By Virtue Of The Current Situation In Algeria …

… I re-post an interview with Arslan CHIKHAOUI, CEO and chairman of Nord-Sud Ventures in Algier. He is also a senior consultant to Algerian Government bodies and senior analyst on international affairs for national and international media. I’ve met Arslan last November and we’ve had a long conversation on what’s going on in Algeria. I think these videos give some insights on daily life in Algeria and help to understand why Algeria is different from Egypt and Tunisia.

Even though I do hope for the people that they will have the power to stand up!

Here you find a transcript of parts of the interview.

Part 1 of 5 deals with:
Introduction of himself
Overview -politics and economy – of what has happened in Algeria from 1960 – 2002

Part 2 of 5 deals with:
2002 first “weak” reforms started
times of terror, 1996 was the peak of terrorism in Algeria political and social system up until today

Part 3 of 5 deals with:
Algeria within Africa
Relation between private sector and government
Freedom of Speech, Media
Looking for new forms of government

Part 4 of 5 deals with:
Need for a Vision / Lack of Leadership
Algeria needs first of all stabilization, decent life for everybody
Drivers for transformation
Role of Internet / Mobile

Part 5 of 5 deals with:
Social Society
Autocratic systems are in times of crises “better” for transformation than democracies
His personal role within the existing system

Talking about a Revolution: Tunisia

Netizens are deeply concerned about repressive measures used by Tunisian authorities in response to the current protests and political unrest in the country. It urges the government to refrain from the unnecessary use of force against peaceful protesters and to respect the fundamental rights of its people, including the right to freely express dissenting opinions.

The unrest began nearly two weeks ago when a young Tunisian man, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire to protest the country’s high unemployment rate. The incident, which took place in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid, became the catalyst that sparked widespread protest and riots that have become a referendum on the government of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. Protesters are calling for an end to corruption, nepotism, and restrictions on basic freedoms. There have been reports of Tunisian security forces opening fire on protesters as well as large scale arrests and torture of prisoners. Although traditional media in Tunisia is heavily restricted and authorities have sophisticated methods for repressing internet freedom, reports of the protests have spread through non-traditional forms of media as bloggers and regular citizens have been tracking the events.

And – this is what strikes me most – hardly any news on this in “western” media.

So I felt very happy yesterday, when I got the chance to interview Lina Ben Mhenni, a Tunisian Teacher Assisstant of linguistics at Tunis University and a blogger. Thanks again to Hisham who connected us. Lina is mainly blogging about freedom of speech, human rights (especially women rights and students rights), social problems, and organ donation awareness . She likes photography, reading, writing, watching movies. Lina is also an athlete but within a special team: The Tunisian National Organ Transplant Team.

Here is the mp3 file is here , the sound quality is not really good, but it is O.K.
A transcript will be available next week as part of the latest issue of we-magazine.

China after the Nobel Prize

“People are customized to follow in China!” says Isaac Mao, one of the first Chinese bloggers. He started blogging in 2002 and he soon became one of the young digital leaders in China. Since then he is expressing his views of a modern Chinese Democracy – both: peacefully and wisely.

In the passed years I have done a couple of interviews with him, but I’ve never heard him some relaxed and enthusiastic. The reason: The Nobel Prize for Peace Laureate: Liu Xiaobo. Liu was of course the mayor topic during our conversation, but we also talked about the influence social media has on activism and how big the chances are to overcome censorship in China:“I can see, that censorship in China will be gone within the next 5 years!”The interview was audiotaped via SKYPE, so please excuse that I cannot provide video. But I couldn’t resist the fact, that I am still running an unregistered version of SNAPshot on my new laptop and this is why I provide the still;-))