Website Debut: Free Arabs is Born
Letter from the editor
The Vision Driving Free Arabs
By Ahmed Benchemsi
After founding Morocco’s best-selling magazines, I had to quit and leave my country. Free Arabs marks a fresh start—for me and for liberal journalism in the Middle East. — Ahmed Benchemsi
Combine The Daily Beast, The Village Voice and Comedy Central. Sprinkle it with vibrant democratic and secular activism. Now transpose the whole mix to the Middle East… That’s the vision behind Free Arabs: a unique combination of investigative journalism, trendy reporting, arty activism and impertinent satire —all enshrined in the site’s slogan: “Democracy, Secularism, Fun.”
As the founding editor of this new venture, I want to welcome you to Free Arabs. The web-magazine is very much a team effort, relying on the creativity and talents of dozens of next-generation writers, activists, and artists. But it also marks a milestone in my own journey as a media professional from the Arab World.
So with your indulgence, here is my story—and thus, my perspective on how Free Arabs came to be, and what it aims to become.
Who we are?
A group of free-minded bloggers, journalists, activists and creators, we are dispersed throughout the Middle East, North Africa and the rest of the world. Keen on perpetuating the spirit of the Arab Spring, we confront both oppressive autocrats and religious zealots with audacious reporting, candid whistle-blowing… and ferocious derision ;)
What do we stand for?
“Democracy, Secularism, Fun”— that’s our motto. We fight authoritarianism and corruption, advocate free elections and open government, and champion individual freedoms—from religious to sexual. As for the ‘fun’ part… it’s just us :) Intellectual curiosity, creativity, and humor are the staples of the “Free Arabs” generation. Join the club!
Who supports us?
Launched with financial support from a small group of independent Arab journalists, Free Arabs is—and vows to remain—totally independent of any government or political party, group or institution. We do not—and will not—pursue any other agenda than defending Freedom and advancing our core values: Democracy, Secularism… and uninhibited creativity.