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    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Support #Samar..

    The much hyped #samar trend is now cooling down.. And why shouldn't it? All the documents were presented, and it basically unraveled the mystery (to many) on why this injustice should be brought to the public eye.. Of course, as many should expect, it gathered both positive and negative attention..

    I suggest that we set back, take a deep breath, and think in retrospect on what happened, what is currently happening, and what should happen if we ever want to push the reform agenda a step forward..

    [I suggest you save this, or instapaper it for a later read, because it might be a long one]

    What Happened?

    As I already blogged about the event on the day the evidence broke out, Nothing official has been announced (yet*) and all the case garnered was a huge following on Twitter, and the consequential media exposure on both local and international fronts.. Am regularly updating my blog post about this (linked above) so I'll try my best to keep it up to date..

    *Update: Check in the bottom of the linked blog, "Progress" has been made (according to statements by Lawyer Waleed AbulKhair).. Thank you guys so much for trending this topic, we're getting somewhere :D (and thank you trolls, you made the topic become a hot Saudi trend ;) )

    *Update: Samar is a free woman :)

    What's happening now?

    This is the interesting part, which is the aftermath (or flood) of Retweeted opinions.. Given that authentic first time tweets are low in number, the number of copy and pasted retweets by people who just knew about #samar and the same ol' people who wrote those tweets (copy and pasting their own) is keeping the trend alive and kicking.. Of course, troll war ethics are being carried out: (from anonymous twitter accounts with no actual names behind them.. Ok maybe one, but i think he has a split personality disorder)

    • Attempts to take the public eye away from Samar Al Badawi's case, only to question the credibility of those supporting Samar.. Mainly, Fouad Al Farhan and Waleed Abu Alkheer and anyone who agrees with them.. And of course, using our favorite troll war weapon : name calling and faceless threats of royal action against "liberals and defamers who give a bad reputation to our great country".. Yeah, can't help the dramatic look..
    • A blog was created to basically show how the people responsible for the news breakout are not credible, liberal westernizers and random video clips about Samar's brother who doesn't seem to approve of the infamous religious police (back in the day before the current state of reform they're in)

    Of course, as you may have noticed, none of the above points that are being retweeted over and over again have any relation to Samar Al Badawi's case.. What more do you expect from a troll, honestly? Because, unlike the published documents that show the details of the crisis, the opposition has nothing equally incriminating to reply with.. And I don't blame them, if you can't beat the evidence, beat the whistle blower..

    And I'm really in love with the topics they choose to tackle to shake th epublic opinion, which is basically propaganda 101 without the clever metaphors.. "you're questioning the government" and "you're shaming us in front of the world" and my personal favorite "the cause you're supporting it's fake, read our blog and we'll prove it (with no evidence, just our burned sense of delusional patriotism)"  (note: i added that delusional part lool)

    A personal message to the trolls

    unless you present something that proves that the case is a fake, the documents are fake, the lawyer covering her case is fake, the misunderstood documents (that showed your lack of understanding law) is fake, then you're just helping the hype to grow more.. If you really expect people to believe your personality-questioning and name calling over PDF documents, you really should consider Civic Law classes (and maybe some reality check while you're at it).. Documents trump hearsay..
    Sincerely yours, a sympathetic observer ..

    And if you're worrying about the kingdom's reputation in the international arena, I think you really should consider the government's own reputation in its own local arena.. Whatever agenda international media serves, you cant complain when the trash stinks too much, of course the neighbors will gather and watch.. Take out the trash yourself, because its starting to get embarrassing having our trash taken out by other than us..

    (and by that, i mean the case, so don't run wild with your paranoia)

    Ok, maybe trash is a harsh word for your sense of patriotism, so lets call it : highly annoying heap of unwanted objects that (together) form a foul stench.. Whatever you want to call it, we need to deal with it.. And it's the 21st century for god's sake, if we can know about a cat on a keyboard from our living rooms in Jeddah, a case as big as this is like a pink elephant in the room.. Social network, much?

    What should be done?

    Well, first thing to do is identify the problem(s):

    1. There is no clear printed law that approaches domestic violence.. No one citizen knows what defines domestic violence, what can be titled as such, and what can be done to stop it.. And unless violators know what they're violating, I can assure you that the violence will never stop..

    solution: Print them out and clear the blurry lines.. It will be unquestionable..

    2. As presented in the original blog about this crisis, the documents show major offenses against the laws of Saudi Arabia, of the Quran and of the international laws that the Saudi Government approved and signed on regarding international human rights..

    solution: The judicial system is run by humans, and humans make mistakes.. Thus, mistakes need to be resolved before more are done in it's shadow.. Am not asking to over throw anyone or anything, am just asking for the wheels of reform and justice to take place before we go through this again and again.. (different occurrences -in arabic- were listed, thanks to

    3. A thorough investigation of the case and its details (from the reason why the appeal letters were ignored by the judge, to the situation of Samar's family and it's need for a close watch by the government).. In Islam, and in any international law, once the case has enough reasonable doubt, everything must be done all over again to insure justice to take its proper place and time..

    solution: I guess this one is pretty obvious :)

    And of course, many can find other problems.. Personally, however, those three are the main things to be tackled if we're ever going to resolve this..

    Now, what can "you" do about it?

    1. write a support letter and publish it on your blog, addressing Samar Al Badawi, showing her your support for the cause and for the case to be finally resolved so she can be united with her child..
    (send me a link to your letter, so I can keep them sorted out in a later blog supporting her by YOUR words, and don't forget to send it to her CrowdVoice page)

    2. express your opinions in your blog, forum and/or news publications.. Hopefully, the ripple effect and the echo of your words will land her name in the hands of those who can do something about this from above..
    (send me a link and i'll post it to my #Samar news blog, and don't forget to send it to her CrowdVoice page)

    3. don't entertain the trolls by thinking you'll knock some sense into them, they already switched to phase 3 (which is basically creating a rumor about punishment that will take place, SHUN THE NONE BELIEVER! *damn unicorns*) and remember, trolls will be forever be trolling.. So set back, and enjoy the ride :D

    And finally..

    4. The best thing you can do at this stage is read.. Read the documents, read the opinions, and form your own.. Retweeting without having a say will do this case more harm than good.. And when you're settled on whatever vote, go here and share the public opinion..

    I wanted to start a #helpSamar trend, but it drowned.. It was during the peek of the second troll war.. So, am announcing it here.. If you have any messages of support, any prayers, and any suggestions, post them to the #samar and #helpSamar trends.. Just a suggestion! :)

    Anyways, it's the start of the week, so hopefully official statement should come in any time soon.. a very hopeful "anytime soon" of course :D


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