Global Voices Digest


April 29, 2006, 11:38 pm
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Apr. 29 – 30, 2006

Landing at the Iraqi Blogodrome

Finally, Iraq has a new Prime Minister in Jawad Al-Maliki. But how are Iraqi bloggers reacting to the little known Shiite politician and his stated aims? Find out what they say was his first mistake and why diarrhea should be avoided on Fridays in Salam Adil’s report.

Pulse of the Saudi Blogosphere

It sounds to good to be true, but “The Mighty Camels” is in fact an ice hockey team in the United Arab Emirates. This from the mother of a young hockey player in Saudi Arabia. For the more traditional of sports fans, check out what two bloggers have to say about their country’s chances in this year’s World Cup in Ahmed Al-Omran’s comprehensive rundown of Saudi bloggers.

West Indian literature online

Nicholas Laughlin ends his introduction to West Indian literature online by quoting Ezra Pound: “Literature is news that stays news.” I couldn’t agree more; in an era when news reports, press releases, and advertisements all carry the same tone, literature teaches us not just about our society, but also ourselves. Laughlin introduces us to two Caribbean writers of science fiction, a Florida-based Jamaican writer who has been recently blogging about other Caribbean writers, and a Guyanese blogger whose “Creolese” musings “often penetrate to the heart of contemporary Guyana–and the contemporary Caribbean–more directly, more deeply, more movingly than tens of thousands of words of commentary and analysis and opinion written by the pundits and the self-appointed experts.”

Riots and panic in East Timor

Violence broke out in East Timor’s capital city on Friday, explained by the mainstream media as un-peaceful protests by nearly 600 newly unemployed soldiers. But several Timorese bloggers say that other elements are at play. Preetam Rai runs through the rumors, theories, and lamentations.

Media censorship in Russia, Mexico’s presidential elections, conserving Argali sheep in Mongolia, lessons from Chernobyl, 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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April 28, 2006, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Apr. 28, 2006

Some Excerpts from West Afrcan Blogs

In Imnakoya’s curation of West African punditry, we find disgust towards government corruption, but also distrust of corporate privatization. Flourishing institutional structures highlight Benin as “undeniably one of Africa’s most successful stories in liberal or electoral democracy” and a Nigerian opens his arms to China’s interest in African oil.

Polish Blogosphere Update

It’s around the middle of the night here and my browser is refreshing automatically every 10 seconds. On my screen is a busy Polish street corner in real time. It’s morning there and a man in a blue shirt is talking animatedly to the kiosk employee. Quick, read Jordan & Maria Seidel’s latest summary of the Polish blogosphere and you too will be able to see the man in the blue shirt wave his arms frantically. If only he could see us. If only we could all wave at him together. Also, check out the government repatriation publicity plan to get Polish pipes plumbed and buildings built.

Barber Shop in Lomut, West Pokot, Kenya

The saying goes that a US quarter can’t buy you anything these days, not even one-tenth a liter of gasoline. It will, however, buy you a battery powered haircut in Lomut, Kenya on Saturdays. From the looks of this picture, it’s a quarter well spent.

48 Missing Detainees Wrongly Identified

In 1991 when 124 bodies were of “desaparecidos” from the Pinochet dictatorship were found, 96 were identified, giving their families the closure of a proper burial. Last week, however, 48 of those families were notified that the identification process was flawed and mistaken. Rosario Lizana gauges the reaction by bloggers of the newly opened wound, the media’s portrayal, and who is at fault.

China’s scramble for Africa, a key Belorussian opposition leader jailed, a Chinese sex-blogger starts podcasting, remembering the Armenian genocide, 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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April 27, 2006, 12:48 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Apr. 27, 2006

Nepal: Treading cautiously on democratic grounds

King Gyanendra of Nepal has agreed to restore Parliament, but does that mean that a functioning democracy will blossom? Will Maoist rebels turn in their arms and participate in the political process? What was the country like before Parliament was dissolved in 2002? South Asia Editor Neha Viswanathan seeks the answers as she tours around the very active Nepalese blogosphere.

India: IT, Blogging and BarCamp

Moving on to neighboring India, Kamla Bhatt says that BarCamp Bangalore “looked like it was right out of Pleasanton/Dublin/San Ramon IT corridor in East Bay or Redwood Shores in the San Francisco Bay Area.” Here’s a dose of code, podcasts, and web2.0 from a decidedly Indian point of view. But how will new tech help rural India? Bhatt has that covered as well.

Marriage, Birthday and identity crisis in the Moroccan blogosphere

What is it like to be an indigenous Berber in modern day Morocco? Farah Kinani points us to an interesting meditation on the question and also warns that “the Moroccan blogosphere is starting to look exactly like the Moroccan society with the VIPs, the covetous, the rejected, the ins and the outs..”

Image from DRC: Kobolo Humor

Now further south to the Democratic Republic of the Congo where Alice Backer balances a picture of a very unbalanced Kobolo with a humor piece on Kinshasa public transport.

China: Photoblogs—translation not needed

“The goal is to provide foreigners with a non-official window into Beijing and China not bound by the constraints of text, to let them see images from lives of normal Chinese that aren’t found in newspapers, magazines, on television or in other exhibitions.” So responds Ziboy when asked what he set out to accomplish with his photoblog. It certainly proved to be a success as this Saturday marks the opening of “Here-Photoblogger Ziboy’s Self Expression,” an exhibition at Beijing Dimensions Gallery in China.

Pakistan: Blog-o-strikes back

After a brief cyber-fallout, the delightfully mischievous and distracted Omer Alvie is back with a roundup of recent posts by Pakistani bloggers. Included: a review of the Freedom of Expression in Asian Cyberspace conference held in Manila.

Chernobyl: Letters Never Written

Originally from Lviv, Ukraine and now living in the United States, LiveJournal user “wall4” has written an extraordinarily heartfelt post about his experience as a soldier in Chernobyl, exactly two decades ago. Read Veronica Khokhlova’s wonderful translation, but also visit the original post to see the accompanying black and white photos.

The Week That Was – Bolivian Blogs

In blogs, as in literature, exile and nostalgia are two themes to appear over and over again. Eduardo Ávila says that while some Bolivians write their blogs from countries like Japan and the United Arab Emirates, “many Bolivians leave for uncertain conditions and live under the cloud of illegality” like factory workers in Argentina that endure difficult conditions.

Technorati blocked in China, a Chernobyl protest rally in Belarus, blocking VoIP in Belize, 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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April 26, 2006, 1:35 am
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Global Voices Online – Apr. 26, 2006

Dahab Spring Tears

By now we have surely all heard about the bomb explosions which left up to 30 dead in the coastal village of Dahab during the Egyptian holiday of Sham an Nessim. But we had yet to hear the responses of ordinary Egyptians. Will Sinai Bedouins or Israelis be considered the main suspects behind the bombings? Will the government rule out al-Qaida to save the tourism industry? Should Minister of the Interior Habib al Adly be fired? Is the government to blame? Haitham Sabbah seeks answers to all these questions and more as he summarizes Egyptian commentary following the bloody attacks.

Nepal Revolution: Victory

Over the past week we have witnessed the daily dispatches of Nepalese bloggers as they have reported on what Paramendra Bhagat calls “a landmark in the country’s history … a victory for non violence, for democracy.” Protests have turned to celebration as King Gyanendra has agreed to reinstate parliament. But the show is far from over. How will the Maoists react? What does it mean for the Madheshi people of Southern Nepal? What is the road map of the new Nepal? Bhagat seeks the answers in a post he is clearly relieved to have finally written.

Travel India: Different Flavors

Travelers – both domestic and foreign – can add a unique perspective to the dialogue and description of where they journey. Mridula Dwivedi takes readers for a tour of India and Nepal as we peer through the portrayals painted by wandering bloggers.

Image from Haiti: Sell Art, Support a School

Alice Backer posts one of many works of art that are auctioned off in New York to help build and fund schools in Haiti. Click above to read more details about the project.

African Music #7

Sudanese rap, the African dancehall movement, and dub poetry. That’s right, it could only mean Obi Orjiekwe’s African music roundup. Here are some fresh tracks to get you through the rest of the work week.

Elections’ Race Between “Two Lefts”

Teodoro Petkoff, Editor of Venezuela’s daily newspaper Tal Cual and former guerilla fighter against the dictatorial government of Rómulo Betancourt, has announced his candidacy in the December presidential elections. Though Petkoff may have to first win opposition primaries, Venezuelan contributor Iria Puyosa calls the would-be election a “race between ‘two lefts'” as she gauges Venezuelan bloggers’ feverish response to the announcement.

Voices from Central Asia and the Caucasus

From Armenia to Uzbekistan, Ben Paarmann is back with another comprehensive look at Central Asian cyberspace. A small sample reveals an English comedian’s unlikely defender in Kazakhstan, the near-murder of an outspoken blogger in Kyrgyzstan, a Mongolian protester that set himself afire, and a lively conversation about Islam in Uzbekistan.

Bloggers react to Colombo bomblast

Sadly, Egypt is not alone in experiencing bomb explosions. Though much less disastrous and deadly, an explosion yesterday in front of a military hospital in Colombo did seriously injure an Army Commander. Mahangu Weerasinghe links to the reactions by Sri Lankan bloggers.

Zimbabwe’s youthful lack of patriotism, what Tajikstan stands to gain from an Indian foreign military base, recent Taliban suicide attacks in Afghanistan, 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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April 25, 2006, 10:06 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Apr. 24, 2006

Bloglogue: US Dollars & Democracy in Iran!

Iranian and non-Iranian bloggers based around the world are debating the would be efficacy and consequences of a US proposal to invest an extra $75 million to promote democracy in Iran. Farid Pouya moderates the online discussion and presents us with the most lucid arguments and revealing insights.

Bangladesh Blog Buzz

It’s a belated wish, but shuvo bangla nobobarsho to all. Or, happy Bengali New Year that is. Rezwan is back with an all-encompassing look at Bangladesh’s blog scene including the upcoming elections, cricket superstition, and two podcasts featuring English translations of Nobel Prize-winning Bangladeshi author Rabindranath Tagore.

Haitian Blogger Yon Ayisyen: “I’m No Revolutionary Hero”

Yon Ayisien, a nom de plume that means simply “a Haitian,” is his country’s foremost and, well, only blogger. In an interview with Alice Backer he theorizes as to why blogging has yet to hit big in Haiti and what the upcoming parliamentary elections could mean for President Preval.

Brutal murder of Guyanese government minister sends shockwavese

It is a day of mourning in Guyana where Satyadeow Sawh, Minister of Fisheries, Crops, and Livestock, was gunned down at his home along with his brother, sister, and bodyguard. Georgia Popplewell sums up the strong reactions by bloggers in Guyana and throughout the English-speaking Caribbean as Sawh’s brutal assassination represents widespread, regional violent crime.

Writings from the Kenyan Sphere

Nor were government officials safe in Kenya where a recent plane crash claimed the lives of 14 passengers including several parliament members and officials on a peace mission. Juliana R points to the tributes and reflections by Kenyan bloggers. Also, corruption, cricket, urban Swahili soul, and much more.

AddisFerengi returns as Ethiopia’s blogosphere explodes

“AddisFerengi, one of Ethiopia’s most controversial bloggers, was back in business this week with a load of back-dated posts, after temporarily shutting herself down and leaving the country amid claims of threats and warnings over her safety.” Her departure coincided with an explosion in blogs about Ethiopia written by native-born authors. Andrew Heavens points to their best content including descriptions of Ethiopian Orthodox Easter.

A stand against chewing Qat in Yemen, myths about Vietnam, Indian student protests in Armenia, 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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April 20, 2006, 11:36 pm
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Apr. 24, 2006

As Global Voices matures so does the quality of its content. That was especially apparent this weekend as we see how a Moscow online community gets proactive, Nepalese citizen journalists cover the standstill between protesters and the monarchy, we discover how the internet is adding a new dimension to a debate in Brazil over racial quotas in universities, Lebanese bloggers remember their country’s civil war, and Russians react to a rise in ethnic violence. Plus, the ever-tasty global food roundup and African women bloggers sound off.

Nepal Revolution: Showdown

Kathmandu, Nepal is entering its fifth straight day under curfew, but that’s not keeping the country’s fearless citizen journalists from getting their messages and coverage out in real time. Paramendra Bhagat has a summary of the latest including an explanation of why Western governments and Nepalese citizens reacted differently to King Gyanendra’s Friday royal address.

Helping Russian Orphans

A frequent criticism of bloggers is that they type too much, but don’t make social change happen. LiveJournal users in Moscow, however, are harnessing the community aspect of the web to promote a good cause. Veronica Khokhlova tells the story of an online community that collected donations and took them to an orphanage in the village of Ivanovo. Here is a heart-lifting example of how doing good and feeling good go hand-in-hand and how the smallest gesture by some can mean so much for others.

Quotas in Brazilian Universities: The Online Debate

Like Malaysia, South Africa, and the United States, race quotas in university admission processes are causing a storm of debate in Brazil. But it’s a novel model of national debate, says new GV contributor Jose Murilo, as internet forums, chat rooms, and blogs are “adding perspectives that would not have been on the radar before.” One Brazilian blogger insists “we can’t fight racism with a policy that affirms race. When the state make laws upon the concept, it ‘founds’ the notion of race, creating the very same thing it wants to destroy.” Others, however, disagree. Here’s your chance to read various perspectives on the debate and see where you yourself fit in.

Cooking Pleasures

I can almost smell the aroma from the keyboard. Here are Chef Melissa De Leòn Douglass’ hand-picked favorites from around the globe including one Easter meal in Argentina with BBQ chicken wrapped in crocodile meat! I know where I’ll be spending my Easter next year.

African Women This Week

Sokari Ekine’s review of African women bloggers reveals a strong female presence at the Kenyan blog awards, a nostalgic ode to East Nigerian food, Easter in Ethiopia, Earth Day, and much more.

The Lebanese Bloggers last week: Remembering The War, Plus Some Kisses

Lebanon’s 15-year civil war took place while many of the country’s bloggers were growing up. Their vivid memories – laid out here – represent the coming of age of an entire generation. Mindful of comic relief, Mustapha says the Lebanese have kissed and made up. And if Grandmas or Aunts are around, it could make for a lot of kissing.

Russia: Ethnically Motivated Violence

Racially motivated violence has been on the rise in Russia’s urban centers. When a young skinhead stabbed and killed a 17-year-old Armenian in Moscow’s subway, a blogger was at the scene and described what he saw. His use of the word “kavkazets” inspires a lengthy discussion. Find out what the term means and why it was a cause for such cynicism in Veronica Khokhlova’s translation of the comment thread.

A commemoration of slain Hatian journalist Jean Dominique, the profile of a Falun Gong heckler, a video about “Malaysia’s ongoing war with Singapore”, Venezuela pulls out of the Andean Community, 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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April 20, 2006, 2:00 am
Filed under: Digests

Global Voices Online – Apr. 20, 2006

Manal – The bold and the beautiful Moroccan blogger

Jyllands-Posten, the infamous Danish newspaper that published the controversial cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, refused to meet with BBC, CNN, and local media outlets, but they did talk to Moroccan blogger and medical student, Manal. Such is the respect that her weblog, Manal Carpe Diem, commands. Global Voices Morocco contributor Farah Kinani interviews Manal and finds out why 42 young Muslims from around the world recently gathered in Denmark to meet with their Danish counterparts.

A Brief Review of the Blogs in Córdoba

Throughout Latin America, most bloggers are concentrated in the large, capital cities. This holds true in Argentina, where Buenos Aires and blog go hand in hand. But Franco A. Giménez reports that the blogging community in provincial Córdoba is growing louder and stronger even as some veteran bloggers begin to drop off. He also offers three specific blogs worthy of special mention.

China: Dusty Discussion

A sandstorm has turned Beijing’s blue skies “dirt yellow” giving at least one student “more than enough reason to pull up the blanket and skip class.” John Kennedy offers translations by Chinese bloggers gauging the impact of the sandstorm on the environment, 2008 Olympics, and the next wash of clothes.

Detained human rights activists in the D.R. of Congo, on-campus violence in Sri Lanka, a podcast about a far-distant galaxy, which resembles Singapore, 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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