You searched for: Content Type Journal Article Remove constraint Content Type: Journal Article Publishing Institution Georgetown Journal of International Affairs Remove constraint Publishing Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs Political Geography Syria Remove constraint Political Geography: Syria Topic Islam Remove constraint Topic: Islam
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  • Author: Jillian York
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 1991, just four years after Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali rose to power as president, Tunisia became the first country in the Arab world to connect to the Internet. The public had access by 1996, though its vast democratizing benefits were to be short-lived. That same year, the L'Agence Tunisienne d'Internet (Tunisian Internet Agency, or ATI) was established. Among its first mandates was the introduction of censorship. Over the course of the next decade the region began to trickle online, with Saudi Arabia and Syria amongst the last to connect. Swept up by the global technology bubble, in Cairo and Beirut, Amman and Abu Dhabi, entrepreneurs, seeing the communicative potential of the pre-Web 2.0 Internet, began developing email services, job-search sites, and perhaps most importantly, web forums. Such forums became sources of unreported news, discussion, social commentary, and political debate, paving the way for the region's future bloggers. In countries where political discussion was taboo and crossing red lines—such as discussion of the ruling family, or debates about Islam—resulted in persecution of journalists, web forums created new spaces, outside of society, where political discussion was relatively safe…
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia, Syria