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?