In the cause of freedom

In the cause of freedom
: A blogger named Kerry Dupont has done something wonderful in the cause of freedom: She just sent laptops, scanners, cameras and more equipment of citizens’ media to Iraqi bloggers, including Zeyad and Omar and Ays.

Kerry attempted to get computers donated but when the company found out that there wasn’t a tax-deductible charity involved, they backed out. She went ahead and got the equipment and paid a whopping, and I do mean whopping, shipping bill and went through a great deal of work to pull this off.

And she has only just begun. Kerry is setting up a charity so she can do more of this. She looked at the Iraqi bloggers and all they were doing and at the soldiers (including family members) and all they were doing and she asked what many of us are asking:

What had I done? Yes, I was using my voice, but could I do more? So I started working on this idea. From this idea a larger one flowed. Free media. For Iraq first. For Iran, for China, for Cuba and North Korea. But I would start in Iraq, because of the voices of who I had come to regard as my Iraqi friends. Zeyad was having a difficult day one day and I told him what I truly felt, I said, Zeyad, my eyes are on yours, and they are full of tears, but I will not turn away. I was committed to doing something, however small, to help spread the voices of the Iraqis.

We started corresponding, and that is when I truly found what a gift the internet is. Zeyad and I exchanged e mails about my son’s gerbils, and his ducks, about food, family, and life. Omar and his brothers, Ali, and Mohammed, I also became fast friends with. I am still overwhelmed by their desire and love of freedom that has come so strong in a land of uncertainty.

That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? People linking to each other, talking, understanding, helping, sharing. People changing their worlds, our world.

Your contribution can be tiny. It can be huge. But every one of you can help change the world now.

: Kerry suggests making contributions at Ays’ and Omar‘s sites to help pay for the shipping.

: In her shipment, I sent along a package to Zeyad with copies of the Weekly Standard in which his photos and report appeared. He said his parents would be proud.

: Also forgot to point you all to a USA Today story on the Iraqi bloggers.

: And for me, this whole saga of Zeyad and the Iraqi bloggers links to the story of Hoder and the Iranian bloggers. Hoder just noted the year anniversary of the arrest of Iranian blogger Sina Motallebi (who was later released from prison and allowed to leave Iran under strong pressure from bloggers and thus media). This was the moment and story that brought me into the world of Iranian blogs, seeing that as a model for what could and should happen in Iraqi with weblogs, which led to Zeyad starting his blog, which led to more bloggers coming online, which led to Kerry being inspired to help them spread their word. It’s a small world, this blogosphere. A wonderfully small world.