Tag Archives blogging

It’s over

Over the last few years of active blogging, and BBSing and other forms of electronic communication since 1986, I have decided to stop active blogging and would like to thank everyone for their friendship, support, suggestions and comments.

It’s been fun, but it’s time to move on.

Thanks very much and best of luck to everyone. It’s been a pleasure.


On Sabbatical


snail, originally uploaded by malyousif.

Guys, I’ll be taking a break from blogging for a while.

I don’t know for how long that while is.

Thanks all for your support.

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend.


M.Report S01E26 – Friends and an Interview with RSF

The last two days were very fruitful. I have had the privilege of interacting with an excellent group of people whose main concern is to share their views with the world, and expose the wrongs in their societies in order for those to be addressed and corrected. Although I cannot say that the correction has been effected by society and/or governments, but at least they have been brought out in the open and the hope is that they will be tackled, ultimately.

Today’s presentations were a bit more technical in nature where we discussed how to popularise your blog, how to use the available tools and sites to spread your message and how to monetise your efforts.

RSF's Clothilde Le Coz I also took the opportunity to interview Clothilde Le Coz, of RSF’s Internet Freedom Desk who shared her views and explained her role in the organisation. She also provided some insights on how RSF goes about its business.

Now that the formal part of the workshop is over, and the M.Report has been uploaded, it’s time to shower, change and go out to have dinner in the world famous Rick’s Café with some new and old friends. Should be quite fun!


Welcome home Fouad!

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Saudi blogger Fouad Al-FarhanSaudi Jeans reports that Fouad Al-Farhan has been released from custody after a 137 days incarceration, held without any charges.

We don’t know the details of his release and what he had to give up or sign for the authorities to finally let him go, I suspect we will hear his stories quite soon – I hope.

In any case, I am very happy indeed for his release.

Welcome home Fouad!


The New Media Environment: Paths to Understanding

The premise of the Aspen Institute’s conference I just attended at the Dead Sea in Jordan was somewhat different from the others I had in the past. This one took on the shape of an informal round table discussion with leaders and visionaries of the industry; in them was the grounded wealth of experience unparalleled outside of that room. Their level – board members, CEOs, journalists of note, university professors and renowned new media practitioners – is indicative of the seriousness at which the Aspen Institute’s genuine desire to add value to an oft used and malleable mantra of rapprochement between East and West; Arab and US relations to be exact; and how specifically to harness the power of the emergence of new media to ameliorate differences and elevate the level of discussion within that sphere to be objective and cohesive to engender true understanding.

CNN’s Rym Brahimi - Princess Rym AliThe agenda was given direction by her royal highness princess Rym Ali who is no stranger to journalism; having been an international correspondent with world broadcasters like CNN with stints in Iraq and other trouble spots in the world. She spoke with passion tempered with erudition drawing on her experience in the field and raising many difficult questions challenging the attendees to consider; in her keynote speech she drew many parallel situations in world reporting which demonstrably shows the dichotomy of ignorance on both sides of the equation recognising the prejudices held in the news media explicitly on both sides of the divide and laying down a challenge to the attendees to come up with practical implementable solutions for us all to take on board.

As the conference was chiefly considering the effects of new media – a term which is traditionally interpreted as blogs exclusively; but in really should also encompass capital intensive endeavors like news-sites, satellite television, internet radio as well as old media’s forays into the internet – the sessions started appropriately with short presentations followed by round table discussions in those regards.


Delivered a lecture at Princeton University

At Princeton University
lecture at Princeton University

findingourvoice-thumb.jpgAt the invitation of Daoud Kuttab, the visiting Ferris Professor of “New Media and the Arab World” at Princeton University, I gave a lecture to his students this morning about the Middle East Human Rights and Freedom of Expression situations from a blogger’s and political activist’s perspective. This is essentially the same presentation I did at RAND last week, but obviously to a different audience.

The talk was well received and generated many insightful questions by the students.

I’ve uploaded a zipped copy of my presentation (pdf 17MB), click the thumbnail to download it.

We’re having a fantastic time here – very busy actually, but very much worth it. We’re enjoying New York tremendously. I’ve been uploading some pictures on the Flickr album whenever I got a chance, I’ll hopefully upload many more once we get back home.


Mahmood’s Den Scapegoat of the moment

Mahmood’s Den Scapegoat of the moment

In keeping with the Den’s traditions, I have the honour in announcing the Scapegoat of the Moment who will have the unbridled responsibility of carrying ALL of the world’s ills on her shoulder; moreover, she will have to wear a beaming smile while doing so. Frowning and grumbling she is absolutely not allowed.

This she will do while I freeze my butt off in Washington DC and New York until my return to the homeland on March 7th.

Therefore, without further ado, I hereby announce that the Mahmood’s Den Scapegoat of the Moment to be:

bint Battuta!”

So if you wake up with a huge wart on your forehead, it’s bint Battuta’s fault; if you get food poisoning, it’s her doing; if Obama folds to Hillary, it’s absolutely bint Battuta’s doing. If it starts snowing in Bahrain at 40 degrees C, you know who is to blame; if you crash your car, you can bet that she had something to do with it.

You get the picture, I think.

My friends, go ahead and lay the blame at her feet without an atom of guilt, so let it rip and unwind, courtesy of the famed female traveller! 😀


33rd Bloggers’ Gathering TONIGHT!

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link to me link to me

At a new venue just for Ramadhan suggested by Silveroo who has also agreed to pay to dry-clean our clothes due to the shisha smoke at La Maison du Café in Zinj at 8pm!

Sorry about the last minute notice, but I do hope that bloggers will have a few minutes to spare to come and say hey.


Bloggers’ Gathering change announcement

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It has been unanimously agreed that the gatherings henceforth will change to the first Saturday of the month, rather than Thursdays.

The gathering time has also been changed to 11AM, as well as the venue which will now be at Dolce Cafe by Nasser Pharmacy opposite the Ahli club in New Zinj.

The first gathering in this “new era” will be on September 1st at 11am at Dolce Cafe. Please mark your calendars accordingly and we hope to meet you then!

I’m sure Mohammed Maskati is happy now and I hope that he mentions this in his podcast tomorrow.


Bolstering the blogosphere

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Good News™: More people noticing that blogging is no longer a phenomenon:

The blogosphere, as media expert Dr. Mark Lynch points out, is able to ‘escape the state driven red lines which even the most independent of Arab media is forced to acknowledge’. As such, they fit in with the EU’s agenda, enshrined in the Barcelona Process and European Neighbourhood Policy, of promoting a freer media in the Middle East. Not only does the internet allow Middle Eastern citizens to hold their (often unelected) leaders to account, it also provides a medium through which citizens can engage with politics and with each other. Empowering pluralism and strengthening civil society have also been among the much heralded side-effects of the blogosphere, both of which are central tenets in the EU’s relationship with the Middle East.