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From the Jordanian Blogosphere

The Jordanian bloggers are angry over the attack on Islamic, particularly Shi'aa, monument the Askariya Shrine, some of them are comparing the unneeded reactions from Muslims towards the Danish cartoon fiasco to the current apartheid at the ruination of a 1200 year old mosque. Mazen Arafat says, “Where is the MORAL outrage, the demonstrations, the demand for moral rectitude and neighborly decency between two communities? Why aren't Sunnis on the street saying: whatever the anxieties we may harbor as a result of the seismic shifts in power between the two communities of Islam, we are outraged and demand justice? I smell rot in the lack of anger, of a moral sensitivity that knows how to order the significance of things: cartoons by insular Danes designed to have a laugh at the expense of a minority is not worth more moral outrage than a vicious and cynical attempt to launch civil war by destroying a holy shrine.” Haitham Sabbah agrees, “Shame on you Muslims. Shame that you protest over the Dane cartoons yet shut-up on the Human/Muslim flesh cartoons.” Meanwhile, Roba Al-Assi wonders, “Why should such architectural treasures, that should be not only Iraqi treasures but also international treasures, suffer from the political struggles?”

On a brighter side, the Jordanian blogosphere is relieved to know that Jordanian embassy driver kidnapped two months ago by Iraqi militants, Mahmoud Saedat, has been freed, and everyone is praying for the safe return of Jill Carroll.

With the issues regarding the national budget being laid out on the table, the Jordanian economy is being scruntized. Batir Wardam says, “After the black comedy of the Parliament's vote on the public budget last week, I have to admit that I am ashamed, as a Jordanian citizen and voter, of the low professional quality of the Parliamentarian process and of course, the shallowness of the majority of its members.” Rami from Rami's Mirror has some observations on the state of the Jordanian economy, and Khalaf writes about the government's plans to spend 50 to 60 million dinars a year to help low income families deal with rising fuel prices. Madas criticizes local issues relating to brand sensitivity and self-esteem, saying, “Do we even imagine and those who make Zara’s clothing are even remotely more efficient or more competent than our own women? It made me wonder if we could ever learn to trust our own initiatives and maybe the magic word to solve our own problem is indeed… self esteem!”  Apparently though, the Jordanian IT industry is doing well. The guys over at Techhash report about this year's East Med Developers Conference.

Sealing issues pertaining to the economy with technology, let's move over to Natasha Tynes, who has a feature on the state of blogging in the Arab world in G21, which has exploded in 2005. This month, one initiative that has evolved from the Jordanian blogosphere is the online Jordan Planet book club – the members are are currently discussing Diana Abu Jaber's novel Crescent.

The Jordanian bloggers are also looking at other types of media. Rami Abdul-Rahman presents a comparative study on the coverage of the assassination of Palestinian Ahmad Abu-Sharia to illustrate how Middle Eastern news services (Palestinian, Israeli, Jordanian, and Al-Jazeera) use different labels and terminology for the two sides of the conflict. In his conclusion, he says, “After looking into the similarities and differences in the coverage of the assassination of Abu-Shariah, one would read that there are political agendas behind every story, except in the case of Aljazeera TV, where the agenda does not seem to be as apparent as others.”

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