Just attended a live web interview with Egyptian blogger Adel Iskandar, who genuinely inspired attendees of BZB’s second day.
Wow. Amazing eloquence, compelling lucidity. The courage and integrity – and sense of humour – of a voice of Egypt’s “leaderless revolution” as he put it.
As well as offering a sobering insight and first-hand accounts of the cost of blogging in Egypt under Mubarak – not to mention its pivotal role in “breaking the wall of fear” that inspired the country’s recent uprising – Iskandar was gracious enough to field questions from attendees.
Among the things we learned:
- The likely difficulties in shifting the institutionalised sycophancy of traditional media, despite the sudden availability of more objective reportage. (Definitely not going to happen overnight.)
- The breadth of the political and financial power of the country’s military – “the largest construction company in Egypt”
- The possible influence of the Muslim Brotherhood beyond the upcoming polls and constitutional changes
- The threat posed by the ‘blogging drain’ with the more prominent voices of Egypt’s blogosphere now being invited to travel the world, sharing their experiences…
Despite minor technical difficulties, the BZB web interview with Iskandar allowed us a human face in the midst of all the media verbiage about Egypt’s new political realities.
What a privilege to be reminded of the power of blogging and social media. How humbling to be reminded of the self-expression we take for granted.