>As I found out from Kinzi’s blog (where I get 70% of my blogosphere news, where DOES she find the time!), there is a week of support for Fouad Al-Farhan, the Saudi blogger who remains imprisoned without charges to date (since December 11, 2007). Although I have never met Fouad and can’t read his blog, I am proud to support the “We Are All Fouads” week this week. So, I wanted to explore that theme just a bit below.
They asked that we copy a post form his blog and then track back (okay I’m an old lady too so not sure how weel I’ll do at part two, but I’ll ifgure it out or something).
Begin post from Fouad’s blog (http://www.alfarhan.org/)
This a letter sent by Fouad a few days before his arrest to his friends:
I was told that there is an official order from a high-ranking official in the Ministry of the Interior to investigate me. They will pick me up anytime in the next 2 weeks.
The issue that caused all of this is because I wrote about the political prisoners here in Saudi Arabia and they think I’m running a online campaign promoting their issue. All what I did is wrote some pieces and put side banners and asked other bloggers to do the same.he asked me to comply with him and sign an apology. I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that. An apology for what? Apologizing because I said the government is liar when they accused those guys to be supporting terrorism?
To expect the worst which is to be jailed for 3 days till we write good feedback about you and let u go
there may be no jial and only apologizing letter. But, if it’s more than three days, it should be out. I don’t want to be forgotten in jail.”
End post from Fouad’s blog
So, now, how are we all Fouads (in my mind)?
You know, I find that there is a companionship, a commonness and sameness among bloggers. Each of us has something to say. Each of us takes the time to say it. Whether we’re paid journalists, amateur writers, young people coming into our own, we’re all trying to put down on virtul paper our thoughts and feelings down. And, I have to admit, that I feel Fouad’s last wish is one that causes most of us to blog, ” I don’t want to be forgotten.”
Blogging provides a sense of community in addition to the commonality. It brings together people who share something, a willingness to put themselves out there. We build friendships and frenemy relationships with others who blog. We comment and it gives us the chance to belong to something greater than ourselves. In this way, We Are All Fouads.
Admittedly, those of us who blog anonymously are less brave I imagine, being open enough to let others see your heart and soul takes bravery. Blogging opens you up to criticism, ridicule, and empathy. For those, like Fouad, who blog under their real names, this bravery is even more pronounced. In some societies, blogging can open bloggers up to arrest, imprisonment, personal danger…
Even though we are part of a community of virtual peers, we are often physically alone. Occasionally we may meet other bloggers, may even become friends, but blogging isn’t a team sport. So often, we’re blogging about the things closest to our hearts without physically knowing the people who read, comment, and care what we have to say.
Those who blog with constructive feedback and destructive critcism alike are change agents in their societies. They raise issues that are distinctly uncomfortable. Some manage to do so with humor, others with tears, but all of us are catalysts for change. Change is almost always painful and we often experience the pain (physically and mentally). Like Fouad, we provoke thought and change.
That’s just a selection of things that came to the mind. So, I’m proud to be part of We Are All Fouads week. I think perhaps, I’ll spend some time this week thinking about what blogging means to me, in honor of Fouad, who is not forgotten…
Happy We Are All Fouads week!