Back before I started up this blog, I was reading the Sandmonkey. Sandmonkey provided a fascinating look into another culture, another nation, and a really sharp mind.
As his blog became ever more popular, Sandmonkey became an internet celebrity--ever quotable, pro-US but independent, Arab but cosmopolitan. But he hadn't set out to be an archetype, a role model, or a media darling. He never claimed to speak for anyone but himself, he just wrote. And what he wrote was exciting, if at turns random, frivolous, heartbreaking, and deadly serious.
The attention of course, changed his self-awareness and so it changed his blog. I imagine this must have been confusing, exhilarating, and frustrating all at once--a responsibility thrust upon him.
Now Sandmonkey's called it quits. From what I understand, he is going to focus on real efforts towards genuine change, and he has also realized that perhaps he has pushed the effort too far in terms of his safety. His anonymity fading, he needs to consider how best to work towards a better future for himself and his country. Perhaps other efforts are worth the risk, but the blog just is not--not right now.
I hope one day I will get a chance to meet him, now that I am moving back to New York. Regardless, he is an interesting person who has the talent and passion to make a difference in this world.
I will miss his voice in the blogosphere...