Jordan: Nine Crimes & Other September Stories

It's September. The weather is still wonderfully warm, while the cool air moves swiftly between trees that are preparing to shed their leaves. Ramadan is just around the corner and there's a lot to talk about on the Jordanian blogosphere.

However, it's only right to start with the biggest story; the one that has dominated our humble blogosphere lately.

“9 Miserable Days” was the title of Jordanian blogger Who Sane‘s post, where he told an unfortunate personal story involving the mysterious disappearance of his father, leading his family to expect the worse. With his cell phone turned off, it took nearly nine days to find him. Who-Sane‘s father had spent a total of nine days at the (public) Prince Hamzah Hospital where he was subjected to the massive unprofessionalism that left him sick, bed-ridden, unfed, unbathed and cut off from the world. The hospital is still new yet it took several visits and inquiries during the comprehensive search to discover that no one on the staff had really bothered to check if Who-Sane‘s father was actually a patient there before denying his existence.

Thankfully his father was transferred to another hospital where he is currently recovering but in the process, Who-Sane‘s story inspired the biggest mobilization of the Jordanian blogosphere to date.

Over 50 Jordanian bloggers discussed the issue on their own blogs, trackbacking to the original post and building enough momentum to reach the local media via Jordanian blogger and journalist Batir Wardam. Soon after, the newly-appointed Minister of Health gave direct orders to form an investigation team.

The story and its outcome is a milestone for the Jordanian blogosphere, marking the first time that the local media and blogs have entwined to produce actual tangible results. From this author, comes a special thanks to all those Jordanian bloggers who helped make that a reality.

In other news…

It's seems to be a growing phenomenon in Amman and while some might argue that it's always been around, one thing's for sure, it has definitely become more public than ever before. From prostitution and neighborhood sexual escapades (that are sometimes a little too public) to the changing art of flirting, the phenomenon has come to personify the sexual revolution Amman has been experiencing lately.

In broad daylight, a Range Rover stops, a hot chick dressed amazingly, with quality hairdo, excellent quality makeup and fancy handbag steps down. Walks few feet to another parked car gets in, and the car speeds off. Twenty five minutes later, the scene repeats. [Qwaider]

Khaled wonders how pirated copies of movies, software and games have become normalized in Jordan. Meanwhile, Issa takes a look at the Battle For Haditha, a movie shot in his hometown of Jerash that sheds light on the infamous tragic massacre that took place in Iraq.

The grass may not be so green here but Naseem discusses what it means to be part of an inevitably evolving Jordan while the Arab Environment Blog celebrates its first year.

Shaden talks about the visual depression of Jordanian fashion trends that lack color, while Roba has a bone to pick with the visual spammers of Amman, that include some of the biggest names in the country's private sector.

Photo Courtesy of Roba Assi

Meanwhile, Lina reviews Sultana, a controversial (and previously banned) novel by Ghalib Halassah. “Reading it was quite an interesting experience for me,” says Lina, “it depicts an aspect of village life that defies the norm, and then it takes you into Amman in the late 40’s and early 50’s, at a time of its political and social formation.”

On 7iber Dot Com, Jordan's online citizen-media project, Naseem Tarawnah discusses the hacking of jailed ex-MP Ahmad Oweidi's website while Wendy Merdian writes about Ramadan from an outsider's view.

“Picture of the Day” – Photo Courtesy of Hadeel

It may be a bit morbid but Moey cooks up a post on something that everyone has thought about at least once: blogger mortality. What if a blog you regularly visit stops being updated and little do you know it's because the blogger died? Moey offers us this poem:

A Bloggers Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep, All my passwords at my feet.
If I should die before I wake, Blog for me, for heaven’s sake.

Politically Speaking:

In the political realms of the Jordanian blogosphere Batir Wardam links to an article outlining Jordan's nuclear aspirations for 2015. Nuclear energy has been the talk of the town lately, as promises of an energy independent Jordan are said to be met by 2030. Khalaf and Jad look at the government's move to cut back its subsidies on livestock feed that led to mass protests and contributed to a runaway budget Ahmad Humeid is in search of new political forces. “In a country where some Facebook groups have more members than most political parties, isn’t it time for new types of political forces to emerge?” Ahmad asks.

Naseem Tarawnah wonders if The Jordan Times made a propagandistic mistake by the use of the words “Free and Fair” in describing a US House resolution commending Jordan for its municipal elections. Ahmad Ghashmary writes of a Jordanian MP from the Islamic Brotherhood, who was attacked and had part of his beard shaved off.

Qwaider isn't too happy about the Greater Amman Municipality's campaign of removing olive trees all over the city that are planted in the middle of sidewalks. Meanwhile, Shifaa wonders if Shaker Youssef Al-Absi, the fugitive leader of the Fatah al-Islam militants who was recently killed in Lebanon, should be buried in Jordan in accordance with his family's wishes.


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  • secratea

    Thanks Naseem for this overview of the main issues concerning the Jordanian blogsphere lately!
    sa7ee7, Happy Ramadan to all!

  • Naseem, thank you for shedding more light on this. Spreading the word and forwarding the post to officials and members of the royal family has indeed produced tangible results and we’re still waiting to see the results of the investigation that is still in effect.

    Our blogosphere can be strong when united and united it was. I have no doubt that the strength can be honed to achieve a better Jordan, perhaps someone should seriously start thinking about that.

    But all in all, the Minister’s visit and the King’s incognito visit to the hospital gave us hope that satisfactory results will be achieved, and I hope this will be the reason for better medical services. Thanks again and I hope that no one will have to suffer what we went through.

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