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Clubhouse app creates space for open conversation in the Middle East

Clubhouse policy prohibits users from recording conversations without participants’ consent, but the company says it is temporarily recording audio to investigate reports of policy violations. He did not specify who can listen to such recordings, or when.

A spokesperson for the Clubhouse declined to comment.

Yet something about the spontaneous and intimate nature of conversations – open to everyone, regardless of fame or number of followers – continues to draw people in. Away from government propaganda, Clubhouse allows Qataris unhindered access to their Saudi neighbors after years of bitter feuds between their countries. and the access of Egyptians to defenders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“People have longed for this type of communication for a long time, but I don’t think they realized it until they started using Clubhouse,” said Tharwat Abaza, 28, an Egyptian dentist who said he listened. rooms discuss sexual harassment. , feminism, the need for sex education in Arab countries and mental health. “At this point it’s one of the freest platforms out there, and it leaves us room for some important discussions that we should be having without fear of the witch hunt.

There are, of course, plenty of less crowded Clubhouse rooms in the Middle East, discussing penguin cuteness, entrepreneurship, recipes, breakups, and music. During the holy month of Ramadan, users in some countries offer live Quran recitations and common prayer rooms.

But while the Clubhouse can function as a group therapy, talk show, house party, or seminar, it stands out for its political potential.

In Iran, despite the low turnout forecast ahead of the June 18 presidential election, the election-focused Clubhouse rooms are among the most popular. Thousands of people are participating daily at a time when the in-person campaign is limited by the pandemic.

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