In April 2008 I was very surprised to receive an email from a stranger asking me to contribute to Voices Without Votes, a Global Voices project for the U.S. presidential that year. I still don’t know how Amira Al Hussaini found me but six years later her resourcefulness and tenacity continue to amaze me. Amira is our Regional Editor for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
VwV was ‘a window on what non-Americans are saying in blogs and citizen media about US foreign policy and the 2008 presidential elections’. My 37 posts were a mixture of blog roundups and links to Australian blog posts. My first post was entitled Australia: Progressive Views from Oz. It was well before Obama received the nomination. It concluded:
At this stage, Obama is the clearly favoured by progressive bloggers in Oz. It will be interesting to see how long the honeymoon lasts with the left if he wins the presidency. Or like Bush and most US leaders before him, will Barack quickly become the evil emperor rather than the hope for change?
Immediately after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, Global Voices managing editor Solana Larsen asked me to write a post. I was surprised as I thought that our disaster would not be of interest to the rest of the world which experiences floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis that kill thousands or tens of thousands. Much to my surprise ‘Australia: Bushfires devastate Victoria’ was one of the more popular posts of the year.
Another topic that generated a lot of interest was ‘Australia: Indian Homicide Reignites Racism Ruckus’ following the death of Nitin Garg in Melbourne in January this year. The sometimes heated debate generated 39 comments from a broad range of people.
Since becoming active as a GV author, I have had the opportunity to volunteer as a sub-editor and a member of the social media team. It was also my privilege in 2011 to mentor a young Ugandan woman, Chandia Benadette Kodili, as part of the ActionAid’s Activista Blogger Swarm. It was a two way process with Kodili initiating me into Skype.
I am looking forward to renewing my friendship face-to-face with Amira and many other members of our global family at the 2015 GV Summit.