Ciao Vittorio..

Oggi abbiamo perso una voce coraggiosa, una voce rara, nel nostro paese e nel mondo intero. Vittorio Arrigoni  era una persona che aveva sposato una causa, un paese, un popolo, senza mezzi termini. Dal 2008 viveva a Gaza, e dal suo blog raccontava le storie di ordinaria follia nella Striscia. Era diventato “famoso” durante l`assalto israeliano a Gaza del dicembre 2008, quando lui era uno dei pochissimi, gia` li, sul campo, in un vuoto informativo totale. Ma il blog di Vittorio non si era fermato per la “fine” dell`attacco a Gaza, cosi` come il suo impegno, la sua dichiarazione di intenti, la sua scelta di vita a fianco di un popolo e della sua causa. E Vittorio era rimasto li`, a Gaza, anche quando i riflettori dei media si erano spenti.

Putroppo il suo blog l`ha fermato invece la violenza, la violenza sorda e senza ragioni dell`estremismo. Vittorio e`stato rapito e brutalmente assassinato ieri a Gaza, vani i tentativi persino del governo di Hamas di scovarlo e liberarlo.

Il popolo palestinese e` in lutto per la perdita di questo italiano che aveva dato tutto per la Palestina. Era uno di noi, dice la comunita` palestinese su Twitter, dove oggi ribatteva l`hashtag #RIPVittorio.

Nella foga delle notizie di Al Jazeera, BBC Arabic -impegnate su tutti i fronti arabi, dallo Yemen alla Siria alla Libia- c`e stato pero` sempre spazio per ricordare Vittorio, e il lavoro che ha fatto negli anni, attivista e pacifista, blogger e laico, impegnato ma non nel dire, nel fare.

Queste sono la coerenza, la dignita`, l`impegno, a cui mi piacerebbe associare il mio paese.

Ho visto oggi le foto di palestinesi portare il silenzio la sua bara, circondata da bandiere della Palestina e dell`Italia, un colore solo.

(foto di Repubblica.it)

Ciao Vittorio…

Restiamo Umani…

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Egypt`s day of anger is Al Jazeera day, too

I have been watching Egypt`s “day of anger” today on many TV channels, English and Arabic: BBC Arabic, BBC World, Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera Arabic and English, CNN. I must admit that this time Al Jazeera English did really a great job, particularly their correspondent from Cairo Ayman Mohyeldin. Al Jazeera English live feed on the Internet has been providing constant live coverage today, even during the worst moments of Friday the 28th of January, when the police was  attacking Al Jazeera`s Cairo office and trying to stop the live broadcast. Al Jazeera Arabic and English also started tonight to release some of their Egyptian footage under a Creative Commons license, something which has been very warmly welcomed by Internet users that are in constant need of footage in these crisis situations.

On the contrary, Al Arabyia was quite “low profile” today and they even reported the totally random news that Internet had been shut down by Syrian authorities in Syria. The news is totally false, as I have been live tweeting from Syria during all Friday, as many other Syrian tweeps. Internet was very fast today  in Syria, as far as I can tell. It has never been so fast in the country since I am here, as much as it has never been raining like tonight and Damascus has never looked so quiet and gloomy as it was tonight.

picture by Paul Keller

Arab Media at the European Parliament in Brussels

For those of you who are in Brussels or not too far, here you are some info about the conference organised by PSE at the European Parliament to be held next 29 april. I am going to moderate the first session, starting at 4pm, with Al Jazeera, Mbc, American University of Cairo‘s keynotes. At the end of the session, I will also deliver a speech about the Internet and current web 2.0 situation in the Arab world.

Second panel is starting at 5.45 pm till7.15 and will be moderated by Beatrice Patrie, member of the PSE, featuring speeches of Deutsche Welle’s Dirk Beusch, BBC Arabic‘s Ahmad Kamel, Anna Lindht Foundation‘s Andreu Claret. Thomas McGrath from European Commission will also join the panel.

At the end of the debate, from 7.30 pm till 8.30 pm, there will be a TV screening of some Arab Tv programmes that I had selected for the festival “Occidente dai media arabi” held in Rome last january 2008.

There are lots of interesting TV materials, including musalsalat, everything subtitled in english.

The event is open to everybody, so pls circulate.

In room ASP, A3G3, European Parliament, Brussels.


pse1

Israeli cartoon on Gaza

BBC Arabic is now reporting about this cartoon on Gaza which was just released by Yoni Goodman, one of the creators of  Academy Award nominated “Walz with Bashir” on Sabra and Chatila Israeli massacre. BBC Arabic reports of him now launching this short cartoon “Closed Zone” which can be screened here: www.closedzone.com. The cartoon features a Palestinian child who runs but every time he is approaching Gaza “borders”human hands are preventing him from trespassing. Israeli hands, but also Egyptians. And, even when he takes a small boat to sail the sea he is prevented to go further thanks to the same “human hands”. The cartoon is produced by Gisha-Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, a human rights organisation which defends the right to freedom of movement of Palestinians through legal and public advocacy.

The cartoon is very interesting and surely it will have a large distribution on the net, hopefully reminding the people around the world about the everyday life tragedy that every palestians should face to go to school, to work, to do every kind of activity which implies freedom of movement.