October 19, 2010 The Save Samar Campaign
Global Voices writer Hala Alrasheed has reported on a growing case of Internet activism coming out of Saudi Arabia. Bloggers and tweeters have come together in support of Samar Albadawi, a Saudi woman jailed in Jeddah for disobeying her father. Posted on Global Voices, October 17, 2010.
Samar Albadawi, a divorced Saudi woman is currently being held in Brayman jail in Jeddah for disobeying her father. The story was on top of the Saudi trends on Twitter -under the hashtags #samar and #Samar- since the weekend. According to the documents published in a blog post, by Fouad Al-Farhan, the judge Abdullah Al-Othaim ruled in favour of her abusive drug-addicted father despite of the apparent evidence against him, family members testimonies against him, and letters addressing the issue from Royal authorities against the judge’s verdict.
Samar’s story caused a controversy on social media websites and blogs. While some stood by Samar’s side, supporting her cause and “re-tweeting” blog entries calling to free her, others questioned the documents published in the blog, and whether they were official or not.
Free Samar !
Saudis are standing up for Samar in every possible way; blog entries, Facebook profiles photos, tweets and designs.
Below are some reactions from some supporters.
From Twitter, Ibrahim Falaqi calls people to use Twitter to help Samar:
تويتاتكم تجبر وزارة العدل على التحرك, تويتاتكم ايقظت النائمين. تويتاتكم اقوى من خطابات الاستجداء, اللهم احفظ تويتر واعل شأنه #SamarYour tweets forces the ministry to take action, your tweets awaken whoever is asleep, your tweets are stronger than any official letters. May God save Twitter!
Waleed Abu Alkhair justifies his support for the cause:
#Samar سيدة سعودية بنت بلدي مسجونة ظلماً ستة شهور ونصف دون حكم قضائي محرومة من رؤية ابنها ، ويسألني أحدهم لماذا تدافع عنها ؟ أين شيم الحريةA Saudi lady, a daughter of my country, imprisoned for six and a half months, with no ruling, denied from seeing her son. And someone is asking me why am I defending her? Where is the sense of freedom?
Meanwhile, HapHazard writes a blog on how to support Samar.
We’re not sure yet!
On the other hand, some Saudis are skeptical about the Samar’s story, and question about the authenticity of the documents published on blogs.
From Twitter, Bandar Bin Naif says:
#samar تقرير الطب النفسي ينص على سلامة والد سمر من الناحية النفسية ولا يوجد أي تقرير يثبت تعاطيه المخدرات هل يجوز نشر وثيقة تتهمه بتعاطيها؟The psychiatric report proves the safety of Samar’s father from a psychological point, and there is nothing to prove drug use. How can you publish a document accusing him of drug abuse?
Raed AlSaeed started a poll on Twitter and the results were:
http://twtpoll.com/r57vig #Samar ٢٢١ صوت ٥٣٪ منهم لن يحكم الا بعد سماع الطرفين و ٣٦٪ يدافعون عن سمر221 votes. 53 percent will support no one until they hear both sides. 36 percent support Samar’s cause without hearing the father’s story.
Meanwhile, the support campaign is still progressing, and now has a Facebook fan page, a CrowdVoice page, and the Samar’s hashtags are still active and trending in hope that an official move will be taken.
As a last word, Eyad Qaes suggests:
أعتقد أن الهدف من الحمله تحقق ، كل واحد يروح بيته 🙂 #samarI believe that the campaign reached its goal, everybody can go home now.