It’s a good time to be reading CyberOrient, a open access, peer-reviewed online journal of the virtual Middle East. Started in 2006, the journal is sponsored by the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association and based at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. In the words of journal Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Martin Varisco:

The main purpose of this electronic journal is to provide a forum to explore cyberspace both as an imaginary forum in which only representation exists and as a technology that is fundamentally altering human interaction and communication. The next generation will take e-mail, websites and instant availability via cell-phones as basic human rights. Internet cafes may someday rival fast-food restaurants and no doubt will profitably merge together in due time. Yet, despite the advances in communication technology real people in the part of the world once called an “Orient” are still the victims of stereotypes and prejudicial reporting. Their world is getting more and more wired, so cyberspace becomes the latest battleground for the hearts and minds of people everywhere.

The current issue features: The Islam-Online Crisis: A Battle of Wasatiyya vs. Salafi Ideologies?; Overcoming the Digital Divide: The Internet and Political Mobilization in Egypt and Tunisia; Beyond the Traditional-Modern Binary: Faith and Identity in Muslim Women’s Online Matchmaking Profiles; New Media and Social-political Change in Iran; e-Islam: the Spanish Public Virtual Sphere, and a book review of Vit Sissler’s Islam Dot Com: Contemporary Discourses in Cyberspace.

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