Afghanistan is the first country listed on Global Voices. Women’s Day in a Unrest Country, Blogging for a Freer Afghanistan, and Returned Refugees, Police Fatigue, and Freezing Children are headlines on Global Voice conveying that Afghan bloggers are facing a total different society than the one outside my frontdoor. It is not about the culture differences like between Germany and France as Scoble and Israel describe in chapter 8 in Naked Conversations. It is about a society that is struggling after decades of war and conflict. Bloggers like Nasim Fekrat are fighting for human rights, freedom of speech, women’s rights and democracy.
Go and read the interview with Fekrat who is blogging from Kabul on Global Voices. Fekrat is also active in citizen media projects likethe social media site Afghan Press and Afghan Penlog, the Afghan Association of Blog Writers. The goal is to bring Afghans bloggers inside and outside Afghanistan to defend their rights. As Fekrat says in the interview:
“We don’t have free media in Afghanistan, but through blogging, journalists and other people who can’t (or don’t want to) use their real names in Afghan media can share their ideas.”
Fekret also says:
“As you know, we don’t have online media to provide news to the world independently. Every day we hear bad news of explosions, suicide attacks, road bombings, killings, robberies in Afghanistan, but there is no one to provide information on social issues, women’s issues, education, music, literature, culture and Afghan traditions.When I read the news, I feel sorry for myself and wonder why our country and our people are defined as violent and tough people. I want to explain through Afghan Press that we are no different from the rest of the world; that we are forgotten, and you need to remember us today.”
On top of this, Afghan bloggers suffer from power outages several times a time. Fekrat describes how he writes his posts on paper, put it on a memory stick, and have to walk to somewhere else to get access to the Internet.I admire the courage of Nasim Fekrat to work hard and challenge the culture and the political system of his country. It takes more to blog from Afghanistan than blogging about Afghanistan – as a lot of the blogs I passed by today do.