Walid Al-Saqaf is a Senior Lecturer at Södertörn University in Stockholm where he specializes in the use of the Internet and media technology for journalism, access to information, freedom of expresssion and public good. As a dual Yemeni/Swedish citizen, his passion is in promoting a strong and open Internet that netizens can build bridges between cultures and promote democratization and free speech across the globe.
In 2007, he launched YemenPortal.net as the first news aggregator and search engine of its kind in the Arab world. When the website was blocked by the Yemeni government in 2008 due to its open platform that allowed dissident voices to be heard, he developed Alkasir website censorship mapping circumvention solution. It became widely used by Internet users in many states such as Iran, Syria, China and Saudi Arabia to bypass website filtering in those countries. Featured by CNN, the Guardian, the Huffington Post and other media, Walid’s work was particularly useful during the Arab Spring