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Jordan: To Palestine, With Love

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Jordan, Palestine, Digital Activism, Disaster, Human Rights, Technology

Bloggers in Jordan, where a majority of people are descended from Palestinians, wrote extensively about issues in the West Bank and the Middle East this week. Jaraad [1] asks “Who Spreads the News?”

When an unknown pastor of a small church in Florida with only 50 (some even say 30)congregation members announced that he will burn the Quran in September 11, 2010 both Muslims and Christians were enraged. Christians wrote thousands of article defending their religion from such abhorrent act and Muslims wrote, tweeted, blogged about this, will be/will do, act. In some Muslim countries riots erupted and people were killed. The pastor is happy because he got his 15 minutes of fame and Muslims are happy now because the Quran is not burnt.

Case closed.

But, why when Jewish settlers burn a mosque and many copies of Quran both Jews and Muslims chose to be silent? Why we didn’t read tweets, facebook pages, and blogs about the actually-happened-crime? Unlike Florida’s Pastor wants-to-burn-Quran, this time Jewish settlers burned a mosque and copies of Quran.
My question is why the want-to-be-famous Florida Pastor got all the attention he wanted and more but when Jews actually burned a mosque and Qurans mouths are zipped? Who and what made the Florida Pastor story a worldwide news? Why there was so much talks, discussions and debates about this story?

With all the communication technology we have right now the world is becoming like a small village . Still news is spread selectively.

Arab Crunch [2] wrote about a new iPhone app [3] that uses Google mapping technology. In answer to Jaraad's concerns, this app puts ongoing developments directly into the hands of interested consumers:

Facts on the Ground enables users to view and filter Jewish Settlements based on areas that have full or partial control by Palestinian authority…the year it was established, population, ideology (or lack of), character (secular or religious), amount of ‘private Palestinian land’ it occupies, and a graph that tracks its population growth.

This is another example how iPhone and google maps have been used for social causes.

Other bloggers discuss ways to be involved in relief efforts for Gaza. AquaCool [4] praises her friend who is cycling from Pisa to Rome in order to [5]

spread world wide awareness concerning the suffering of the people of Gaza, and to raise funds for the Welfare Association‘s many humanitarian projects addressed to the Palestinian people…Let’s all support Mishal and help him reach his target, to be able to help Gaza and its people.

Others are supporting or personally joining the convoys that are attempting to break the naval blockade of Gazan ports. KinziBlogs [6] writes the following tribute:

Our sweet dentist … has been teaching fifth year Gazan dental students on-line! She was able to use her gifting, her talents, and her experience to benefit liked-gifted students in a very difficult situation. She said is has been a joy, and soon, she will be meeting them for the first time, bringing instruments and assessing the dental equipment being used there.
… she told me she would be joining the 5th Lifeline Convoy. Are you inspired?

Aboudism [7] is himself joining a convoy. He wrote on October 5th:

In a few hours I will be joining the Global Life Line 5 (Vivapalestina) “Sharyan Al Haya 5″ in its trip to Gaza…I go there today with mixed feelings, excitement, responsibilities and obligations back home, family and love left behind, among many other things.

Nobody knows how long this trip will take. Nobody knows if will get stuck in Latakia, or if we will get stuck in the middle of the sea. The only thing that I am sure of is that I feel that I have to be part of this global movement to end this siege on Gaza.

On Oct 6th, he updated [8] from Turkey. His group fell behind schedule in Syria where:

We had to make a stop in each governorate for a small reception from the governed. This was very time consuming and it made run very late. Despite all the difficulties of driving at night in such roads and accompanying the convoy, it felt different to see all these people gathered to wave their hands to you, and to see that somebody is admiring your work and that your efforts are already being valued.

This focus is not unique to this week. Jordanian bloggers continually focus on the West Bank and Gaza, demonstrating Jordanians support for the Palestinian people.