Gamal Mubarak whips up support online

Egypt is not due for a presidential election until 2011, but supporters of Gamal Mubarak, the son and likely heir of President Hosni Mubarak, have already rallied online to press his case. Also in this edition: the plight of Iraq's homosexuals.


Gamal Mubarak

The Egyptian singer Mohsen El Sayad has uploaded this song praising the president’s son. In the song, the artist claims that Gamal Mubarak is an ideal candidate because he benefits from his father’s experience.

Several groups who support him have also emerged on share sites, especially Facebook. Groups whose members hope that Gamal Mubarak will be the next president of Egypt. And photomontages like this are circulating online in support of the head of state’s son. 

Although he is not yet the official candidate for the ruling NDP party, Gamal Mubarak is preparing the ground. He recently set up this discussion forum to communicate with young voters and he posts many videos on it to present his ideas.

But the man is not unanimously supported on the Web. This blogger believes that the president’s son is privileged and has no idea of the difficulties faced by Egyptians in their daily lives and can never be a good leader. And this Net user says that if Gamal is also popular today, it’s because a large proportion of the population is, in his view, poorly informed and, unfortunately, he’s the only candidate they know.

Homophobia in Iraq
Tortured and even murdered without punishment. Gay Iraqis are the victims of a murderous homophobic campaign according to a recent report by Human Rights Watch. The Web witnesses the fate of members of this persecuted community.

This documentary broadcast on share sites points out that many homosexuals have been killed in the country in recent years. And a gay rights activist, speaking anonymously, said that life was better for them under Saddam Hussein.

The authors of this photomontage denounce "sexual cleansing" perpetrated by Shiite militia. Extremists who are determined to punish behaviours they deem to be against Islam.

And lots of videos like this one circulate on the Web. Filmed with a mobile phone by the crimes’ perpetrators, they show the humiliation that homosexuals and hermaphrodites in the country must suffer, forced to strip or shave their hair.

A situation that is pushing the gay community in Iraq to seek help. So on this blog, Net users are invited to send donations, especially to support those who have received death threats.

This appeal has been heeded by Net users around the world. These video bloggers hope that the Iraqi government will soon take action against this violent homophobic campaign.

Hello from earth
An Australian site is inviting Net users to send short messages for extra-terrestrials into space. Users have until August 24 to write messages of no more than 160 characters on the site hellofromearth.net. The messages will be forwarded to Gliese 581d, a planet capable of harbouring life. But beware: the time taken to send them is almost 20 years, says the site. And a reply is not guaranteed!

Win my life
A young Belgian caterer has had the amazing idea to organise an online competition allowing Net users to win his life; or more specifically his house, his car and his pizzeria. To do this, simply register on the specially-created site and pay 4 euros 99 cents to participate in this extraordinary raffle. The only requirement is that at least 100,000 players take part.

Video of the day
Here’s the video currently creating a buzz on the web. Three-dimensional images taken in space by the giant telescope Hubble. Researchers pointed Hubble’s lens toward a part of space that seemed empty, but as illustrated by these photos, it actually contains several thousand galaxies. Simply breathtaking images.

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