Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

“A New Generation: Advocating for Political Reform in the Middle East and North Africa”

In a panel discussion on Monday, Freedom House visiting fellows of the New Generation of Advocates Program spoke on the emergence of the new generation of civil society advocates. From bloggers to investigative journalists, the use of technology in advocating for free societies has allowed individuals to make a difference in often oppressive circumstances.

The panel consisted of professionals from Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, who addressed their individual experiences in advocating for free governance in their respective countries. Wael Abbas, an Egyptian blogger and activist, has created a network of bloggers and contacts by which to circulate information on governmental corruption and human rights abuses. For Egypt's less-than-open regime, bloggers have been a “pain in the neck,” covering presidential and parliamentary elections as well as the activities of all the new movements calling for change in the country. The desire to empower people and raise awareness is at the heart of the civil society movement in Egypt and across the globe.

The panel also included influential advocates for civil society movements and featured personal reactions from Amel Blidi, a journalist in Algeria; Nasser Massoud, co-founder of the Children Rights Organization in Libya; and Neji Khachnaoui, a journalist from Tunisia.

For more information on the panel and their work as visiting scholars, click here.

For an article by Wael Abbas on blogging activism in the Middle East, click here.



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