Some 200 Arab bloggers involved in cyberactivism will gather in Tunis Monday to discuss the role of the Internet and social networking in political change following the “Arab Spring”, organisers said.
Following on gatherings in Beirut in 2008 and 2009, the third meeting of Arab bloggers will focus on the role of cyberactivists in a period of political transition, Malek Khadraoui, event organiser and administrator of the Tunisian site Nawaat, told AFP.
“It is an exceptional meeting. There have been three Arab revolutions and the majority of the invited bloggers have been involved in these revolutions, which will allow them to meet and develop solidarity networks,” he said.
“We will reflect together on new challenges facing movements in countries like Syria, Bahrain, Yemen,” Khadraoui added, underlining the symbolism of holding the meeting in Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring.
The Arab bloggers will look at their role in political life, notably in Tunisia where seven of them are candidates in the October 23 constituent assembly elections, as well as the role of Wikileaks in the Arab revolutions, and the reliability of information on Twitter or Facebook.
The meeting takes place against the background of rumours that two Arab bloggers are being considered for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni chronicled the revolution in her country on the Internet, while Google executive Wael Ghonim was a central inspiration to the protests on Tahrir Square in Cairo.
The toppling of long-time Tunisian dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in a popular revolt in January sparked a pro-democracy movement that has spread across the Arab world.