The following is the opening ceremony words during the global bloggers meeting
Ladies and Gentlemen
I hope that you enjoyed the first day of the conference and I am sure you will because the conference’s panels are more than great and we are very pleasure that we are here on this stage for representing new media, activists and bloggers of Iraq.
Iraq has passed through many wars and disasters in the past decades and some of the people around the world are thinking that Iraq has passed the war since 2003, but contrast is the truth, because Iraq still lives in war, terrorism and assassinations as well as in a very big political liquidation circle and all these led to some of the technological illiteracy and led to be backward in comparison to the world.
Before 2003 we can consider Iraq as a black cave that the people were been hidden because everything was forbidden and not allowed for example in the entire Iraq there were only 58 internet centers which were for the governments and the usage of the internet were very limit because there was observation and supervision by the government, so that you would find that 5% of the websites were blocked by the government.
2003 came and as they call it the liberation came with it and in very sudden steps we found that the technology running in Iraq and the first technological tool came was the satellite dishes and then followed by internet provider companies so the citizen had got many and different providers , choices and services , then the GSM companies appeared and 3 main operators started investing in Iraq.
In the final report of Iraqi telecommunication association in 2008 Iraq got the largest market in the Arab world by GSM users because the total mobile users passed 12 million users and if we compare it to the population of Iraq we find it is a very huge number , therefore the technology became more and more available in Iraq for the following points:
- The cheap fees of the services
- More than 1 operator
- More than 1 provider
- The tax disappearance in the system
- The desire of the Iraqi people to be more progressed and developed
- The Iraqi youths want to be as the others in the world to find more technological partners around the world
- The open market of Iraq in front of the investors for investing more and more in technological sector.
In 2010 twitter had launched its services via the mobile phones in Iraq and the first operator which used the application and the service was Zain Telecom Co. and then been followed by Asiacell telecom co. and in 2011 the Iraqi GSM users found more and more applications on their mobile phones especially the social network applications as facebook, twitter ..ect and the final service which was launched in Iraq is Blackberry which works with Asiacell and Zain.
The technology played a great role in the Iraqi streets and I can tell you hundreds of stories which been filmed by the cell phones cameras for example in one of the terrorist operation in Kirkuk a film appeared by a teenager who was filming some of the streets and then a sudden blasting happened by a bombed car and the teenager started using his camera for filming the accident and by chance he found the executor of the operation through his film and the security forces could arrest the man in 2 days.
In other words the armed groups were started using the same technology in their operations by using the cell phones as a remot control for explosions the IED over the army and the police.