MY GOOD FRIEND and mentor Faiza Ambah has just written an interesting article on Saudi bloggers for the Washington Post. I wrote about Saudi female bloggers last June in the Christian Science Monitor. As I noted then, many Saudi female bloggers are using the anonymity of the blogosphere to express themselves more freely than they have been able to in the past. One of them, Saudi Eve, was even blocked by the Saudi government for writing about her thoughts on sex and religion. To this day she remains blocked in the Kingdom, even though what she writes is relatively tame compared to erotica in the West.
A very small group of Saudi bloggers is trying to form a new group of bloggers to promote blogging and the interests of bloggers in the kingdom. Fouad Al-Farhan and Ahmed Al-Omran (Saudi Jeans) are the two main conveners. From Faiza's article it seems that they all cannot agree on total freedom in the blogosphere, in terms of which bloggers they will allow to join the group, with concerns raised about touchy religious and sexual topics. From what Faiza told me, they intially were to be open to all bloggers residing in the kingdom, regardless of their nationality or language that they blog in, and to Saudis bloggers living abroad. This sounds like good news. I just hope they will be able to keep their membership open to the widest possible number of people.
Click here to read Faiza's article.
MONDAY UPDATE: Read Mystique's reaction to Faiza's article here. She is featured in the article and apparently didn't like being characterized as a "sex goddess."