You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

The Longest Now

`SMSI – beginning with a bang
Wednesday November 16th 2005, 3:03 am
Filed under: international

First trial : see how many people can fit into 4,000 seats… the
opening session was quiet, packed, and not at all sensational. 
The audience was too large for them to carry out their desired
badge-check (getting thousands of people in and out of a two-door
badge-checking bottleneck in half an hour : difficult in New York with
a little planning; impossible in Tunis on a moment’s notice), so
despite not having found the place to pick up my pass, I was able to
stay for it.

presentation by Tunisia’s President Ben Ali would be replayed over the
course of the week, on national television, and on the TVs embedded in
buses to and from the Kram Palexpo hosting SMSI/WSIS, hundreds of
times. By the time I had been in Tunis four days, I was so used to the
inclusion of Ben Ali’s face in every publication and many
establishments, I no longer noticed it. 

The most sensational content was understated and between the lines;
presenters commenting on how ‘certain countries’ attending the summit
disrespect the rights of their citizens – particularly those who disagree with the administration; and on the
holding of strawman elections
in countries where political expression is censored.  Noone from
Tunisia responded to any of these comments, and it is the kind of
subject that one enters into with local residents at great social peril
(I feel certain that this is a social nuance exaggerated by proximity to
central Tunis).  I almost ended up at a gathering of the local
human rights group today, which would have been fascinating — if only
because I might have gotten sincere responses to simple questions about
life here.

`SMSI – beginning with a bang …

Harvard? gulp.
Hello. I’m trying to write an article for wikipedia as an assignment for my media class. I’ve been through the tutorial and was just looking at the “bootcamp” page. It seems all this extra stuff that’s trying to make it easy is just making it more difficult. I need to know what is the fastest way to find out how I can contribute… Harvard? Student or Prof?

Comment by Mona 11.23.05 @ 6:20 pm

Bad Behavior has blocked 204 access attempts in the last 7 days.