Sami Ben Gharbia
(Tunesia, 1967) is a prominent internet activist who set the Jasmine revolution in his country in motion from the Netherlands. He fled the country in the late 1990s, settling in the Netherlands. In the northern, mostly agrarian province of Friesland he became a ship's master and began his own weblog. With other dissidents he founded the Tunesian webportal Nawaat.org in 2004, which played an important role in the ousting of president Ben Ali. When WikiLeaks late 2010 began leaking cables of American Embassies, Ben Gharbia, who knew Julian Assange from the international hackers' world, asked for the Tunis cables. Via Nawaat.org the 'Tunileaks' were translated into French and Arabic and disseminated. Ben Gharbia and Nawaat.org were awarded prizes by among others the Reporters without Borders, The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Index On Censorship. In 2012 he was recipient of the Prince Claus Prize and the magazine Foreign Policy placed him in the Top 100 of Global Thinkers. Sami Ben Gharbia lives in Tunesia again, contributing to a new identity for his country.(WU 2013 GR)
Archive available for: Sami Ben Gharbia
The social and political implications of the new media and the world wide web have both been extensively praised as well as severely criticised. But one important promise keeps recurring: that of democratisation. The 20th century has seen a succession of optimistic and open media. And all of them, from the telegraph to the telephone and beyond, ended up being closed and controlled industries. A discussion about the hopes and dreams of changing the world, of moving people and the (im)possibilities that the Internet provides in achieving this goal. Including a performance of composer, performer and poet Jaap Blonk. In English.
January 2011 proved a turning point in the Arab region: people raised their voices and succeeded in chasing away some of their dictators. But what about the demons? Is the real struggle yet ahead? Petra Stienen discusses the current state of the Arab world with writers and bloggers from the region. In English