Kuwaiti Net Mogul Launches Arab Online Political Forum - Page 2
"I come from a long family lineage of historical political leaders and oppositionists, though I’m not a politician myself and have no ambitions to be one," Thunayan said. "My family background ingrained in me early awareness of the condition of the world we live in and a concern with its issues, probably earlier than a child should have. I have encountered and inherited injustices in my life, and it’s through those trials that my belief in the human spirit and the value of freedom and truth has developed."
Social Media And The Arab Spring
Commenting on the part played by social media and citizen journalists in the Arab Spring, Thunayan agreed that social media were useful tools, but there had to be old-fashioned political organizing and grass-roots activism to begin with.
"History is not made by super-powers of heaven or earth, it’s human-made through the collective exercise of humanity expressing itself freely. The Arab Spring is a case of little brother taking over big brother, a David and Goliath scenario if you like, where too many little people are moving at once too fast for the organized power to control the power of organized chaos," he argued.
Thunayan believes that the tools of social media - including Facebook, Twitter and blogs - are replacing the traditional broadcast media because of what he calls their "instancy": "Television and radio, for those with access to the internet, have become archaic in my point of view, maybe good for entertainment, and even decreasingly at that. Books on the other hand could be served by the fact that most of the internet is the written word, and books being word-based media - I think the book as a concept will survive, as long as the format changes. The book industry should accept the progress of the digital evolution of the word."
Arab Governments And The Internet
"I believe in the free flow of information," said Thunayan, who was scathing about the attempts of Arab governments to regulate the internet and online media. "Regulatory bodies in the Arab world don't know how to use the filters that they buy. Quite legitimate discussion sites could be blocked, for example, if they contain words such as 'adult' or 'sexism'," he added. "They should restrain themselves rather than absurdly trying to restrain the internet. "Continued on the next page