Sunday, June 18, 2006

Why the "soccer" Gods will never smile on the US

Besides calling the sport by the damn wrong name, this is what the local ABC affiliate decided to broadcast instead of Brazil Vs. Australia.


Their sports director was nice enough to reply to my email..

I wish I had a better answer than the one I will give you. Our station has partnered with Messiah Lutheran Church for more than 20 years to bring a church service to those who aren't able to go, and out of respect for that partnership we've chosen to tape delay the soccer matches that run during that time. They will be shown Sunday night after our 10:00 news, but I know that is not the same as seeing them live.

Thank God for free to air satellite television, an Iranian station called Tapesh, and most of all a friend nice enough to come to the office and open his business on a Sunday just for me to watch the game. Bill, thanks bud I owe you one.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

JP home to more than 100 blogs

Jordan Planet (JP) has been rapidly growing over the last year, when I joined back in July 2005 the number of blogs on JP was in the teens 30s, today with the latest induction of a fresh batch of blogs we've surpassed the 100 blog mark, which is a major milestone.

JP has matured into a cohesive entity in the global blogoshpere and one feels a true sense of community among the planet citizens. Some of the milestones in JP's life up to this one include the first meetup, which grew into a monthly event attracting a growing number of citizens, expats, and readers, another is a Wikipedia article that Naseem eloquently composed. Like other blogger communities, JP citizens stepped up and voiced their opinions on major events throughout the last year, most notable are the November 9th attacks on Amman and the Danish cartoons controversy, both issues got huge international attention and provided exposure for JP bloggers, the world is indeed listening. At least 4 of JP citizens are editors for Global Voices and they do an excellent job of highlighting JP bloggers' reactions to world events, names that come to mind include Naseem Tarawneh, Shaden Abdul Rahman, Roba Assi, and Haitham Sabbah. Another important step was adding a healthy serving of Arabic blogs to the planet after the blog list was dominated by English blogs, there are at least 9 Arabic blogs on the planet now and hopefully that number will continue to grow and encourage more Jordanians to blog.

Looking into the future, I hope JP continues its growth not only in blog numbers, but also in influence, readership, variety of topics, and representation for a larger slice of the Jordanian community.

Finally I'd like to welcome all the new citizens, with the now traditional, Welcome to The Planet, I'm looking forward to reading your posts. To JP, best wishes for continued success, I can only imagine how proud Isam is.

وعقبال ال 1000 مدوّنة :)

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi's death

A piece of good news from a sea of tragedy in Iraq. One shouldn't rejoice in the end of life, and I wouldn't describe my feelings as happy but that of reflection on the crimes this person committed and the suffering he brought upon so many lives.

The Arabic concept of "revenge" comes to mind, or what we call in Arabic Thar, it is an old Arabic custom that the family of a victim will not accept condolences for his death until the killer has met the same fate, or has been brought to justice. After Jordan announced the capture of an Al Qaueda thug who was an associate of Zarqawi and apparently responsible for the killing of a Jordanian citizen who traveled to Iraq for business, I was really shocked to see the king and queen go and offer condolences to the family of the deceased. The family in interviews thanked the king for taking Thar on their behalf.

No news about Al Qaueda or Zarqawi would be complete without a mention of a Al Jazeera, I was surprised to not find a picture of Zarqawi's body on Al Jazeera's website, although they are notorious for their lack of censorship. While writing this post the picture was shown but under an article about how publishing the picture is another American violation to the Geneva Convention, ah give me a freaking break!

The news about Jordanian Intelligence playing a part to bring the end of Zarqawi is a bonus and hopefully can bring closure to the families of the Amman hotel bombings. Good riddance.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

ثقافة الخوف في الأمثال الأردنية

كأردني على مشارف إنهاء عقدي الثالث، تربيت على أمثال و مقولات كُرِّرت و تكَرَّرت على مسمعي حتى اصبحت جزأًً لا يتجزأ من كياني، ولو أخذت عيِّنة من الشباب الأردني لوجدت أن الحال مشابه لمعظمهم
أتكلم عن الأمثال الكلاسيكية ك

امشِ الحيط الحيط و قول يالله الستيره
الباب اللِّي بيجيك منهْ الريح، سدُّهٌ واستريح
ابعد عن الشر وغنّيله
حط راسك بين الروس وقول يا قطّاع الروس
الموت مع الناس نعاس

this post has been in draft for a good two months, and I guess the only way to finish it is to do so in English, so here goes.

The list of such proverbs goes on, and every one of them is an endorsement of the status quo, and a stern warning against individuality and even standing up for oneself. I wonder, when exactly did speaking up about certain issues become a taboo in our society? If it became a taboo due to certain circumstances, are these circumstances still there? Are the younger generations being subjected to the same fear culture that mine lived in?

I sure hope that our society is freer now, and that our young country has grown to protect the freedom of her citizens.