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AL Jazeera Forum: ARAB YOUTH: POLITICAL ACTIVISM AND SOCIAL MEDIA

13/03/2011

Live blogging…

Libyan Activist Omar AbdalKarim Abushah speaking now: “The ideas were united, the internet played major role in the glorious rev. The media can finish its course in the countries that were able to liberate themselves. In Libya the situation is different. Questions have been asked, how come Libyans did not revolt earlier? We tried; the number of political prisoners in Buslin prison is evidence of this.”

“Gaddafi knows that the Libyan people ran out of tears because those tears had vanished because of the long suffering of the Libyan people.”

The first day we took the streets, there were two martyrs. This didn’t happen anywhere else. But victory is coming; we will be triumphant through our mother’s prayers.

Question to Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi : What made you turn away from the wealth of your surroundings (he was blogging from the UAE) and do the work you do?

Sultan: Geography cannot separate us from our brothers in Benghazi, Cairo etc. We are all the sons of one nation, and unless we stand behind out brothers we are cowards.

Question: What has changed in the mind of the Arab youth post revolution, socio-economic standards have not changed much, but the youth in Egypt have.

Asma Mahfouz (activist from Egypt): Now the Egyptian youth is proud to stand up, they believe that if they truly want to do something, they can carry out it. They are able to say that, “we want this” and “we don’t want that”. We are watching and cooperating with the transitional government, but if they do something we don’t like, we will say so…and in the future we will be able to choose our own government.

Questions from the Audience

Why don’t bloggers write in Arabic instead of French and English?

Sultan Al Qassemi: I translated a text from Arabic to English showing how crazy Gaddafi is. Next day I found the Washington Post and New York Times, quoting my blog. It took me so long to translate it. I salute the person who says we need to blog in Arabic.

Speaker from the audience: (addressing the Libyan speaker who alluded to African mercenaries in Libya) Try to be more specific when you talk about African supporting Gaddafi.

Muhammad Al Kassas: The mercenaries don’t represent Africa, only themselves. There was also a Tunisian mercenary, but that isn’t to say he was representing Tunisia.

Female speaker for Darfur: I am a woman from Darfur, are we as African people part of the revolution? We in Darfur cannot hear any echoes of our pain in the Arab world; we have found no support from Arabs. We want to have your support.

Asma: To the Sudanese and Darfurian sisters, we need to stand together and we want to support you and your cause, we are with you.

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