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For a previous take on online interactivity and the middle east see:

Steven Clift
Democracies Online

P.S. Anyone interested in creating an e-mail list to exchange news
stories about Iraq in the event of a new war?  (Like kosovo-reports,
florida-recount-announce, sept11info ... however, this time the list
would be promoted ahead of time on a global basis, start with a crew
of pre-determined unmoderated news link posters (not a
discussion/opinion list), and only open for posting with the first
military action and close after one month.)  Interested? E-mail:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2002 14:00:12 -0400
Subject: Carnegie e-News - 8/27/02

Carnegie e-News - August 27, 2002

  "The Middle East's e-War"
Even as the Web opens a new front in the Middle East conflict, it
also offers a powerful tool for promoting better media coverage and
dialogue between bitter enemies.  Read Shaazka Beyerle's survey of
how the Internet is being used by actors in the conflict. From the
July/August issue of Foreign Policy magazine.



Unlike the fighting on the ground, geography is largely irrelevant in
the cyberbattle for hearts and minds. Its combatants include Nigel
Parry, Scottish cofounder of the pro-Palestine Electronic Intifada
(http://www.electronicintifada.net), a site that encourages media
activism and features daily reports from the Palestinian territories.
Parrys site had 600,000 hits last April alone. Meanwhile, in the
pro-Israel camp, the New Yorkbased Israel Support Group (ISG)
(http://www.israelsg.com) hosts a comprehensive site with news, video
reports, and activist guides. ISGs site gets approximately 80,000 hits
a week, with 70 percent coming from North America, 20 percent from
Europe, and 10 percent from Israel.

Since restrictions on information technology have limited Internet
development in much of the Arab world, Palestinians and Muslims find
their cybervoices among expatriate communities in the West. One of the
largest Islamic Web sites, IslamiCity (http://www.islamicity.com),
reaches about 50 million people a month and features polls, TV and
radio broadcasts, and religious guidance. Although based in
California, nearly half of the sites users reside outside the United
States, including countries where media are restricted. Similarly,
Middle East News Online (http://www.middleeastwire.com), headquartered
in North Carolina, partners with 120 content providers worldwide and
uses a network of reporters and stringers to disseminate information
about the entire region. Fadi Chahine, the sites founder, says he logs
more than 6 million total hits a month, with roughly 35 percent of his
traffic originating from the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia.


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