This lecture explores the social, cultural or political transformations currently being brought about by the spreading influence of the Internet in the Arab world.

The Internet in the Arab region is evolving despite an important digital gap between countries and among regions. The Gulf region, where the Internet infrastructure is currently the most developed and still developing, was not amongst the early Internet adopters. However this region is home to the most rapidly transforming societies. These transformations are challenging the quotidian of Arab Internet users and affecting the articulation of their community at a social, cultural or political level. The Majlis, the heretofore traditional location for social gatherings, is moving to online communities and social media platforms. The patriarchal family structure is morphing towards a structure that enables individual empowerment; and political attitudes are changing patterns from the quasi-passive to the active and participatory. Thus, a new online habitus is shaping the lives of young khalijis in their networked communities. This lecture will shed some light on these transformations while using results from the Emirates Internet Project.