March 29, 2009
March 28, 2009
There will also be a candlelit march in Rainbow St. in Jabal Amman at 8.30.
The irony is that I have two electric circuits exams tomorrow. Ugh.
March 27, 2009
[Cartoon shows Abu Mahjoob welcoming and baptizing Tony Blaire with filthy water in the baptism site, with the minister of water on the other side announcing that the contaminated waters did not affect the drinking water and were rerouted to the Jordan River.]
The cartoon spurred the catholic union to send a letter to Alghad's editor denouncing the cartoon because of the "hurtful insinuations it carries that offend not only Christians, but every good-willed citizen", also mentioning that this isn't the first time they've been offended by a Hajjaj cartoon.
This in turn caused Hajjaj to post a clarification on his website, that the caricature was not in any way a mockery of Christians or their traditions, but a sarcastic commentary of how the minister of water and irrigation announced that the water contaminated by Israel was disposed of in the Jordan river just a few days after the opening of the baptism center with Tony Blair attending the ceremony.
[On a completely unrelated note, this is the 100th post on this blog!]
March 24, 2009
So here's a start. Join in Kinzi's initiative to flood the Jordan Times with emails about the subject expressing our anger. Just send in whatever feelings you have about this subject at email@example.com.
I've attached here Narmeen Murad's article in the Jordan Times.
A father and his two underage sons tortured and killed their 19-year-old daughter and sister because she reportedly was caught wearing makeup while out on an errand with her younger brother. Her uncle, who caught her apparently walking in an area other than the one she said she was going to, brought her back to her father and reported her “crime”.I want to repeat this news. A young girl, a teenager, was relentlessly beaten with water hoses mercilessly and continuously by three men until she died. Initial reports indicate that the police arrested the three after she was declared dead by the doctor. The father, who led the two-hour beatings, shared his hose with his underage sons and encouraged them to join in the beating. Now this has been designated as an “honour crime”.Welcome to Jordan in the 21st century. This case underlines the paradox of messages from this apparently modern country that has taken a leading position in the region with its progress despite its limited resources, yet still allows its human resources and future to remain hostage to archaic practices that have no relevance to the majority of society.
Parliament has rejected amendments to a law that would have banned the use of a ‘fit of fury’ clause to stop the practice of letting the perpetrators of crimes against women go free. Instead they have continued to support heartless and unnecessary murder, which is masked as a claim to have cleansed the honour of their families. This is the same Parliament that has failed women repeatedly thereby institutionalising open discrimination and the subordination of women to their male “guardians” as well as condoning violence against women.The fact that Parliament does not fairly represent the makeup of society not only serves to maintain the integrity, and therefore supremacy, of only a certain category of people in the country politically - which is obviously the aim of the legislator - but it also allows this mentality to continue derailing all efforts to improve the legal status of women in the Kingdom. This Parliament, which was elected to serve all the people, has silenced half of the population because of their gender.Women activists, including some of the most influential women in the country, have spoken out and advocated against what can only be described as stark legislative discrimination against women in Jordan, to no avail. The reason behind their failure is not that “society” is intrinsically against these changes, but because the cause of women has not been taken up by our male leaders who have left gender issues to women and forgot that it is the responsibility of societies as a whole to ensure that all members of that society are treated fairly and with justice.When was the last time the prime minister made statements about improving the situation of women in Jordan? When was the last time the government intervened with Parliament and used its considerable clout to ensure the passing of laws that would change the lives of women for the better? Clearly there is no political will to improve the status of women in Jordan or even extend them the minimum protection against violence and inexplicable discrimination. As long as that political will is absent there will be no change.An adult woman has the right to make choices in her life including personal ones. We all know this. We all know that men and women are equal in their humanity, their intelligence and their needs. We all know that it is not acceptable for any man to use force on a woman. We all know that the majority of Jordanians would not stand by idly and quietly and watch a woman being beaten to death without stepping in to stop it or even prevent it in the first place.If we the people can’t stand to watch murder being perpetrated, how long are we going to accept that the government does exactly this? The government is watching the murder it has condoned.Every single member of the Cabinet and every single senior official and every single journalist, judge, lawyer, activist and citizen who isn’t doing something to stop this “horror show” of crime against women, is doing exactly that: watching the long episode of torture and murder without batting an eyelid or lifting a finger. We watched this show 18 times last year. We have watched it seven times already this year. In every show a human being is robbed of their chance at life by an apathetic society.
I think we should all be ashamed of ourselves.
I really admire her courage to candidly speak about this. All I have to add is this: for all of you in a position of power, shame on you. From leadership to government to the parliament, shame on you. Do something. ANYTHING.
March 23, 2009
Also check this bloopers video, it's hilarious!
March 19, 2009
I didn't expect to become a cynic so soon.
March 12, 2009
But it's not pointless. Not for me. Everybody knows there can be dire consequences and we are all reminded of that very often. But we HAVE to say something because otherwise we're basically pretending to live in this bubble where everything is okay and it's not. There can be no progress whatsoever if people are unable to criticize whatever it is that determines their lives. How can you NOT speak out when you're not okay with how things are decided for YOU?
“We are at a point where the state isn’t being tested to the extent of which it should when it comes to free speech online, and those boundaries need to be pushed. As Jordanians, we should be taking the opportunity to use the net in a manner that allows us to critically analyze our country from a political, economic, social and cultural perspective - constantly.”
And that's why I will continue to speak out. I don't mean you should go on bashing people but how about we start thinking about how our lives are being run? We are lucky that we have the opportunity to speak. And we should use it.
I've been thinking for a while about how I could possibly explain why I love Jordan, but I'm still not sure how I can.
It's the place I will always come back to.
March 8, 2009
““In Jordan there will be no detention of any journalist for carrying out his/her duty.”
“Detention of journalists is prohibited. I do not see a reason for detaining a journalist because he/she wrote something” or for expressing a view."
King Abdullah/November 2008
Today, Journalist Khalid Mahadeen, was referred to court by the general prosecutor, for "defamation" after criticizing the privileges given to parliament members in this ONLINE article. I may, therefore, want to choose my words carefully, but nah, the hell with it, just explain this to me. Are the King's words considered bupkis now? He says something one day, and the next day people do the EXACT OPPOSITE?? If people are scared shitless of opening their mouths when it comes to royalty, how come there's no inclination to implementing what is being said every couple of months?
Sky's the limit, eh?
Tell that to Mahadeen while he's being dragged through courts and humiliating interrogations, probably to be eventually paid off at some point.
March 7, 2009
About a week ago, a recommendation to raise Parliament Members salaries from JD2500 to JD4500 was approved. This took place during a meeting between Lower House Speaker Abdul Hadi Majali and Prime Minister Nader Dahabi, who not only approved it, but encouraged it as well. But such a raise, if instated, is suspected to be faced with objection from the majority of the members.
This is because Parliament members who are eligible to a pension before having become a member of the Parliament can combine both their pension and the member's salary, which definitely amounts to more than JD4500. This is applicable to about 75 members- those who reached retirement from previous jobs. With the rest feeling all left out, the government sees this raise, provided that combining the salaries is no longer allowed, as a solution to those feelings of hostility and resentment among parliament members, resulting from the "whose salary is higher" complex. This "solution" will cost an extra 1 million JDs, paid for by janabna, the taxpayers.
Getting elected into the parliament is quite the lucrative business. Not only do they receive two huge salaries, one of which encounters a raise at least twice a year (last raise was in June), but they also receive university scholarships, an exemption from duty tax, which they can sell, and a quota for Hajj. And for what? Working a maximum of 5 months a year for 4 years (mostly spent fighting with one another).
And if you haven't heard already, the ministers of the new government have doubled their salaries from JD1500 to JD3000.
We should all be mad as hell. And we shouldn't take this shit anymore.