Post Global on the Internet in the Middle East

Post Global has an interesting panel talking about the internet as a political tool. Yesterday, a reader posted this question:

Egypt has detained a number of its citizens for using the social networking site Facebook to organize anti-government protests. What online sites are most effective in influencing politics -- and is the impact positive?
Mona Eltahawy answered in a piece, "Arab Bloggers Keep Watch Over Government. And Each Other." She writes,

In Saudi Arabia, which fuels most of the world's cars but bars half of its population from driving, women's rights activists used Facebook and emails to collect petitions against the driving ban which they then sent to the king. One of the activists, Wajeha al-Huwaider, further protested the ban by getting behind the wheel as her sister-in-law filmed her, and posted the video on YouTube on International Women's Day as an open letter to the Saudi interior...

Eltahawy is a syndicated columnist and lecturer on Arab and Muslim issues has lived in Egypt, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, and is currently based in New York since 2000. She was a reporter in the Middle East, including in Cairo and Jerusalem for Reuters,The Guardian and U.S. News and World Report.