Olive Branch Optimism
what a wonderful world...
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Jill Caroll & The Iraqi Media//Blogosphere (cross posted from OB network)
Iraq has never experienced a campaign with such local, national and international determination to help an individual as the campaign for Jill Caroll's safe release.

Two well known Baghdadi bloggers Baghdad Treasure and 24 steps to liberty (both are contributors here at the Olivebranch Network) were very close to Jill and played an important role in this campaign by inspiring other bloggers to offer help. Which they did.

In whatever way they could find bloggers were reaching out to help Jill; be it contacting media, politicians, other important political//religious figures or just posting, praying and sending support to Jill's family and employers at the Christian Science Monitor.

Iraqi bloggers and the blogosphere which immediately surrounds had a strong response to the incident surrounding Jill's capture- particularly the death of Alan Enwiya(Jill's translator). Alan was much loved by the younger generation of Baghdadi's for his all-encompassing knowledge and love of music. Alan ran a popular music store which became central to the life of many music loving Iraqi youths including many popular Iraqi bloggers- until war came back to Baghdad once again.

There were many posts around the Iraqi Blogosphere (1,2,3,..) about this wonderfull man and his music store, a world of its own where youth went for a unique yet comfortable cultural escape. For many Baghdadi's as they grew up Alan Enwiya was an important figure so their strong response to his death was predictable. What could not be predicted was the international response.

An Iraqi blogger living in the US (Fayrouz) started a campaign to raise money for Alan's widow and her two children who had lost their breadwinner- not to mention a dedicated father and husband. The campaign has been a great success and though no amount of money can balance such a loss- it will surely help Alan's family survive through these months of struggle. You can see there is more behind international attentnion to this than just the usual "save an American" response.

This whole issue was pushed by desire to help Iraqi's find the correct way out of this bloodbath. Jill Caroll herself was committed to this through her love of Iraqi culture and the respect Iraqi's have for her is evident. Never before have we seen this kind of action to help one person inside Iraq escape a horrible death- and she may as well be Iraqi. Even Iraqi and Arab media(1,2,3...) have offered their support providing free-to-air plea's for Jill's release- informing the captors Jill is an asset to Iraq not an enemy. Many Arab politicians and religious figures also released statements and plea's asking Jill's captors to release her- saying Jill is highly respected and has Iraq's best interest at heart. (1,2,3.....)

What role has the Iraqi blogosphere played in putting and keeping the heat on this issue and alerting the world to how much respect Iraqi's truely have for Jill Caroll??? What does this show about the development of borderless international communities??? These are question I have asked myself after writing this and you should ask these questions after reading it.

Tell me your answers and I'll tell you mine.

In the mean time please take a moment out of your day to write a post containing links to other posts about Jill Caroll. It's time to put the heat back on. After 2 months Jill is still captive and this is not acceptable. Check the Christian Science Monitor's Jill Updates for the required links.

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