Egypt’s Presidential election campaign has already begun online ; web users are campaigning for the liberation of a cyber-activist imprisoned in Bahrain ; and some spectacular videos filmed from the International Space Station.
EGYPT: 2011 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Campaigning is already underway for Egypt’s 2011 presidential election. President Hosni Mubarak has been in power for 29 years and his mandate expires next year. Some of the campaigning to become his successor is taking part on the Internet, where we are seeing a lot of the opposition candidate Mohammed ElBaradei.
Because ever since he returned to Egypt in February, the 2005 Nobel peace Prize Winner has been very popular in the country. His Facebook page has near to 250 000 supporters who see in him an opportunity for change.
Some frown upon his popularity. The former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency has recently become the target of a destabilization campaign on Facebook. Photos of his daughter Leila in a swimsuit as well as wine being served at her wedding have been posted on the social network. These images could shock people in this Muslim country. ElBaradei has accused the government of orchestrating this campaign to discredit him.
And the 67 year old man has wasted no time in stepping up his campaign against the regime; he has called for a boycott of the legislative elections in November. On his Twitter account, ElBaradei has indeed referred to civil disobedience as a means to change politics in Egypt.
And the Nobel Peace Prize winner continues to collect signatures on the Internet, calling for constitutional reform. The petition is notably demanding an end to the State of Emergency, in force in the country since 1981.
FREE ALI ABDULEMAM
Ali Abdulemam, an extremely active blogger and cyber activist from Bahrain, was arrested and then imprisoned on the 4th September after being accused by the authorities of posting false information on the portal BarhainOnline.org, one of the Kingdom’s most popular sites, which incidentally has been inaccessible ever since. There has been huge reaction to his arrest on the web.
A Facebook group supporting Ali Abdulemam was set up soon after his arrest. Several hundred web users have joined and are determined to fight for Bahrain’s right to freedom of speech. The group is circulating these posters online calling for people to mobilise support for Abdulemam.
Web users who wish to take part in the campaign can, amongst other things, download these banners expressing support for the imprisoned activist, and then display them on their blogs or social networks.
The mobilisation has moved on to a global scale. Many bloggers, from Morocco to Bulgaria, as well as Ecuador, have taken up Abdulemam’s cause and are demanding the Bahrain authorities free him as soon as possible. Web users can also send messages directly to the country’s Foreign Minister via his Twitter account.
Meanwhile, this blogger says the arrest comes at a time when Bahraini activists’ are facing increasing repression. And he voices concern that Abdulemam will be tortured by the authorities.
According to several NGOS present in Egypt, this fear is justified. “Human Rights watch” and “Reporters without Borders” have published these reports online, saying the torturing of prisoners is common place in the country.
THE BIBLE ONLINE
An online video game based on the bible: this is the latest brainwave from a German games editor. It’s called “The Bible Online” and in this multi-player game you take on the roles of Abraham and his descendants and relive events from this period in history. The creators say the aim of this project is for people to get closer to the bible and have fun at the same time.
Photo sharing site Flickr has teamed up with American Space Agency NASA and posted 3 photo albums online retracing the US’s history of space exploration. Hundreds of shots have been made available to web users, so they can relive historical moments like the construction of NASA space stations as well as the launches of rockets and other space shuttles. There are also photos of the people who have been part of this adventure throughout the decades.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Earth seen from space: web users can now watch this exceptional spectacle. American astronaut, Don Pettit has recently posted 8 videos online filmed during his latest stay at the International Space Station. These astonishing images including sun rises and auroras are broadcast at an accelerated speed allowing us to see our planet like never before.