Jordanian Blogosphere: An Iris Also Blooms

The seasons are moving forward, the weather is moving forward, and the clocks have all sprung forward for spring. But controversy is in the air these past few weeks on the Jordanian blogosphere…

The Arab Observer has a bone to pick with people who harass women on the street, while Hala looks at the double standards of so called ‘honor crimes’ in Jordan. Meanwhile, Tamara tuned into a local religious radio station only to shocked to hear a sheik legitimizing female circumcision, calling it mandatory in Islam!

“Using an official radio station to legitimize female genital mutilation is outrageous. When the sheikh said that it is mandatory in Islam, he showed his own ignorance of the religion.”

Elsewhere, the yet to be launched Jordanian channel ATV will host a show called “Ween el Modeir”, an Arabized version of “Boss Swap”. The first company on the pilot episode will be Menhaj, where blogger Amjad Mahfouz works as the Multimedia Director! Meanwhile Frances Goodman is on the search for Jordan's national flower, the Black Iris, across the kingdom.

(The Black Iris. Photo Courtesy: Frances Goodman)

Religiously speaking: Easter can sometimes be passed off as another commercialized holiday, some Jordanian bloggers prove celebrating Easter in Jordan can be a spiritual experience.

“I don't want a Jewish doctor to see me”

The request from Hareega's sick patient in Arizona was a bit shocking to him, forcing him to conclude: “If I refuse to be discriminated against I should not accept it to others and prevent it if possible. Racism is racism is racism.” Naseem has his own struggles with the “J” word.

Kilany got a wake up call from a man in Jordan's northern city, Ajloun, that reminded him of the many people living in poverty outside our capital, Amman. “There must be something to be done… Jordan is not only Amman, it is certainly not only West Amman… we sometimes forget that”. Meanwhile, blogger Rain Dancer met a man from another northern city, Jerash, who complained that the municipality had sprayed for bugs amongst the famous Roman ruins and in the process prevented wildflowers from growing.

(Spring in Jordan. Photo Courtesy of Lina Ejailat)

In the political arena: the new political parties law has been met with a lot of resentment by the opposition. Jordanian bloggers give their take on the reaction to the law and what it will mean for the upcoming elections.

While Naseem finds the government's anti-child labor campaigns a bit hypocritical, Khalaf points to another instance of hypocrisy with the government's inability to handle corruption in Jordan despite their anti-corruption calls:

“Now, the failure of the grand scheme to eradicate corruption gives pause. Does not corruption exist in Jordan? Are the wrong cases focused on, in order to hide real corruption? How useful are General Accounting Bureau reports? It seems that upon follow up, many of their allegations do not add up to real corruption.”

In light of the King's decision to scrap two public holidays earlier this year, Qwaider asks: “What is so wrong with employees getting some time off?” Meanwhile, Mohanned is confused over the mixed signals the government has been sending regarding energy policies.

Haitham Sabbah has plenty to talk about when it comes to Palestine and history this month as April is the graveyard of the Jenin and Deir Yassin massacres, while Iman has a word or two to say about an anti-occupation ad that was initially refused for being “inflammatory”.

Arabian Business magazine released its annual Power 100: a list of the world's most influential Arabs. While Lina searches for reasons to explain the presence of only two Jordanians on the list, Batir thinks the list has missed some key Arab personalities.

In other news: Lina has just recently read Abdul Rahman Munif's book “Story of a City” that tells the story of Amman in the 1940's; pushing her to look at Jordan's capital in a different way. Read her interesting review.

(At the Bazaars in Amman, circa 1958. Photo Courtesy of Natasha Tynes)

A Moroccan film festival has chosen filmmaker Rifqi Assaf's “The Last Patch” to be a part of the programme, while Samer has launched a new events section on his blog to keep track of the cultural happenings around town.

Ahmad Humeid has an interesting post on the strange branding practices in Jordan that range from the cultural to the religious. And lastly, a few weeks ago the French Cultural Center launched Le Carnaval in Jabal Lwebdeh and Salam has an interesting review of the event complete with a variety of pictures.

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