Blogging Through the Mid-East Storm

It's still nascent, but has a foothold. Could it help foster cultural change to make democratic life more imaginable? We can sure hope so. It could also give Jihadists new tools for organization. Here's an interesting review of the possibilities for new media in the Arab world. Money quote:

Those bloggers are people like Roba Al-Assi, a twenty-one-year-old design student in Amman, Jordan, who recently wrote about her opposition to the death penalty for Saddam Hussein:

"It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice (I know he killed thousands, but it is in my moral fabric to be better than others. Throw him in jail for the rest of his life, that’s a lot worse than death)."

Or the Egyptian blogger who calls himself Big Pharaoh, a twenty-seven-year-old graduate of the American University in Cairo, who expressed his support for the Egyptian culture minister who was criticized for stating that he thought the hijab, the traditional woman’s head covering worn by some Muslim women, was “regressive”:

"There are numerous things that make me proud of this country. How the country descended into such stupidity, ignorance, and darkness is definitely not among them. I feel like vomiting every time I think about how this man was virulently attacked for merely stating his opinion on a thing as stupid as the hair cover."