Amy Aisen Kallander makes bold claims that blogging played less of a role than perceived by the West in the Tunisian revolution in her article “From TUNeZINE to Nhar 3la 3mmar: A Reconsideration of the Role of Bloggers in Tunisia’s Revolution.” Kallander asserts by her conclusion that Westerners have blown up the concept of the use of social media as the tool of the oppressed while ignoring the reality that the majority of the mobilized population were so moved by other forms of media.
The truth is that as much as the West may think they know about the Arab Spring, without having experienced a similar revolution under similar circumstances Westerners have little actual understanding of how things happened. There is only so much that the news can explain – other factors are always at play. The establishment of a Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Egypt, for example, might have been predictable, but the real question of why is the most important. Cultural factors that emerge in dinner-table conversations are as common in the Arab world as the West, and these as much as anything else led to the revolutions that toppled long-standing governments. Social media such as blogging played a role, without a doubt, but to claim they are the sole impetus for creating social change in a region is naive. One must take full consideration of a region to understand why something happens, not just that it did.