Real Digital Power: Zainab Al-Khawaja

I was a panelist for Newsweek/Daily Beast’s recentDigital Power Index. Though the Revolutionaries group was more representative of nationality, ethnicity, and gender than the rest of the list, I’d like to share my original list of 10 nominees, and also take an opportunity to highlight some of the world’s best digital activists.

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8)Zainab Al-Khawaja

The Arab Spring came to Bahrain in 2011, but it didn’t stay for long. After a month of encampments and violent removals at Pearl Roundabout in Manama, troops cleared the traffic circle for the last time on March 16th and tore down the Pearl Roundabout monument two days later.

But the revolution is still quietly alive, and that is largely due to fearless activists like Zainab Al-Khawaja,better known by her Twitter handle, @AngryArabia. Active both online and offline, Zainab tweets and sit-insto challenge the Bahraini government.

Zainab’s current cause is demanding the release of her father, human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been jailed for life. Defying the term slacktivism, Zainab shows that digital activism is not for slackers or the weak-hearted.

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