Healing Iraq – blogosphere, cell phones and web.

Tue, Mar 6, 2007


Internet dating in Iraq made the headlines today on Boing Boing with a snip from a Los Angeles Times piece about internet dating, and the online sociology of war zones.

Zavis (LAT) notes, “Such virtual relationships offer a refuge of sorts from numbing isolation and fear during a time of staggering violence. But all too often they are mirages — a seductive reminder of a life now tantalizingly out of reach for most. And, ‘They are like birds in a cage,’ says Anas Attar, 22, one of a growing number of businessmen cashing in on the demand by selling access to their satellite-based Internet connections.”

But, the internet and cell phones have become the main connection to family, friends and a normal life for Iraqis. There have been several interesting reports in recent months on how wildly popular cell phones have become in Iraq. USA Today writes on how people in Baghdad rely on cell phones to text-message traffic reports to friends or keep track of family members navigating dangerous streets.

Sign on San Diego reports on how, “Cell phones offer safety, sanity amid Iraq’s chaos.” A young Iraqi women tells the LA Times, through e-mail and instant messaging, she is able “to spend time, to make relationships with others, to feel that I am important.”

The Iraqi blogoshere has been developing as a forum for healing Iraq, despite the obstacles. The picture I have posted here comes from Healing Iraq, a blog by Zeyad.

Zeyad was forced to quit his dentistry job during the sectarian violence that followed the bombing of a shrine in Samarra. Currently, he is studying for a Master’s degree in journalism at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York. Zeyad writes about the Iraqi blogosphere. “Our collective voice and efforts are reaching wider audiences day by day, exposing them to the situation on the ground by people whose lives are involved and directly affected by it. We are intent on healing Iraq from decades of abuse and to make it through these difficult times into a new phase of democracy, freedom, and prosperity.”

Stay tuned for more posts on this topic, and let me know of anything interesting you find too. I will be following how ordinary people in Iraq are using the internet, cell phones, and connecting to the blogosphere to make the best out of a bad situation, and to heal their country.

And, please keep your eye out for the upcoming launch of Hometown Baghdad – a web series that will bring you closer to everyday life in Iraq than anything you’ve seen before.

categories: Healing Iraq-blogosphere,cellphones and web

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Brown Baron Says:

    I just happened to see your blog on mybloglog and decided to visit. It seems like a great place to me. I’ll be coming here regularly. Nice job.

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. UgoTrade » Blog Archive » Hometown Baghdad Pocast Logo Redesign - Calling All Netizens! Says:

    [...] Baghdad has created a wonderful opportunity for netizens to work together with Iraqis towards healing Iraq. Please spread the word to all the web designers on your networks! They are looking for a new pod [...]

  2. Hometown Baghdad » Blog Archive » Episode 15 of 45 - “Kiss and Tell” Says:

    [...] in Iraq has gotten some interesting coverage in the press. And it has been picked up in the blogosphere as well. Here, Hometown Baghdad adds to that with stories from the lives of Adel, Saif and Ausama. [...]

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