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Second Egypt Quote of the Day: 'Inscribed On the Walls'

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, November 3 2011

In the few hours that sunlight enters the dark cell we read what a past cellmate has inscribed on the walls in an elegant Arabic calligraphy.

Four walls covered from floor to ceiling in Qur'anic verses and prayers and invocations and reflections. And what reads like a powerful desire to repent.

Next day we discover, in a low corner, the date of execution of our cellmate of the past. Our tears conquer us.

The guilty make plans for repentance. What can the innocent do?

— Activist and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah, in a letter written from his jail cell, written Nov. 1 and published the next day in the Guardian. Today, a military court refused his appeal against detention; he was detained over the weekend in connection with a fatal Oct. 9 clash between the army and protesters. His summoning before authorities has sparked an outcry over what activists say is the military's unwillingness to proceed with a transition to democracy in Egypt after decades of authoritarian rule under the now-toppled Hosni Mubarak.

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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