In the Media

Over the past few years I have been interviewed many times for newspapers, radio, television, and websites. Here, you can find some stories from the mainstream media about Saudi Jeans.

- Talking to CNN’s Nic Robertson about detained Saudi blogger Fouad Al Farhan

- On CNN: brief interview in the news about detained Saudi blogger Fouad Al Farhan

- On LBC talking about detained Saudi blogger Fouad Al Farhan

- On Orbit talking about civil society in Saudi Arabia

- Washington Post: New Clicks in the Arab World: “Omran, 23, like many young bloggers, said he hoped that blogging would speed up the country’s glacial pace of reform. Sometimes he is afraid, not knowing whether he had crossed a line, but he continues to blog, eager for change, democracy and more personal freedoms, he said. “I want our society to move forward, and I want to be part of that change,” Omran said. “I don’t want to be 40 and still struggling with the issues we’re dealing with now.”

- BBC: Saudi Arabia’s bold young bloggers: “”I started blogging over two years ago,” Ahmed says. “It has become an integral part of my life.” Outsiders, he says, tend to have a one-dimensional view of Saudi Arabia. “I can have a discussion with the rest of the world, and we can show them how we live.”

- Reuters: Saudi youth bored in model Islamic state-blogger: “Ahmed al-Omran, aka “Saudi Jeans”, says Saudi Arabia may be a model state for powerful clerics who oversee the strict application of sharia, or Islamic law, in society but for young people life can offer bleak choices…”

- Christian Science Monitor: In Riyadh, ‘Saudi Jeans’ and calls to prayer: “Ahmed al-Omran, a pharmacy student who writes one of the kingdom’s most popular English-language blogs called Saudi Jeans (http:// saudijeans.blogspot.com), is easy to spot, sitting in a Lebanese kebab restaurant in the city’s downtown Olaya district. Purple T-shirts aren’t that common. He’s definitely not the thobe type, he says, a fact underscored by his late-model jeans and Pumas…”

- The Saudi Gazette: Exploring New Ground, Number of Saudi Bloggers Seeking to Comment Skyrockets

- Arab News: Finding Freedom in Blogosphere: “Al-Omran, a 22-year-old pharmacy student at KSU, and who blogs under the name Saudi Jeans (http://saudijeans.blogspot.com/), writes about everything from his favorite soft-drinks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah’s recent visit to his hometown of Ahsa. But he told Arab News that the conservative and intolerant line taken by some of the other Saudi bloggers sometimes disappointed him…”

- AFP: Gulf bloggers: a new breed of Arab activists: “Ahmed al-Omran, a 22-year-old Saudi university student who has been blogging for two years under the name “Saudi Jeans”, said his goal was not just to rant but to shed light on issues affecting his generation in the hope that change may come one day…”

- TSG: A new voice in conservative Arabia: “Freedom of expression is very limited here and blogging has opened up a new window for the youth of this country. Young women and men are for the first time speaking out on the Internet and expressing themselves through their stories, commentary and poems,” said Al-Omran. Looking around in the male-only section of a café in Saudi Arabia’s most conservative city, Riyadh, where I was seated with Al-Omran, the truth of what he said became apparent. In a country where the two sexes are strictly prohibited from mixing, the Internet, specifically blogs, is the only place where both Saudi females and males can ‘meet’ and openly express and discuss issues…”

- Associated Press: Bloggers in Mideast transforming dialogue but face clampdowns by authorities: But Saudi Arabian blogger Ahmed al-Omran believes the time is now for bloggers to make a difference. “It’s a good chance now for bloggers here. Saudi Arabia is changing, and the margin for freedom of expression is getting bigger and bloggers are taking advantage of this,” said the pharmacy student who runs two blogs — one in English, the other in Arabic.

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