Betsy Fisher

Denison '10 in Political Science and Arabic
Fulbright 2010-2011 in Jordan

I play the ukulele, teach English, read the news, and study Arabic.
I blog at

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Latest posts by Betsy Fisher

Jordan: Debating a Possible GCC Union

The announcement that Jordan and Morocco might join the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) caused an immediate shockwave of reactions. Many Jordanians were elated at the news, saying that it would lead to better economic conditions for their country. Betsy Fisher rounds up more reactions from netizens in this post.

Palestine: Demonstrations Against Occupation, For Unity

In the last several years, West Bank Palestinian villages have seen their land claimed both by Jewish settlements in the West Bank and by the security wall erected by Israel. In villages such as Nabi Saleh, Bi'lin and Ni'lin, village residents have responded by holding weekly nonviolent protests. The week after Hamas and Fatah inked their unity agreement was no exception.

Jordan: “Bring Raad Home” from Syria

Momentum is building up online to pressure the Syrian authorities to release Jordanian Raad Kawar, who has been held since April 19. The 26-year-old was in Syria returning by car from vacation in Beirut to Fuheis, Jordan, where he lives, when he was arrested. Find out what relatives and friends are doing online to push for his freedom.

Palestine: Ongoing Protests for Unity

March 15th marked the beginning of protests for unity between Palestinians and an elimination of the political divisions in Palestinian society; however, on that day, protesters were violently dispersed both in Ramallah and in Gaza. Here are some reactions from Palestinian netizens.

Palestine: Protests for National Unity

Independent youth in Palestine called for protests in Gaza and the West Bank on March 15, 2011, showing their loyalty to Palestine rather than to Hamas and Fatah. Organized through Facebook, thousands gathered in al-Katibah Square in Gaza City.

Jordan: Demands for Response to Libya Answered

  23 February 2011

Jordanians joined the rest of the world in condemning the heinous acts of Colonel Muammar Al Gaddafi against Libyans. On Twitter, their anger mounted as the government continued to remain silent. Their solidarity and calls for a reaction finally paid off, when Jordan issued a statement strongly condemning Libya's attacks on civilians.

Jordan: Societal Criticism through Humor

  18 February 2011

Participants of the hashtag #Jordanianlies are out to prove the stereotype wrong. #Jordanianlies features statements Jordanians hear that are often untrue. Thus, the hashtag uses humor to point out faults in Jordanian society. While the majority of #Jordanianlies posts center on gender relations, work situations, and everyday life, a few have ventured into political criticism.

Jordan: Tweets for Reform

  18 February 2011

For the last several weeks, Jordanians have discussed their own government and society in Twitter under the hashtag #ReformJo. The hashtag has provided an opportunity not just to criticize Jordan's government, but to provide suggestions to improve Jordan, from anti-smoking measures to educational reform to amending Jordan's constitution.

Jordan: “Egypt's Revolution. My Revolution.”

  13 February 2011

Humeid of traces his personal political journey from Jordan's 1989 political liberalization project, to his blogging career, to the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions. “If I allowed, apathy or hopelessness to creep into my mind over the past 20 years, the courage of the millions of people on the street...

Jordan: Celebrating Mubarak's Departure

  11 February 2011

In the moments following the announcement of Hosni Mubarak's stepdown, Jordanian tweeters reacted in jubilation. Moey tweeted: WE ARE PROUD OF YOU #EGYPT – SERIOUSLY, WTF #MUBARAK – I suggest Mubarak tweets #FML #Jan25 #Feb11 #Amman #JO #Arab Gaith Kawar wrote: Alf mabrouk to my Egyptian brothers… An historic day...

Jordan: Announcement of New Cabinet

  10 February 2011

A week after being appointed Jordan's next prime minister, Maarouf Bakhit announced his cabinet. Former PM Samir Rifai resigned after protests demanded he step down, citing grievances of increasing prices and the slow pace of political reforms under Rifai. The new cabinet was drawn primarily from former cabinet members, but includes leftist politicians and unionists as well as one former Muslim Brotherhood member. Netizens react to the new appointments.

Jordan: Islamists Refuse Offer to Join Government

  6 February 2011

Following meetings with Jordan's King Abdulla and an invitation to Islamists to join the cabinet of newly appointed Prime Minister Maarouf Bakhit, which the Islamists turned down, Jordanian tweeters are left scratching their heads. The discussions spilled over to Twitter, where the debate continues.

Jordan: Demonstrations for Egypt, against PM

  4 February 2011

Two separate demonstrations, held in Amman, Jordan, on Friday, February 4th, ended peacefully. This week saw King Abdullah II dismissing Prime Minister Samir Rifai, in favor of former Prime Minister Maarouf Bakhit. Still Jordanians continued to take to the streets, for reform and in solidarity with Egypt. And in a de ja vu scene, a handful of pro-government protesters clashed with those calling for change.

Jordan: Reactions to a New Prime Minister

  1 February 2011

Jordan has seen several weeks of peaceful protests asking for a change in government led by Prime Minister Samir Rifai. These protests were aimed at relief from high prices which are increasing due to decreased government subsidies and increased taxes. Given Jordan's high public debt, running at 62.4% of GDP,...