Monday, December 22, 2003

Day 4, Dec. 12.
It was the last day of the Summit, and I had to stories to report on in that day, both of them were generally about bridging the digital divine. So I went and spoke to people I needed/wanted to speak to, took information I needed/wanted. Then I went back to my place, and started editing. (You can find all stories I reported at the Al-Muajaha website
After that, I wandered in the exhibition area of the WSIS that included all the companies and corporations that were related and/or interested in the Summit. I got/took/stole lots of things from the stands there, some of them was useful… but it was fun in general to collect all these things.
At about 6:00 pm, about a 100 journalist –including me– were attending the closing conference of the Summit, hosted by the Chairman of the WSIS, and 3 other members of so-called managing board. They talked generally about how great and unique the Summit was, and their hopes of having better steps in information society within the next 2 years and until Phase 2 of the Summit in Tunis 2005. After the chairman finished his speech, the coordinator gave a green card to media to ask. Journalists started to fire their questions towards the managing board of the WSIS, I had a question in my mind and I stayed raising my hand all the time… but nobody called for me till the end of the conference, and immediately then I stood up and launched my question against the chairman. My question was “Mr. President, how dare you hope to have a better step in information society in phase 2 in Tunis, while here, in Geneva, we’ve all seen these violations against the freedom of expression inside the WSIS?” He said nothing but asked me to give him examples. I replied telling him about the Tunisian Paper and about Indymedia people who tried to enter some posters about their actions, but the Swiss soldiers at the checkpoint of the main entrance of the WSIS did not allow them to enter their posters and flyers, and took all the flyers instead. The Chairman did not say a word. But at that moment, one of the managing board stood to answer me saying that they knew about such events happening inside the WSIS and it is so sad to know that and they will try to fix the situation. (!)
We all –Iraqis and Iranians– went to celebrate the end of the WSIS, we had dinner at an Indonesian restaurant and it was good. At mid-night I excused from my fellows and went to Indymedia’s because they had a party, too.

I reached the palladium and found that the party was over, and they were all packing up their stuffs because the city was not ‘sorry’ for them anymore after the end of the WSIS. Yet, I enjoyed the last moments of their party… then they had to look for a place for me to stay, because I checked out from the hotel I stayed at after a big quarrel with the crew there. I ended up sleeping in one of the squats in Geneva with more than 20 other people. Still, it was cool!
I stayed for 3 more days in Geneva, were from the best days in my life… I learnt a lot from these guys. I learnt how to have a self-conscious in me, how to be creative, to be independent, free, to look in depth for the truth, and of course, how to go dumpster diving!

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