February 2, 2010

We've Moved!

After about a year and a half of being on Blogger, I've decided it's time to move this blog to Wordpress as I find their themes neater and more comfortable for reading. So if you're one of the blog readers, please follow me to:


See you there!

January 25, 2010


I don't know whose brilliant idea this originally was, but someone on Twitter started posting their #Top50Jo or the top reasons they love Jordan, and it took off. Even Queen Rania pitched in! I loved the idea because we always complain about living here but forget the reasons we love it so much. So here's my top 50, some of them from other Tweeps:


2) Emad Hajjaj's Abu Mahjoob

3) Souk Jara in the summer

4) Antique jewelry from souk jara

5) Sunsets in the dead sea

6) How we can have snowless snow days!

7) How everyone watches JTV only when it snows and you can't get any other channels

8) How Mohammad al-Wakeel's show is our equivalent of the Oprah show

9) How EVERYONE talks about whatever cold front is coming

10) Hummus and Fool on Friday mornings

11) How you can bargain prices at local stores

12) Ka3ek with za'atar, eggs and spread cheese!

13) Local Jordanian bands like Jadal

14) How people start dancing like crazy in weddings whenever they put on national songs like "ya beiragna"!

15) Our beautiful weather. we get all four seasons!

16) Shawerma

17) Delicious summer fruits

18) How everyone you meet knows someone you know

19) How everyone has an "uncle" who's high up in the government

20) That our Queen has YouTube and Twitter. and actually contributed her #Top50Jo

21) That you can complain to the mayor @MayorOfAmman on Twitter

22) How everyone gets together in happy as well as sad occasions

23) 5 piaster popsicles in the summer or "Eskimo"

24) Ras il abed!

25) Cups and Kilos

26) The smell of jasmine in early summer mornings

27) How we combine the best of the east and the best of the west. We have falafel, and we have Sugardaddy cupcakes!

28) 1 JD DVDs from the Balad

29) Cab drivers. Love 'em or hate 'em, Jordan wouldn't be the same without them!

30) How every place in Jordan delivers. From McDonalds to Argeeeleh places

31) How you get coerced into eating till you pass out at 3azaiem (feasts)

32) How guys are prepared to get into fights in defense of “their” football team

33) How everyone has a mobile phone, from CEOs to housemaids

34) Ramadan atmosphere

35) Walking in Amman

36) The view from Jabal Amman

37) How you can buy newspapers/flowers/gum/plasters at the traffic light

38) The view of the King Hussein Mosque at night

39) Balad sights and sounds

40) How we don’t acknowledge maps or street names. It’s always next to some place you know!

41) Street cats!

42) How you don’t need to go to the car-wash. The 7ares across the street will wash it for you for a small fee

43) How older men with mustaches and a frown are considered prestigious

44) how our streets flood every time it rains

45) How you can have a tab at the local mini-market

46) How every health issue is attributed to low B12 levels

47) How it doesn’t matter how old you are, there will always be someone to tell you to put on a jacket when it’s cold outside

48) “Dora” or corn cob carts

49) Sha3er banat or cotton-candy sellers with their harmonicas

50) Barbecues with family and friends in the summer

Roba's compilation

Naseem's tweet digest

January 20, 2010

January 15, 2010

Jordan's War on Terror

What's been happening in Jordan for the past month has been truly unprecedented.

Hummam al Balawi, a Jordanian informant pulled off the worst attack against the CIA in over 25 years. Balawi, a trusted informant of the General Intelligence Department was recruited by the CIA to try and infiltrate the higher circles of AL Qaeda and help in the capture of Al Qaeda's second most important man, Aiman al Thawahri. Balawi, however, had kept his allegiance to Al-Qaeda all along, and in a suicide bombing, he killed 7 top CIA officials along with his Jordanian GID supervisor, Sharif Ali Bin Zeid, a distant member of the royal family.

The repercussions of this attack have been staggering. Besides resulting in immense embarrassment for both the CIA and the Jordanian government, it raised too many questions to be answered.

Should Jordan be helping the CIA in their war against terror? Some say after the Amman bombings in 2005, we had no choice but to enter such a war, while others argue that fighting a war alongside the US will only drive more people into Al Qaeda . One cannot ignore the similarity to the US's decision to fight the war against terror in Iraq after the 9/11 bombings.

Even after the Amman bombings, more than 30% of the Jordanian population was actually pro-Qaeda, and if the Sharif Bin Zeid wasn't one of the victims, the majority would've idolized Al Balawi and considered him a hero.

I have no answers on what stance we should be taking, but whatever it is, Jordanians need to be made aware of it. How can Jordan fight a war against al-Qaeda if there's a not-so-small percentage of Jordanians who are actually supporting them? Just the past week a Jordanian fighter in the Taliban was killed in an American military operation. The government says of its involvement in Afghanistan as "finding the root of where terrorists plot and stopping them there". While that is legitimate, it is also pointless if there are terrorists in the making right here. It is time for the government to address the mentality that defends terrorism, rather than pretend it doesn't exist.


1) Shooting Your Foot: Jordan’s Afghanistan And CIA Connection (Black Iris)
2) Humam Balawi Video Surfaces On Al Jazeera & Other Notes From Jordan (Black Iris)
3) Photo Of The Moment | Jordanian Taliban Fighter Mahmoud Zeidan’s Funeral Contrasts (Black Iris)
4) Islamists Press Jordan to Stop Aiding U.S. Forces in Afghanistan (New York Times)
5) Jordan emerges as key CIA counterterrorism ally (Washington Post)
6) هل يؤيد الأردنيون "القاعدة"؟ (Alghad)