Gulf Bloggers:a new breed of Arab activist

Internet blogs are giving rise to a new breed of Arab activist as ordinary residents increasingly use them to press for more political rights and civil liberties in conservative Gulf states.

Typical was a recent posting by a 33-year-old Saudi man. "Are we destined to just listen to the news of all the big changes around the world as we await a good deed from our king?" he questioned in his weblog, or blog.

And in one notable case, blogs in Kuwait were used to rally broad support last month for street demonstrations in favour of election law reforms.

The bloggers write in Arabic, English or a mixture of both. They are eager to set themselves apart from both newspaper and web columnists writing for established sites as well as the hugely popular Internet bulletin boards that often have a militant Islamic bent.

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