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Stories from and

Emerging Threats in Cybersecurity Legislation in Africa

Access, an international human rights organization is troubles by emerging threats in cybersecurity and data protection in Africa. Ephraim Kenyanitto explains:

The Convention was originally scheduled to pass in January 2014, but was delayed for modifications after protests by the private sector, civil society organizations, and privacy experts—all of whom had very little involvement in the drafting process. But a number of countries promulgated harmful new cybersecurity legislation after it was improved in June.

As Access noted in analyzing both versions of the Convention, the Convention has some positive provisions but still needs strengthening. It requires states to consider human rights in implementing cyber security legislation, but it also supports greater government control of private user data. For example, the Convention permits governments to process private data when “in the public interest,” a confusingly vague standard.

10 New Documentaries at the Luxor African Film Festival

Tom Devriendt lists 10 documentaries to look out for at the Luxor African Film Festival:

The third edition of the Egyptian Luxor African Film Festival again has a wide-ranging programme scheduled for next month. Selected films will be showing in different competitions: Long Narrative, Short Narratives, Short Documentaries and Long Documentary. Below you’ll find a couple of the selected documentaries’ trailers (set in Togo, Senegal, Ghana, Somalia, South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Angola) that were recently uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo, plus links to the films’ websites — where available.

Amina Leaves Femen Because of “Islamophobia”

Amina, the Tunisian activist released from jail early August, left the Femen movement. She accused Femen of “Islamophobia”.  Femen confirmed online that:

FEMEN confirms its break with the Tunisian activist Amina Tyler because of differences of opinion on tactics in the Islamic countries (…) FEMEN calls for new heroines who are able to fight for their courage to shake the rotten foundation of Islamist world. Freedom for women of the East!”

Amina Sboui posted this picture online on the Femen website. Credit Creative Common License Manolofreira

Amina Sboui posted this picture online on the Femen website. Credit Creative Common License Manolofreira

Amina published another topless picture on the Femen's website on August 15th, before expressing her decision to leave the movement. All this turmoil does not really help a clearer reading of Femen's objectives.

A Platform for Middle East's Indie Musicians

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes' Indigeo campaign video.

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes’ Indiego campaign video.

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France: World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg

The first edition of the World Forum for Democracy is currently taking place in Strasbourg, France (5-11 october, 2012). The theme of the forum is “Bridging the map: democracy between old models and new realities”. You can follow the discussions under the Twitter hashtag #CoE_WFD. Director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Global Voices author Jillian C. York was a panelist at the debate about “Media resposability and potential to foster democracy”, and acclaimed A Tunisian Girl blogger and activist Lina Ben Mhenni was awarded the “Alsatian Prize for Democratic Commitment” [fr].

Tunisia: Civil Society and the Sharia State

Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni argues that belonging to any religion or culture is a “product of chance.” She says:

And when, together with bloggers from my country, we attempted to participate in one manner or another in the awakening of our people and the uprising against the dictatorship, it was-very far even-from my mind that we would find ourselves confronted with this difficult duality: civil society/ religious state!

Maghreb, France: The Arc of Revolution is Long but It Bends towards Freedom

Had humanity obsessed itself with  the potential pitfalls of every fight for emancipation and always analyze the events under the prism of one segment of society, we all will still be living under the old regime of monarchy.

Faysal Riad argues that the revolution in France took almost a century [fr] to reach its current democratic format. It is premature to assert that the arab spring has lost its way.

Tunisia: Racism on the Rise ?

Frederick Gore Djo Bi wrote [fr] on africavox.com about the rise of racism against black Africans in Tunisia. In his post, Bi  quotes a testimony of Fabien Siei, an Ivorian engineering student living in Tunisia since 2007 [fr]:

Not a day goes by without a black African suffering from racial abuse. The most often-used insult  is “Guira Guira,” which, according to some means in a local dialect “big monkey”. For many Tunisians, we black Africans are savages.

Tunisia: Cyber-Activist Commits Suicide

Tunisian cyber-activist Karim Alimi, aged 29, committed suicide on June 16 in his Ariana home, reports Tunisia Live. Tunisie Secret sheds more light on the tragedy here [fr].

Greece: Athens, 1st African Film Festival

The first African Film Festival will take place in Athens, Greece, from February 23 to 29, 2012, with the collaboration of various African countries’ embassies and consulates. Twenty one films from Angola, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Nigeria, Egypt and Ethiopia will be screened. The event is hosted by the Greek Film Archive [el].

 

Join Us for a #GVMeetup in Tunis on November 1

gvMeetupTunis
We are pleased to announce that a Global Voices meetup is set to take place in Tunis on November 1, 2014 from 9am to 1pm, at 404 Lab an open innovation lab hosted by the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI).

Global Voices Meetups are local and small gatherings designed to help facilitate meaningful connections with our readers, potential authors or translators, and others that have shown an active interest in our work.

During the same period, other Global Voices meetups will also take place in Accra, Beirut, Dar Es Salaam, and Belgrade.

The Tunis gathering is an opportunity for us to introduce the mission and projects of Global Voices to our readers in Tunisia. In the meetup agenda also, a panel on the subject of alternative media in Tunisia and a keynote speech on personal data protection by Chawki Gaddas from the Faculty of Judicial, Political and Social Sciences of Tunis.

You can find the meetup's full agenda here.

If you are interested in taking part, please complete the following registration form. The event is open to all but seats are limited.

Here is a map to the event venue.

For more information, please contact: abrouafef [at] riseup [dot] net

Lebanese Blogger Spoofs Study on Middle Eastern Women's Clothing

The question “How Should Middle Eastern Women Dress in Public” posed by the University of Michigan is attracting hilarious spoofs online. The content is so rich that an additional post to our first one was necessary.

When Washington Post Max Fisher shared the original image on Twitter, he wasn't expecting this response by WSJ blogger Tom Gara:

But the spoof that got the most attention was undoubtedly Karl Sharro's of KarlreMarks:

Interviewed on PRI, he explained his motivation:

“It's almost like putting Muslim women on a scale from 1 to 6, from being fully covered to not being covered at all, which I think is pretty absurd.”

A Sustainable Ecovillage in Sidi Amor, Tunisia

Nolwein Weiler and Sophie Chapelle reports on the remarkable development of an ecovillage in Sidi Amor, Tunisia [fr]. The project aims to protect the environment while providing a site for economic and social growth for local workers as explained in this video [fr].

MENA: Acclaimed Authors’ Favorites of 2012

M. Lynx Qualey, blogger, who is interested in Arab and Arabic literature, wrote a series of posts introducing acclaimed Arab poets, novelists, and short-story writers’ favorite Arab reads of 2012. She started with a list of nonfiction books, then followed by a list for poetry [En] and fiction [En].

Tunisia: General Strike in Thala

On Twitter, Tounsia Hourra (Free Tunisian) says [ar] there is a general strike in Thala, in the province of Kasserine, today [October 8, 2012]. The protest is against rising unemployment and neglecting the maintenance of the city.

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Tunisia: In Defense (sort of) of French Weekly on the Muhammad Cartoons

As the French ministry of foreign affairs decided to temporary shut down 20 embassies [fr] after the publication of Muhammad Cartoons by French weekly Charlie Hebdo,  Linda Doufari in Nawaat takes a nuanced defense [fr] of the magazine. Doufari argues that although the decision is on par with the low level quality of journalism that the weekly has proven so far, it is necessary for the weekly to publish the cartoon in order to prove that it still is somewhat relevant, a difficult task for any media these days.

Tunisia: Not a Twitter Revolution?

On Tunisian blogging portal Nawaat, Christopher Barrie writes:

It is surely not unreasonable to argue that the 2011 revolution which followed this period of unrest could well have happened in the absence of new media. … It is therefore clear that the existence of Twitter was not a decisive element in the outbreak of the mass demonstrations of 2010-11.

Tunisia: The Plight of Palestinians in Iraq

Tunisian blogger Nawel Abdullah posts an interview [ar] she conducted with the founder of The Australian Society for the Palestinian-Iraqi Refugee Emergency Yousef Alreemawi, who speaks to her about the plight of Palestinian refugees living in Iraq and efforts to resettle some of them in Australia.

Tunisia: First Local Open Data Website Launched

Local open governance activists in Tunisia have launched the first open data website showing the municipal budget [ar, fr] of the city of Sayada for the current fiscal year. The Tunisian open governance community [ar, fr] has had some success in increasing the government's transparency; they have already convinced the Tunisian presidency to reveal its budget.

Tunisia: Spoiling the Revolution

Jolanare is weary of where the Tunisian revolution is heading to in terms of women's rights [fr]. She writes:  “A young man verbally attacked me because I was wearing red lipstick. He shouted at me : “these are the so-called women of the democracy.”  I replied that it is thanks to the democracy he makes fun of that he can open his big mouth.”

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