CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Save the date. The next installment of the long-running Festival of Ideas sponsored by The Charleston Gazette and West Virginia University will be at 7:30 p.m. April 4 at the state Culture Center in the Capitol Complex. The free public lectures add thought-provoking discussions to the cultural life of the mid-Kanawha Valley.
"The Revolution Will Be Tweeted: Social Media and Free Speech in the Middle East" is the topic to be analyzed by a panel of international experts, who will comment on the "Arab Spring" wave of public uprisings against dictators in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and other spots. The speakers will focus on the role of Facebook and other Internet sites that unite and rally protesters.
Scheduled participants are Andy Carvin of National Public Radio's social media desk; Cairo-based journalist Issandr El Amrani; Jillian York, a free expression specialist of the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Jigar Mehta, president of the South Asia Journalist Association; and Nasser Weddady, a human rights officer of the American Islamic Congress.Since 1999, the Gazette-WVU series has brought numerous historians, journalists, writers, poets, political analysts and other scholars to Charleston to broaden public awareness of crucial topics.