) in Ávila’s most recent dispatch.

Coo-coo for coca, the basis of China’s claim on inventing skiing, missing protesters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and much more can be found in today’s Global Roundups.

Get the blog buzz from East Asia, South Asia, the Americas, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Eastern Europe, Russia, Central Asia & the Caucasus.

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