Locked Up for Wanting Freedom

Not everyone has the privilege of browsing and posting anything on the internet, or in real life, like we do in the United States. Freedom is a right here, but it is something people are still fighting for in the middle east, and it is why Bassel Khartabil got arrested and went missing. From the articles, his work for Creative Commons and Wikipedia is truly amazing; his effort in educating people and forming a collaborative force working towards freedom is the most impressive, even though it also got him into a lot of trouble.

6 weeks into this course and I’m still constantly shocked by how much I take the freedom I enjoy for granted – seeing Khartabil’s case after all the others had reminded me that there are people risking their lives for this. Dheere’s article on Arab bloggers was also very interesting, because they refuse to be called journalists, and it might be true, because Arab bloggers are more than journalists. They are essentially activists, activists who are risking their lives to get information to the people for a better society, because activism can begin as small as a blog post. It is disheartening how someone as brilliant as Khartabil could just get wiped out like that, which has probably happened to way more people. This effectively makes an example and silences other people who might want the same thing – freedom.

Another article on the movement’s website that caught my attention was about President Trump’s executive order that suspended the refugee program. This means that even though its unlikely, if Khartabil was found, he cannot go to the US for refuge even though he has a standing invitation and would be doing important work. It is already hard enough for people like Khartabil to work towards helping his people, how can they keep fighting without the support of large nations like the US?

One thought on “Locked Up for Wanting Freedom

  1. I agree with you about how crazy it is when I realize just how much I’m taking for granted my basic freedoms. We are so privileged and lucky to be living in a country that grants us these rights unquestionable. At the same time I think we have the responsibility to not only continue to exercise these rights ourselves, but to seek out and support brave social warriors around the world that are trying to obtain the rights themselves. From our cushiony spot in the United States it might seem hard to think of what we might be able to do for a country as closed off from the outside world as Syria, but our support in the digital realm can go a long way. To let these brave bloggers know that we appreciate their sacrifice and to let them know that we are aware of their situation would help incredibly to keep the fire burning inside them. Our worst enemy is fatigue. It is what oppressive governments rely on to keep their strangle hold on the people. We must recognize the struggle. We must support the struggle.


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