Interview with award-winning blogger Wael Abbas

For those interested in the development of the Arab Blogosphere, here is an interview I did with Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas, who just last month was named last month winner of the prestigious Knight International Journalism Award. I enjoyed talking with Wael. He was very eloquent and quite determined to expose corruption and human rights violations in Egypt. You can read the full interview on the International Journalist’s Network. Here is an excerpt:

Wael Abbas
For 33-year-old Egyptian Wael Abbas, the Web log is not merely a personal journal; he has a specific mission. He sees his blog as an avenue for freedom of speech in a country that has relatively little of it.

Legal harassment of independent journalism is common. According to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, there were 85 criminal cases against the press from 2004 to 2006. It was in this atmosphere that Abbas launched his Egyptian Awareness blog, available at http://misrdigital.blogspirit.com [Arabic].

He says he took it upon himself to expose human rights violations in Egyptian society and shed light on issues of corruption and torture, among others.  In an interview, Abbas told IJNet that what compelled him to start his blog was "the need for real, transparent, independent media that cover stuff often neglected by mainstream media." Armed with a video camera, Abbas sees video blogging as a way to silence skeptics of his reporting. "I focused on images and video footage so that no on can discredit my work," he said. He uses colloquial Egyptian Arabic on his site to appeal to a younger generation that might find traditional reporting "boring."

5 Comments

  1. Elliot September 27, 2007 at 10:05 am

    The reason he won’t stop, is cause blogging is like crack: once you’ve done a good line, its hard to stop.

    Reply
  2. Jumana September 27, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Wonderful interview. But I am afraid you did the blogger a disservice by mentioning his Knight International Journalism Award. it’s hardly considered flattering for anyone to win the american stamp of approval. the american intelligentsia has been discredited long time ago with the last nail being the horrifically incompetent (to be nice) if not vengeful, racist (to be more realistic) performance during the iraq and lebanon wars. if any, the guy may have lost a few admirers now.

    Reply
  3. Adnan September 29, 2007 at 7:48 am

    @Jumana: Jealous much? Please, you keep warm in your ivory tower while the rest of us try to do something to make this world a better place for us and our children.

    Reply
  4. Ali September 30, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    did anyone pay attention to the Failed State Index for 2007?

    I can proudly announce that the Jordanian regime ranked 82 from 177 with 1 being the worst. our government came between Madagascar and Cameron.

    http://www.fundforpeace.org/web/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=229&Itemid=366

    there are 4 ranks only. our regime is one above the lowest rank.

    for those who keep defending the regime, I hope you stop doing so and start defending jordan from disaster.

    DEMOCRACY NOW! ACCOUNTABILITY NOW!

    Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *