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Nadav Samin – Drawn Together, Set Apart: Divergent Uses of the Web in Saudi Arabia

Thursday, April 21, 2011
12:30 pm


Sherrerd Hall, 3rd floor open space
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States + Google Map

Food and discussion begins at 12:30 pm. Everyone invited.

Since its introduction in 1999, the Internet has accelerated the development of public dialogue in Saudi Arabia. My talk will introduce two groups of Internet users in the kingdom: Saudi youth bloggers and web activists, and tribal Internet forum users and administrators. While no neat dividing line separates them, both groups are engaged in the formation of individual and communal identities via the Internet. I will argue that discussion forums are more conducive to the collective identity of the tribe, while personalizable applications like blogs and Facebook serve more readily to promote individual identity.


Nadav Samin is a doctoral candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, where he is working on the historical meaning and contemporary significance of genealogy and tribalism in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Samin’s articles include a review and analysis of debates on tribal Internet discussion forums in the kingdom. In addition, he has interviewed Saudi bloggers and discussion forum administrators about the role of the Internet in Saudi society. Previously, he was an Arabic translator and a lecturer in Political Science at Hunter College in New York City. Mr. Samin holds degrees from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and New York University.