A group of free-minded bloggers, journalists, activists and creators, we are dispersed throughout the Middle East, North Africa and the rest of the world. Keen on perpetuating the spirit of the Arab Spring, we confront both oppressive autocrats and religious zealots with audacious reporting, candid whistle-blowing… and ferocious derision ;)… Read More
“Democracy, Secularism, Fun”— that’s our motto. We fight authoritarianism and corruption, advocate free elections and open government, and champion individual freedoms—from religious to sexual. As for the ‘fun’ part… it’s just us :) Intellectual curiosity, creativity, and humor are the staples of the “Free Arabs” generation. Join the club!… Read More
Launched with financial support from a small group of independent Arab journalists, Free Arabs is—and vows to remain—totally independent of any government or political party, group or institution. We do not—and will not—pursue any other agenda than defending Freedom and advancing our core values: Democracy, Secularism… and uninhibited creativity!
… Read More
“Democracy, Secularism, Fun”— that’s our motto. We fight authoritarianism and corruption, advocate free elections and open government, and champion individual freedoms—from religious to sexual. As for the ‘fun’ part… it’s just us :) Intellectual curiosity, creativity, and humor are the staples of the “Free Arabs” generation. Join the club!
Under the editorial line “DEMOCRACY, SECULARISM, FUN”, we mean to:
Expose corruption and authoritarianism. Targeting a region where democratic-ish rhetoric has been debased by decades of double discourse from repressive dictator regimes, “Free Arabs” aims to show not tell, to exemplify rather than preach. We certainly advocate democracy, transparency and good governance. But we do so in our own way: by featuring investigative stories exposing corruption facts, strongly opinionated columns, and a wide variety of creative pieces.
Reclaim the full spectrum of democracy, including individual freedoms. Democracy is not simply a ‘winner take all’ voting mechanism, but rather a set of values that includes civil rights (notably gender equality and minorities’ rights) and individual liberties (notably freedom of belief, thought, expression and life choices, including sexual)—all of which proponents of political Islam oppose more or less openly. “Free Arabs” decidedly confronts them on that angle and stands for the primacy of reason.
Advocate secularism as what it is: institutionalized freedom of choice. Millions of Arabs have internalized the notion that secularism is tantamount to faithlessness, and is all about demonizing Islam and promoting a dissolute way of life. This is certainly not the working definition for Free Arabs. Secularism is a legal, social and political framework that is built on universal principles of human rights, that guarantees the right to freedom of religion—from straightforward atheism and iconoclastic modernism, all the way to (and including) devout piety and traditional way of life. The contributors of this site represent the full gamut of belief, but have in common the commitment to respect differences of belief and lifestyle.
Spotlight vibrant culture bubbling throughout the Arab world. Conventional wisdom is that the Middle East is culturally stagnant or mimics the West in its cultural productions (Rotana, Arab Idol, and the like.) Yet, there is indeed an underground counter-culture in the Arab world—an audacious, impertinent and subversive one, confronting head on the oppressive policies of both autocrats and zealots. Music, video, cinema, literature, 3D animation, cartoons, paintings, graffiti tagging... you name it. Thousands of young ardent artists are out there, craving for fame in hostile environments. Free Arabs proudly showcases their work.