I sat with a group of roaring lions this afternoon. At least that’s how it felt to me. A group of Palestinian bloggers met with a delegation from the US & UK.
Given a computer, and just a little bit of electricity, they roared through cyberspace with their stories, poems, news reports and eyewitness accounts of what was happening on the ground during Israel’s 8-day offensive in November.
No one is more powerful than a person with a passion for words and a desire to correct the injustices in the world.
The bloggers met the UK/US delegation at the offices of the Centre for Political and Development Studies.
Several explained what motivates them to blog. Rawan Yaghi said she writes short stories and started blogging after the ’08-’09 war “to draw attention to the individual lives of people in Gaza.”
Sameeha Elwan wrote her dissertation on women bloggers and blogs herself to share the hopes and aspirations for the end of the occupation.
A teacher encouraged Nour Al Borno to blog. She started writing poems in 6th grade and loves poetry. She writes to be heard, knowing that her words will be read long after she is gone. Many people are reading her blog from countries that she must Google to find on the map.
Mohammed Abdullah from the Ministry of Communication mentioned that the most important site in this recent war was the media, with so many bloggers and citizen journalists sharing their perspectives about the events in nearly real-time format. The world was paying attention this year as it hasn’t in the past.
Julie Webb-Pullman, a journalist from New Zealand, cautioned everyone to be aware of the massive cyber attacks that are ongoing. Both Israel and Al-Qassam have apparently hired the same company to carry out cyber attacks. (Did I hear that right?!?)
Two of the most exciting ideas I heard today give me alot of hope for the power of these bloggers.
Malaka Mohammed talked about a project between her university in Gaza and Sheffeld University in the UK, I think. Bloggers are sharing their stories which are being posted on each other’s university websites.
And my hero, Ret. Col. Ann Wright, suggested that the bloggers host an international blogging conference in Gaza which she thinks would attract hundreds of international bloggers, but she added that the local authorities would have to facilitate their travel and entrance into Gaza with the Egyptian authorities.
I think that is a super cool idea!!
Here are 14 Palestinian bloggers from Gaza that you should check out!
Freedom to Palestine http://malaka383.wordpress.com/
Gaza in Words http://fidaaabuassi.com/
More Angry Notes from Palestine http://msuliman.wordpress.com/
Here, I was Born http://sameeha88.wordpress.com/
I Am http://rawan-hp.blogspot.com/
Here We Are http://sarahmali.wordpress.com/
Palestine From My Eyes http://palestinefrommyeyes.wordpress.com
In Gaza, My Gaza http://thisisgaza.wordpress.com/
And Thereby Hangs a Tale http://palinoia.wordpress.com/
He who is brave is free http://yeljamal.wordpress.com/
Palestine: Memory Drafts and Future Alleys http://ranabaker.wordpress.com
Live From Gaza http://livefromgaza.wordpress.com
It’s not only a dream: persist, resist and exist http://maha-hussaini.blogspot.com/