I read Aljazeera.com to see the world through the narrative of the victimized, aggrieved Middle East (that’s the historic and cultural story of so many in that region) and this morning I find that none other than the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has started his own personal blog—in English, French, Arabic and Persian. Unfortunately, when I link to it off the Aljazeera site, I can’t get through. It’s, www. ahmadinejad.ir/.
According to Aljazeera, the first posts were items about his childhood and there is an online poll asking readers if the US and Israel are “pulling the trigger for another world war.” The first blog post was 2000 words long and Ahmadinejad promised to keep it shorter in the future.
Aljazeera also noted that “Ahmadinejad’s government has arrested and placed pressure on some bloggers as part of a wider internet clampdown begun after he became president last year.
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a prominent human rights lawyer, estimates that at least 50 bloggers have been detained since last year.
Iranian bloggers first started proliferating about five years ago.
Isa Saharkhiz, a member of the Iranian branch of the committee to protect journalists, said: “The crackdown on bloggers is part of a growing censorship policy by the state.”
So much for technology bringing the world closer and closer together.
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