As I begin writing this post it is January 16, 2007. If I track back one year the Olivebranch Network was yet to exist even as an idea- but would within a matter of days. I had recently won web hosting through a competition run by Sydney-based journalist/author/blogger Antony Loewenstein- who has since released a best-selling book entitled "My Israel Story", and is now working on a new book. In the year since winning this prize I have, albeit with a lot of encouragement and support from many others, built a network in excess of 30 members- the vast majority of whome are Iraqi, most of whome were already bloggers, but some of whome were not. The first post on the Olivebranch Network was on January 25, 2006.
The Olivebranch Network has been cited on telivision in the United States of America as the "Most Insightful look in to the Iraq war anywhere" by NBC News Tech Reporter "Mike Wendland". I personally have been interviewed here in Western Australia by a local broadcaster "Access 31" on their morning show "Wake Up Perth". The interview was a 7 minute breakdown on what the Olivebranch Network is, how it came to existance, what it contains and where it is headed in the future. Just last month the Olivebranch Network was featured in the Pakistani monthly magazine "Spider".
On top of this we have recruited many of the Iraqi Blogosphere's prominant and not-so prominant bloggers and I have personally befriended most of them; which for me was a major source of gratification and inspiration which helps me continue this project through to this very day and hopefully far into the future.
Importantly a sense of community has developed at the Olivebranch Network with chit-chat and comment exchange occuring regularly in the comments sections; especially amongst the girls. The first year has seen many events of significance and nearly 10,000 hits- which means our aim of educating people about Iraq is truely beginning to work.
Who ever said one man can't make a difference?