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Egyptian Blogger Abdel Kareem Soliman

The whole shroud of mystery around the Greatest American Lawyer blog may be gone, but Egyptian Abdel Kareem Soliman may wish he had his own shroud of anonymity now.

According to the BBC, Soliman was the first blogger prosecuted in Egypt for criticizing "the country's top Islamic institution", and he now faces four years in prison for inciting sedition and insulting Mr. Mubarak. The BBC article also stated how Soliman's arrest is a strong message to "Egypt's thousands of bloggers" who would see their right to free expression upheld within Egypt.

I, as I hope you do as well, took this as a sad reminder of the reality for millions of other bloggers who do not find themselves in the comfort of the First Amendment; but I also take Mr. Soliman's example as inspiration.

The article also mentioned how a "number of bloggers" critical of the government had been arrested in 2006, but later freed. Mr. Soliman knew the risks of his posts, but still did.

This means that Mr. Soliman blogged in face of the danger from the Egyptian government, expressing his right to free speech in a place that would not uphold it. In a place in which speech itself is restricted Soliman used the blogosphere to do so anyways, and sadly, now faces the consequences. In light of the sacrifice made by Mr. Soliman, I hope that more Americans take this motivation to finally log into the blogosphere, to take advantage of the safety that he has been denied.

And to Mr. Soliman, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. Thank you for what you are doing for the Egyptian people; I shall remember you among the names of my American forefathers, and hope that future Egyptians may name yours among many patriots who preceded an era of freedom that Egypt has never before seen.


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