Thursday, January 10, 2008

Decline and Fall of the Iraqi Blogosphere?

For the first time since the summer of 2003, the Iraqi blogosphere in English has started to decline both in quantity and quality of posts. It's been over a month since the guys at Iraq the Model have posted. Zeyad rarely posts. Riverbend's last post was back in October, 2007. Even Hammorabi Sam seethes only about once a month or so now.

Is this the beginning of the end of the Iraqi blogosphere? And if so, why? Simple blogger fatigue? Perhaps. One reason, however, is that many of the English-language Iraqi bloggers are no longer living in Iraq. The three ITM brothers, Zeyad, BT (Treasure of Baghdad), Omar (24 Steps), M.H.Z., and Morbid Smile are all living in the United States right now on student visas. And, living here, they aren't able to blog first-hand about what it's like to live in Iraq. Of these bloggers, only BT has really been blogging about his personal experiences of living in the United States.

Konfused Kollege Kid is still in Jordan, I think, as is Chikitita. Riverbend's Doc Martens were last seen tramping around Syria. Alaa the Mesopotamian has only posted a couple blog entries since arriving in Canada last year. A few days ago he blogged and said that he is currently "brooding and waiting and at a loss which of the million thoughts to write about."

From the U.S., Iraqi Mojo, Iraq Pundit, and Ambassador Fayrouz have been the most prolific bloggers for the last couple months, along with Omar (24 Steps) and BT.

So who's in Iraq right now? Mohammed (Last of Iraqis), Caesar of Pentra, Shaqawa, and Hammorabi Sam. Of these, Mohammed has been the most diligent in posting.

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UPDATE: I forgot to mention the extended family of Mosul bloggers, all of whom have posted entries recently: Najma, HNK, Sunshine, and Mama.

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For a timeline of the Iraqi blogosphere, go here:

Let's Catch a Wave.

As you can see by the timeline, judging by the reduction in new Iraqi blogs, the decline seems to have already started sometime in 2006. Since mid-2007, there have been few new Iraqi bloggers in English.

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The anglophone Iraqi blogosphere has not yet recovered completely from the Christmas and New Year holiday season. But, while you wait for the new entries and if you want to follow a very interesting exchange, I suggest heading over to the comments page for Michael Totten's "The Rings on Zarqawi's Finger." The discussion there takes up subjects like Arabic diglossia, moderate Muslims, the tribal nature of Iraqi society, Kurdish love for America and Israel, how many Muslims actually read the Koran, and several other thought-provoking topics, many of them commented on by people who have spent time in the Middle East and Iraq.

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