Participants Cairo 2011

Amira Al Hussaini is a Bahraini columnist, translator, editor and blogger whose work in print media started in 1991. In 2004, she started blogging and two years later joined Global Voices Online (GVO), as its Middle East and North Africa and Arabic Language Editor. In 2008, Amira ran Voices without Vote, a GVO project commissioned by Reuters, to track and summarize the reactions of citizen journalists to the US presidential elections and foreign policy. She has also been influential in Global Voices‘ coverage of recent unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa, following bloggers and citizen media reactions as the region continues to revolt against dictatorship and push for democratic reforms.

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Maha Al Sarraj is a Saudi Poet, columnist, TV Presenter , editor and blogger whose work in print and visual  media. She  started in 2007 in  media through TV and it was a tool for her to learn more about social issues in the Arab world espicially women. In 2009, she started blogging , writing in issues related to women in middle east with the reality of them being eager to gain their rights. Situations of poverty and false concepts in Middle east communities made her carry the responsibility of writing about them and using all the media tools, she got to make the right change in her society. Poetry is another  tool she used to reach to people to draw reality of ignorance and bad concepts towards the weak people in her communities. Blogging helped a lot in a way that gave her good communication with those who want to reform and change. She thinks the new world is for those who want to spread justice and peace all over the world.
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Hilal Chouman was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1982. He studied Telecom Engineering and Satellite Communications in Lebanon, France and UK. He has been blogging since 2005 on different cultural/social/political lebanese and arab related topic. He currently works as a social media strategist with Cisco Systems, where he tries to make use of social media platform in Student Advocacy. Hilal has also published several short stories in Lebanese and egyptian dailies and cultural supplements, where he occasionally contributes as a journalist. He has two published novels in Arabic. More on his novels can be seen on goodreads.com, where as his current blog can be read here: hilalchouman.wordpress.com

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Bassem Elhady a 24 years old Egyptian Computer and Systems Engineer and Internet Entrepreneur is a Social Media researcher and analyst, passionate and interested in studying and understanding users’ behaviors on various social networks. He is a Co-Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of “KIJAMII “a specialized Startup in Social Media Marketing based in Cairo. Bassem is also the Co-founder of TEDxCairo and head of marketing and communications which created in the spirit of TED´s mission, “ideas worth spreading,”TEDxCairo provides a platform for Egypt’s leading visionaries and storytellers to talk to an energized group of thinkers, as well as to the whole world. Bassem manages the TEDxCairo Blog which is well known among its community for the Debate Section whose idea is to capitalize on the use of the internet to bring about the change we want to see in the nation through a series of discussions about different topics. Bassem is a social Media addict who believes in the power of ideas and in love with travelling and ping pong.

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Emna El Hammi is a 30 years old biologist who lives between Paris and Tunis. She started blogging in 2005, mainly on the Tunesian society. During the Tunisian revolution she has contributed through social networks to relay information about the events in the country. Since February 2011, she blogs for the french newspaper Liberation on the democratic transition in Tunisia after thedeparture of Ben Ali. Her articles are a social and political analysis of the situation in the country. She´s a PRINCE fan and an internet addict. her blog

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Heba Elkayal studied English and Comparative Literature at the American University in Cairo, earning her B.A. in 2009. She is now the Lifestyle Editor of the Daily News Egypt, the local partner to the International Herald Tribune. Heba’s interests vary from writing on fashion, food and travel to art. Her interest in art led her to helping establish Egypt’s first art blog, Tache Art Blog, in 2010. She is currently focusing on documenting the works done in reaction to the Arab Spring revolutions by both Egyptian and Arab artists. When Heba isn’t working she’s playing very hard in her hometown of Cairo.

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Razan Ghazzawi is a 30 year-old blogger from Syria. She started blogging in 2006 after Israel’s war on Lebanon. She blogs on Palestine, Syrian workers in Lebanon and Syrian regime’s human rights violations as well as on online cenorship in Syria. She also writes on feminism and LGTBQI rights in the region. She is an English Literature graduate and holds a master’s in Comparative Literature. She did her thesis on Arab Jews‘ literature in 48 in Palestine. She’s a photographer, part-time vegetarian and an all-time animal lover.
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Hussein G., born in 1979, studied IT engineering at the University of Damascus in Syria. He works as business analyst and software developer. In 2007 he started blogging for the first time and launched the current blog in 2008.
He writes mainly about domestic (politics, social, women rights) issues, and sometimes about regional issues. Now, he’s also a social media mentor in the Ara2 Academy project which was launched by BBC WST at the end of 2010 in Syria.
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Urmila Goel is a researcher, lecturer, trainer and journalist interested in critical racism theory, postcolonial theory and gender studies. She is writing in particular about South Asian migrants in Germany, is the editor of the blog of the South Asia Information Network and conducts a research project about an internet portal. She is also blogging on her own blog andersdeutsch. More on urmila.de.

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Bothaina Hamdan-Jubran is a Palestinian refugee from Annaba village which was destroyed during 1948. She was born in 1982 in Damascus and lived in diaspora before coming back to Palestine with her family after the Oslo agreement, and they are living now in Ramallah. She is a journalist and a writer, who started writing in newspapers in 1996. She got a BA in Radio and TV and a Master degree in international studies from Birzeit University, and had the opportunity to study one semester at Vienna University. Bothaina published her first book in 2009 and is working on a second one. She is a blogger since 2009 and active on the social media channels:

bothainahamdan.maktoobblog.com.

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Helga Hansen is a reporter contributing to newspapers and radio. She holds a master’s degree in cell biology. Since 2009 she is blogging for the feminist blog Mädchenmannschaft. She is a member of the recently founded Mädchenmannschaft eV, a non profit organization working for gender justice and equal opportunities.
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Jan Hendrik Hinzel studies Political Science and Islamic Studies in Freiburg and spent a year in Cairo to learn Arabic. Besides his studies he gained journalistic experience through various internships within German media (TV, Online, Print). He is co-founder of soukmagazine.de – an online magazine about the Middle-East. The magazine also includes a blog where the different authors not only reflect on their research processes but also write about events or daily life in the Middle-East.

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Huda Jafar is a Yemeni human rights activist, writer and the first female movie critic in Yemen. She was born as Yemeni in Saudi Arabia but she belongs to the humanity. She worked for the most important NGO’s in Yemen and joined many programs such as: (Legal Protection for Women and Children Victims of Violence) and (Breaking the Isolation of Female Journalists). She writes for local and regional newspapers and websites .She participated in producing documentary films such as: (Breaking the Silence: the Yemeni Woman talk about Violence and Discrimination) .She is working with others on making film on revelation and women in Yemen. She believes that art is the greatest thing has ever made and it is the only way the enables people to handle life.

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Malek Khadhraoui is a Tunisian blogger and activist. He blogs about censorship and politics and is Co-admin and project manager of nawaat.org, a Tunisian collective blog since 2007. Born in Tunisia in 1975 he started Internet activism in 2004 by publishing articles on Tunisians activists web sites. In October 2005 throughout the WSIS he participated in the launching of a permanent virtual demonstration http://www.yezzi.org in order to express in a peacefully way the total disapproval with the Tunisian dictatorial regime. In may 2010, he was part of Nhar 3la 3ammar campaign against censorship in Tunisia.
He also participates in several campaigns to free arab bloggers like the International free Monem Campaign protesting against the arrest of the Egyptian blogger Abdul-Moneim Mahmud and recently the international campaign to free the bahraini blogger Ali Abdulemam.

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Azza Moghazy Born to a simple Egyptian family that helped her to pursue her dream, Azza Moghazy became a young journalist at the age of 16. She began training in Al-ahram daily news paper, The most prestigious daily news paper in the Arab world. she spend 4 years of training in Al-Ahram’s news room. Then she spend the following 8 years since her graduation from mass communication Dep. in Ain Shams university working for various newspapers in Egypt, then joind Egypt’s national TV as a news editor for 2 years. she spend the last two years working for Al-Ahram Al-Mesaie. And lately she joined Al-Masry Al-Youm web news team. Azza has been blogging since 2006. She blogs mainly about politics and journalism in Egypt, since she’s interested in monitoring the performance of news papers and other traditional media through her blog.

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Michael Seemann , born in 1977, studied cultural sciences at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, in the north of Germany. After he graduated, he began his PhD theses on philosophical theories about the „archive“. In the same time, he started several blog projects like twitkrit.de, a blog about twitter literature and wir.muessenreden.de, a popular podcast about politics. In 2010 he started the blog „CTRL-Verlust“, first at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and since September independently. Living in Berlin, he still writes about what he calls the „Kontrollverlust“ on his blog and in several media like the RollingStone, ZEIT Online, Heise c’t and DU Magazin.
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Christoph Sydow (26) is a Middle East scholar, blogger and journalist from Berlin. In 2005 he started Alsharq.de, a leading German blog reporting and analyzing events in the Arab World. Furthermore he is writing for the German quarterly Zenith. Since 2010 Christoph and his colleagues from Alsharq organize study trips to the Middle East for interested blog readers.
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Hannah Wettig is a journalist, consultant and speech writer. She studied social science and Arabic spending one year in Cairo and three months in Damascus. Besides reporting for several German newspapers on Middle East issues, she worked two years as a staff reporter for the Daily Star in Beirut and wrote a book about Lebanon. She is a co-founder of Indymedia Beirut and recently started blogging for the feminist blog Mädchenmannschaft.


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Organisers

Zahi Alawi has been working as a freelance editor for the media company Deutsche Welle since February 2005. He graduated as a political scientist and journalist, from both An Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine – and the University of Dortmund. For his PhD Zahi is currently researching Internet Journalism in the Arab World. Since 2005 he has been in charge of the Arabic side of Deutsche Welle’s BOBs (www.thebobs.com – best blogs and social media projects). Since 2005 he has also been researching about Blogging – especially in the Arab World. Zahi has been invited to speak at conferences like re:publica, Europe’s most important social media conference. He also gives Online Journalism Training.

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Matthias Spielkamp is a journalist, trainer and consultant based in Berlin. He is co-founder of the website iRights.info – copyright in the digital world, which in 2006 received the Grimme Online Award, Germany’s most prestigious award for online journalism. He held teaching positions at the Free University of Berlin and the Universities of Leipzig and Darmstadt. Matthias is frequently invited to speak at conferences like re:publica, Europe’s most important social media conference, or the Global Media Forum. Matthias testified before three committees of the German Bundestag on future developments of journalism, online journalism and copyright regulation. He serves on the boards of the German section of Reporters Without Borders, deutschland.de and the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and has co-authored three books on journalism and copyright regulation. Matthias holds master’s degrees in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Philosophy from the Free University of Berlin.

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