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    World & Culture

    Blogging Iraq

    By Christopher Palmer
    Published: March 3, 2011

    Before coming to The University of Texas at Austin to study government, Ali Rawaf began a controversial political blogging career in Iraq.

    In this video, Rawaf talks openly about growing up in Baghdad, what media in Iraq was really like during the Gulf War and under Saddam Hussein’s rule and how his classes and professors at UT have helped him understand the development of government in Iraq.

    “I didn’t plan on becoming a blogger,” he says in the video. “One day I just wrote a poem and then I wrote an essay about how I felt about politics in Iraq at the time.”

    Soon after, a popular political blog invited him to write about elections and the parties he favored, things he said other bloggers only wrote about anonymously.

    • Quote 2
      Leo said on Oct. 27, 2011 at 10:42 a.m.
      We can all learn from this interview.
    • Quote 2
      Luis Moreno said on March 22, 2011 at 8:39 a.m.
      Excellent interview. Applause for the people who had the idea of making this kind of videos.
    • Quote 2
      Danny said on March 12, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.
      I failed to gather your political view, but I think we both can agree that Iraq is better off without Saddam Hussein. I think you present an honest voice for the Iraqi people and many others who are currently in the process of overthrowing their country's oppressive regime: people simply want to live a decent life without having to worry about what government will do to them if they do this or that. I have great hopes for Iraq and the Middle East. UT (and the world) is lucky to have your voice on that front. Thank you for sharing your story.
    • Quote 2
      Will said on March 9, 2011 at 3:16 a.m.
      Growing up in eastern Europe in the late 80's I witnessed first hand the toppling of a long time dictator and the euphoria immediately following it. Unfortunately within a few years I felt the gradual diminishing of the optimism of the young generation. The realization set in: it might take a whole generation's life span for a society to produce results in line with those initial dreams and expectations.
    • Quote 2
      Ahmad Alfakher said on March 7, 2011 at 3:05 p.m.
      Some time is definitely needed before people adapt to a completely new system of government. I am a little more optimistic now though, seeing people like you caring enough to try and make a difference.
    • Quote 2
      Angel Adul said on March 7, 2011 at 9:46 a.m.
      With what is going on in Egypt and Libya, we here a lot about facebook and twitter. What is the bloggers role in affecting the change occuring in the Middle East?
    • Quote 2
      Elie said on March 6, 2011 at 12:23 a.m.
      Nice job Ali! This is like a 100% copy of what happened in Lebanon during the Syrian occupation, and still happening in terms of stereotyping.
    • Quote 2
      Jazz said on March 5, 2011 at 4:10 p.m.
      Ali's interview is exceptional because most Americans don't get the opportunity to hear the point of view of someone who was actually born and grew up in Iraq, and whose life has been so greatly affected by everything that has taken place in that part of the world. His perspective is invaluable because so much can be learned from it.
    • Quote 2
      Sam Lee said on March 5, 2011 at 3:05 p.m.
      Inspiring, thank you for sharing your story.
    • Quote 2
      Ashley and Sarah said on March 5, 2011 at 2:54 p.m.
      Great interview! Very interesting. Ali is very articulate and insightful. It is really great to hear his story since it is so inspirational and encouraging. He'll make a great politician one day!
    • Quote 2
      Mustafa said on March 5, 2011 at 1:48 a.m.
      Well said brother.
    • Quote 2
      Angie said on March 5, 2011 at 1:46 a.m.
      This is a fantastic interview with a brilliant example of Iraq's future with Ali Rawaf!
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    Download: Save as .mp4 | Podcast (iTunes)

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