Blogs bring the world to us with marvelous immediacy. Events on the other side of the planet are no longer far distant and unconnected to our daily lives. People very like ourselves are going about their daily lives despite war and atrocities on their own soil. And now they can bear witness with the world as an audience.
In August of 2003, a young Iraqi woman began blogging about her life amid war and occupation. She calls herself Riverbend and her blog is called Baghdad Burning. Her journaling has been compiled into a new book, also called Baghdad Burning. Alternet offers an interview with Riverbend.
It has helped me realize that the many people all over the world (but especially in the U.S. and UK) are quite naive and uninformed. It was disturbing to see their emails making claims that simply weren't true. For example, the Western perception of women in Iraq prior to the war. Until I began writing the blog, I had no idea that many Americans thought Iraqi women were like Afghani women or Saudi women. I had no idea that many Americans thought their military had brought computers and internet into Iraq.