The Heinrich Boell Foundation and Global Voices are organizing the Second Arab Bloggers Meeting in Beirut from the 8th till the 12th of December 2009. This meeting is a follow-up to the First Arab Bloggers Meeting which took place in August last year in Beirut and was the first gathering of its kind, bringing together Arab bloggers to exchange experiences. This time bloggers from 18 Arab countries have been invited to attend the intensive training and networking meeting of young online activists.
Recently, Blogs are catalysts for political mobilization and activism in the Arab world. They constitute public forums that help citizens practice and bolster their right to freedom of expression and enhance their argumentative and analytical skills. Blogs provided a stage for more diversity, greater acceptance of plurality, accountability and transparency. For young people in particular, blogs represent an outlet for their thoughts and emotions, as well as being a sphere in which they can freely navigate.
It is therefore paramount to keep supporting this essential tool of expression and activism in the region and to assist bloggers in raising their voice.
In the 5-days closed meeting Arab and International bloggers will join forces to improve their standing in the international blogging sphere, make their voices heard, and organize online and offline campaigns to work against censorship and to call for freedom of expression. Moreover, the aim of the conference is to give the Arab bloggers a chance to form solidarity networks.