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Ahmadinejad the Blogger - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Just over two weeks ago the exciting new world of Blogging saw Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad join its ranks. And with that the latest media revolution has now been adopted by the Iranian President, whether anybody in the Blogging community likes it or not.

To those that frequent online Blogs, one can’t help but notice certain characteristics that define most Bloggers. They are mostly young men and women whose views are usually the alternative to those adopted by their mainstream communities, and they usually tackle bold and problematic issues that are difficult for more traditional media outlets to address. But without a doubt that most prominent feature is the wit and humor used by these Bloggers.

The announcement of Ahmadinejad’s intention to launch his own Blog, resulted in numerous questions, assumptions and in many cases; the punch line of many jokes. But the Iranian president decided to follow-through on his announcement and on the day the Lebanese-Israeli ceasefire took shape the Iranian president lunched his very own Weblog.

Ahmadinejad’s Weblog consists of his autobiography which included details of childhood, burdens he suffered whilst growing up, and the Islamic revolution and the war with Iraq thru his eyes.

In his Weblog which is available in several languages, Ahmadinejad promised his readers that he would update his Blog a couple of times a week, and asked his readers to bear with him if he failed to do so.

In truth, since the launch of his Blog two weeks ago, Ahmadinejad has not updated it and his readers who are fascinated with his “resistance to American imperialism and Zionism projects.” have stopped posting comments.

There is no doubt that Iran is one of the most prominent countries where the Blogging phenomenon has taken off in a very short period of time, despite the governments continuing efforts to censor, and in some cases imprison these Bloggers.

In it efforts to censor the pages of Bloggers who oppose the government, Teheran utilizes one of the most advanced monitoring systems in the world. This is why the step taken by Ahmadinejad is seen as an attempt to take advantage of one of the most important aspects of globalization which still remains in its infancy but is popular and free in its manifestations.

When modern technology falls in the hands of a radical regime, it is then transformed into performing a role that is the opposite of what it was intended for, and becomes a tool to coerce freedoms and support them.

So when a Blog is under the control of an official like Ahmadinejad, then it becomes a media outlet that is subject to the same censorship that more traditional forms of media suffer from.

This come at a time when weblogs are one step ahead of other mediums as far as censorship is concerned; ironically, Iranian Bloggers were some of the first to recognize this.

But on the Brightside, it is unlikely that Ahamdinejad (who is busy dealing with Iran’s nuclear issue) will be updating his Blog anytime soon.

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled is a prominent and well-respected TV journalist in the Arab world thanks to her phenomenal show Bil Ayn Al-Mojarada (By The Naked Eye), a series of documentaries on controversial areas and topics which airs on Lebanon's leading local and satelite channel, Future Television. Diana also is a veteran war correspondent, having covered both the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, as well as the Israeli "Grapes of Wrath" massacre in southern Lebanon. Ms. Moukalled has gained worldwide recognition and was named one of the most influential women in a special feature that ran in Time Magazine in 2004.

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