Soros backs Egypt weekly to give Arab bloggers exposure

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The Independent Culture

A weekly magazine aiming to link Arab bloggers with politicians and the elderly was launched in Egypt on Thursday at the initiative of a women's group backed by US billionaire George Soros.

The weekly Wasla - or "The Link" - is being touted as a first for the Arab world, with plans for articles by bloggers as a way of giving them a wider readership.

It is published by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and financially supported by the Open Society Institute created by Soros, said ANHRI director Gamal Eid.

"We want to challenge our audience, and open its eyes to the changes society is experiencing, particularly through youths and blogs in which they appear," he said.

"The goal is to show the older generation that certain things exist," he said, adding as an example: "Whether we agree or not, gay communities are a reality in Egyptian and Arab societies."

The 16-page weekly will include two pages in English and will have an initial print run of 1,000 copies for distribution to political, academic, and literary circles. An electronic version will also be available.

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