IRAQI BLOGGERS' TOUR OF USA
Iraqi Blogger brothers Omar and Mohammed are touring USA sponsored by Spirit of America, an initiative to raise funds for helping the people of Afganistan & Iraq. The tour is part of the Spirit of America program "Friends of Iraqi blogger challenge" which has already raised $62,865 to fund the needs and projects selected by these bloggers. Their tour program include meeting president J.W. Bush at the Oval office and attending a blogger conference at Harvard. They have also appeared on radio (Brian Lehrer's WYNC show). Details of their tour can be found here. A quote from Mohammed at the conference:
Media try to show only the differences between groups and countries but really human beings have many, many things to share.... Here in blogging, I learn from my readers.... I think through blogging we can spread love more than we can spread hate.
However, Professor Juan Cole of "Informed Comments" reports that some are pointing out to the fact that the views of the Iraqi blogger brothers are celebrated in the right-leaning weblogging world of the US whereas opinion polling shows that these views are far out of the mainstream of Iraqi opinion. Juan Cole says:
Contrast all this to the young woman computer systems analyst in Baghdad, Riverbend, who is in her views closer to the Iraqi opinion polls, especially with regard to Sunni Arabs, but who is not being feted in Washington, DC.
And he poses the ultimate question:
Is the blogging world actually less open to manipulation than corporate media?
We are staying tuned.
Update: Ali takes the professor up on the Riverbend issue. Wow the debate its getting hotter.