7 May 2007
The new Middle East Transparent is on the net (www.middleeasttransparent.com). It was time. The old design had become too cumbersome and inadapted to the rising number of readers (more than 45 000 daily) and writers (more than 300). Both designs, the old and the new, shall coexist for about 2 weeks, until we adopt the new design definitively. Remarks and critiques by our readers are most welcome. We still have time to make changes.
Middle East Transparent is now more than 3 years old. It has already proven that, even in the Middle East, the Internet has created a space where people could write, publish and exchange opinions in all freedom. Middle East Transparent is totally banned in Syria (yet, many readers claim we are no. 1 in that country, thanks to the use of « proxies). It is partially blocked in Saudi Arabia (to no avail). Egyptian authorities have expressed their « displeasure » at some articles, yet (fortunately) they did not go as far as blocking the website.
Our aim for the next 8 months is to attain the symbolic 100 000 readers per day figure. Not too "ambitious" if we take into consideration that we are covering a number of countries : Egypt, Lebanon, Untied Arab Emirates, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sweden (yes Sweden, which hosted hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and other Arabs..), Kuwait, Canada, The United States, Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, Israel and Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Yemen, Tunisia, Oman, Bahrein, Libya (the country recently entered the Internet age), Germany, Malaysia, Iraq and « other countries » according to statistics on www.alexa.com.
Two remarks. Most of of our readers have « adopted » metransparent, as witnessed by the use of « our website » (not « your website ») in their emails. Unashamedly, we are proud of this achievement. Yet, we have to admit that most of the support we have had came only from the United States, Canada and Europe. This generous support from friends and readers have allowed Middle East Transparent to survive against all odds.. Arab readers have been less forthcoming for both cultural reasons and because modern modes of payment (credit cards) either do not exist or are not much in use in some countries. This is a problem we would have to tackle in the coming period.
This, along with paid ads. We shall be knocking on all doors to get paids ads to finance the expansion of Middle East Transparent.
To our writers, readers and friends, many thanks. We still need your support. We can only promise to remain a liberal, democratic and independent website, as we have been in the last 3 years.