These past couple of days, a number of my friends, who happen to be bloggers or who follow the Tunisian blogosphere more closely than I have been able to do recently, have been telling me about the the “BIG” discussion, and in some cases fight going on in the blogosphere about the “Maghreb Citizen Journalism Workshop”, being held in Casablanca this coming weekend.
Last night and this morning, I thought I’d check things out myself and see what the whole fuss was about.
Well, it turns out that a number of Tunisian bloggers are totally against this workshop, and are calling out for everyone to boycott it, and putting labels on bloggers who are participating in it. Why? Well, because the workshop is organized by IREX and MEPI, who are financed by the US department of state; hence a connection with George W. Bush and the conspiracy theory that this workshop plays right into his evil plans for the region, or something like that.
Well, I’ll tell you what; I’m participating in this workshop, and not only that, I’m a panelist at the event, talking about “Emerging Technologies for Citizen Journalists”.
And most of all, I don’t care what anyone thinks of me or labels me for it.
My views have been made clear time and again on this blog on various issues, especially when it comes to Bush and the US government’s policies in the Middle East, and how wrong they have been and continue to be.
But, whether this be the simple blogger workshop that it is, limited only to blogging and citizen journalism issues; or even it were bigger in scope, taking in some geo-political aspects as well; I’d still take the same decision and go.
Any such event is an opportunity to pass your thoughts and opinions, and it’d be a shame to miss that; boycotting such an event would just be a passive act, which I can only view as negative.
The keywords for me are: “Engage”, “Dialogue” and “Being Heard”.
On the other hand, I respect the decision of people who hold views other than mine, and I don’t feel the need to label them or accuse them of anything, everyone has their way of doing things and their way of seeing things, the key is for us all to respect our different opinions.