Jordanian Bloggers: A Cultural Project?

I’ve been reading with some great interest the latest entries over at Tololy’s Box on some of the most facinating aspects of our Jordanian culture and traditions. (you should give them a read)

Then it came to me: the number one resource people always look to in order to discover more about our culture and traditions is the Internet nowadays. Books are out dated and articles are not much help at all.

And right now I believe Jordanian bloggers have the edge on the Internet in our society. We are the only people talking about our history our identity, our culture, traditions and national heritage. Suffice to say Jordan is a small country and information out there is limited. Only its people can help define it and introduce it to the world, and I believe bloggers are the people who have the power to do so. Case in point, whenever I post something that is somewhat cultural on my blog I always get a post or two from people who know nothing about Jordan and want to know a lot more.

There is a vast collection of just great posts written from the first hand perspectives and observations of Jordanian bloggers. Tololy, Natasha, Roba, Firas, Khalidah, and the “culture vulture” Lina, are just a big handful of Jordanian bloggers who post every now and then about these topics (myself included). I’m talking about posts which discuss our society, our customs, new cultural phenomenas, cultural clashes, hang out places, those old places, just everything in that realm and I think by the time you finish reading this sentence you will have probably remembered a post you remember reading (or writing) some place, some where. Find it.


So I wanted to start a bit of a project.
I don’t know what shape or form it will take in the long run so I’m open to ideas from all; an article, a group blog, a website etc. But for now I’m simply aiming to collect this vast assortment of posts from various Jordanian blogs that talk about our culture, traditions, history and heritage etc. The goal right now is to simply have this collection and find a way to use it in a positive way that will help give people all over the world an insight in to Jordan and who we are as Jordanians, as a people.

Again I’m welcome to all ideas and please feel free to post links to posts you’ve seen around the Jordanian blogosphere that make mention of these topics.

I want to focus on posts which actually discuss something or describe something but for now anything will do; sorting the data to make it useful will be another task all together.

Links Thus Far:

I’m too lazy to dig for more but I will add to it if everyone helps me out. If it doesn’t appear then please email me so I can dig it out from the death grip of my spam karma plugin

Also, please include the title of the post.

UPDATE: I added a few categories, very broad ones, just to help make the listing smoother.

Food

Jordanian Culture: Mansaf
Home Tradition of Ka3ek and Ma3moul
Olives Olives
Bomali
Goat
Bread
Sage
How About â??Kabsehâ? for a Change?
Mom Made â??Mansafâ? and the Blogger in me took Pictures!!!
How I Spent My Friday
Majestical Mansef in the USA!
Knafeh ya knafeh
Fish Shawarma: A Bird Flu Alternative

Places

Culture Vulture (Part II of Hanging out in Amman)
Hanging out in Amman (Part I)
Heritage and Culture a la Rainbow
Jabal Amman: The Birth of a Ammani Street Market
Habeebeh
Wadi Rum
Madaba and Mt Nebo
Maqamat and Pella
Abdali Souq
Desert Castles
Petra 1
Petra 2
Petra 3
Om Qais
Dead Sea
Jerash and Ajloun
Amman
Ammanâ??s Urban Development and a Touch of Ideology
Mesha, King of Moab
Jabal AlWaibdeh Comes to Life
Our First Time in Tafileh
Heading South
My turn for a short trip downtown
Vote for Petra as one of the New 7 Wonders!!
Last time I was in Aqaba
A peek inside Karak Castle
Memories of a hill
Ode to Madaba
The road south
Anita
Dead Sea Pictures
Jordan Wild
Amman Yesterday
Lavazza

Amman, Amman
A very Ammanish flea market
Day at the Dead Sea
Road trip!
Falafel @ Jabal Il-Hussein
Sharing my love for Dara
Revisiting the National Gallery
Cafe Amman
Putting West Amman on the Map. Literally.

History

A Look back: Jordanian Bedu Army weapons inspection
A look back: Jordanian Bedouin troops
A look back: British military police in Amman
A look back: Amman demonstration
A look back: King Hussein’s Coronation in 1953
A look back: Downtown Amman 1970
A look back: Brits in the bazaars
Do You Remember? King Abdullah in Disguise?
Tracing Jordanâ??s History Through Stamps
The True Meaning of the Jordanian Flag
Jordanâ??s Mysterious Money History

Customs

Mensaf rules revisted…
Jordanian Culture: Jaha
Easter
(The Adha ritual we can never go without – BBQ – YAY!!!)
Hajj Goodie Bags
The Watermelon Tent
Dabkeh Dancing

People

Jordanian Fingerprints (Part I)
Bedouin
Bedouin girls of Petra
The Msa7arati 1
Msa7arati 2
Uhhh, no parle pas Francais or Lebanesais! Only Jordanie!
Abu Ali and the Culture Shack

Commentaries

Jordanâ??s Digital Culture
Ammanâ??s Clash of Cultures
A Valentines Day Fadfedah and/or Rant
Mosalsal 2ordoni
Bandora or Banadoora
Only in Jordan
(To date, or not to date??)
(Memoirs of a Jordanian Spinster!!)
World Culture Forum in Jordan
Nine Reasons to Love Jordan
DEATH TO GARDENS STREET!
On weddings, fashionistic Riyadhites, and the pleasures of being a Ammanite
Kan ya makan…
Why Amman can never be GPSed
Another term…
Celebrating the dokaneh
Teen Culture
Ø£Ù?خرÙ?جÙ?ا Ù?Ù? Ù?Ù?Ù?بِ اÙ?صÙ?خرِ Ø¥Ù?ساÙ?Ù? اÙ?عِزÙ?ةِ Ù? اÙ?فÙ?خر
Jordanianism
How Mobiles Can Kill You in Jordan
Jordan National Museum 2007
Jordanâ??s EnviroCops & the Trash Mentality
Jordan 2050
The Cost of Ramadan
Selfisheness: The Root of All Evil

Bits and Pieces

Money
Traffic Lights
â??Scientific Mythsâ?
The weekend
Buses
Buses 2
Buses 3
Dyna Trucks
Fairy Tales from Arab Childhood 1
Fairy Tales from Arab Childhood 2
The Oldest/Biggest Tree in Jordan
Mosaic coasters
An image from Jordan
Abu Il Abed just got a make over!
Jordanian/Palestinian Culture Item
The hills are alive…
Spring & Rubas
49 awesome things to do in Jordan this summer
The Ruby Slippers
Jordan: A Love â??Letterâ??
Jordanian Society Etiquette: A List of Grievances

Strictly Photography

Jordan is…
Jordan the Beautiful
Amman Today
Old Amman
Church and Mosque
Pigeons Over the Sunset
The amusements of the desert-bred
Some of Jordan’s Wild Flowers

Architecture

Housing and Hay Il Rashid
The Second Circle
The King Hussein Ben Talal Mosque

Thought Is Free...

36 Comments

  1. I was thinking the same thing when I finally managed to get to typing my observations down about Jordanian culture. I agree with you that sources for specific, and real, information about Jordan’s culture are lacking on the internet. I am all for your new project, count me in.

    Excellent idea!

  2. How could I not be in? :) Jordan has so much rich culture, heritage, and traditions to write about and share with the world. Thanks for the initiative Naseem :D

    So what’s our first step? Should we email you the links?

  3. Lina, thanks! feel free to post the links here in the comments and ill add them to the post. and give me/us whatever ideas you would like to see happen. :-)

  4. Nas, excellent idea. The ones you mentioned are my favs – plus you and Haitham (well, and Khalaf and…too many favorites I guess!) If you want my foreigner/non-blogger input or encouragement, I’m here. I will be happy to disseminate your findings within my sphere of foreigner influence as well.

  5. Lina, good stuff! yes the sorting is another story. we’ll think of ways to categorise them later: by subject, by author, by etc.

    kinzi, all inputs are welcome, and even more so from people such as yourself. Because you have the perspective that is part of the intention here.

  6. A thought off the top of my head.. how about we articulate and contribute such material to the Wikipedia? Both Arabic and English?? Let’s just keep it in mind while brainstorming :)

  7. Blogging for a cause! That’s what I’m talking about…
    Okay I’ll skip the whole “This is a great idea dude, count me in..etc “, lets get down to buisness.

    I think categorizing the artciles according to their content make sense. I am thinking of a website (a database like) where users submit their article to that website according to the subject, of course it has first to be reviewed by someone. Now, anyone could access this database and do search inquiries and stuff, we need a comptuer Whiz (Oracle Database, html).

    Jordanian bloggers have different backgrounds and perspectives.
    Articles should be translated to Arabic, as I think it is more important to reach out to Jordanians first. Some are not aware of Jordan’s diverse culture and “rich” history, like those who think Amman was made up.

    I think a starting point for now, after we are done compiling the old articles is to put a list of possible categories.

    So for the moment I think our agenda will be (of course this is only my suggestion):

    1. Compiling articles (and adding some comments about the content so it would be easier when they are categorized later
    2. Writing up a list of all possible categorizes
    3. Come up with a system for posting articles and sorting them out (comptuer Geeks)

    In the distant future:
    1. Find sponsors (newspapers,magazines,cultural organizations,others)
    2. Get media attention

    Good Stuff!

  8. Lina, yup, that idea occurred to me. we should keep it on the shortlist of possibilities inshallah.

    Firas, excellent ideas my friend. when it comes to categorization, I wanted to focus on compiling first and then when we have the data we can see what we’ll do with it. I thought of a site that can have several bloggers running it and posting articles, promoting Jordan. We can have English and Arabic I have no problem although I believe, despite any intentions, it will inevitably become a project that will promote Jordanian culture to those who are unaware of it. Maybe tourists, or information seekers on the WWW. I say this because while many Jordanians don’t know as much about their culture as you and I would like them to, the Internet as you know is not the way to communicate with our masses :-D

    thanks guys, keep it up!

    (i love the brainstorming phase)

  9. I’m in! I agree with Firas, that we need an organized web site. I’d be glad to help out with it.
    My posts are observations through the eyes of a foreigner, and may not always be accurate, but I’d be glad to contribute them. I have a lot on places to visit in Jordan. I’ll send you a list of links as soon as I can. (I’m busy packing for my move right now!)

  10. Can i help in creating our heritage bank? Do i have to be a Jordan Planet blogger ? or a blogger? i started a blog back in december but never really blogged :D ..poor abandoned blog of mine maybe this cultural thing would give it purpose to grow

    i have always wanted to collect jordanian taraweed and ahazeej :D i have some down already

  11. Here’s my list. Feel free to use what you want.

    Food
    Bomali http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2006/01/22/
    Goat http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/14/
    Habeebeh http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/11/
    Bread http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/10/
    Sage http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/03/05/

    Travel
    Wadi Rum http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/05/21/
    Madaba and Mt Nebo http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/05/07/
    Maqamat and Pella http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/30/
    Abdali Souq http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/22/
    Desert Castles http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/18/
    Petra http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/02/
    http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/12/
    http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/04/
    Om Qais http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/03/27/
    Dead Sea http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/03/25/
    Jerash and Ajloun http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/03/12/
    Amman http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/02/28/

    Daily Life
    Money http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/05/12/
    Traffic Lights http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/05/09/
    â??Scientific Mythsâ? http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/18/â??
    The weekend http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/03/11/

    Bedouin http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/09/

    Transportation
    Busses http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/07/
    http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/03/18/
    http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/03/10/
    Dyna Trucks http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/03/30/

    Holidays
    Easter http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/05/01/

    History
    Mesha, King of Moab http://rebecca-jordan.livejournal.com/2005/04/08/

  12. I was thinking that it would be usefull to concentrate on also showing off the more traditional parts of Jordan. Wherever I go to look through pictures of Jordan, its always those polished places, and moslty only of Amman. It would be great to promote the other wonderful cities of Jordan.

    Anyhow, I have loads of picture of Downtown Irbid and Salt, Umm qais also, if you like the Idea:)

  13. naseem can I help?I think we can make things easier or more organized by creating categories,maybe like sights,smells,tastes of jordan,where we talk about places ,food,etc..and then everyone can sned thier links accordingly?

    I started documenting stories from our child hood,I have only two posts but I ‘m working on that:

    http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2006/03/fairy-tales-from-arabs-childhood.html
    http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2006/03/fairy-tales-from-arabs-childhood-2.html

    I also started writing about going out toparts of amman and other municipalities and want to make it a point to do as much siaha dakhilieh as possible:

    http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2005/12/jabal-lwaibdeh-comes-to-life.html
    http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2006/03/our-first-time-in-
    tafileh.html
    http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2006/02/heading-south.html

    I have a few posts about daily life jordanian issues:

    http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2005/10/bandora-or-banadoora.html
    http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2005/12/only-in-jordan.html
    http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2005/12/blog-post_17.html
    http://reflections-allmine.blogspot.com/2006/01/you-know-youre-in-jordan.html
    If you find any of this stuff interesting,please let me know and I would love to help even if these posts don’t apply.

  14. Nas, brilliant idea … super super excellent … I am way in of course :)

    I hope the following links help:

    (The Oldest/Biggest Tree in Jordan) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2006/1/10070.html
    (How About “Kabseh” for a Change?) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2006/1/9799.html
    (Mom Made “Mansaf” and the Blogger in me took Pictures!!!) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2006/1/9092.html
    (Nice Scenery from Jordan) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2005/11/1443.html
    (How I Spent My Friday) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2006/1/16214.html
    (The Adha ritual we can never go without – BBQ – YAY!!!) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2006/1/11220.html
    (My turn for a short trip downtown) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2005/12/4523.html
    (Vote for Petra as one of the New 7 Wonders!!) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2006/1/14242.html
    (To date, or not to date??) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2006/3/33600.html
    (Memoirs of a Jordanian Spinster!!) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2006/2/26488.html
    (Last time I was in Aqaba :)) http://anolita.jeeran.com/mind/archive/2005/12/4312.html

    Please feel free to remove any of the above posts if they don’t fit the project

    Let me know if there is anything else I can do; I would love to help out
    I will read the comments again and try to come up with new ideas and put them here

  15. Samra, sure thing, you can help us dig for now…and in the meanwhile…get blogging!

    Rebecca,good list, i’ve updated

    Salam,sure thing man, I’ll add the links. We’ll come up, or agree upon categories soon inshallah.

    Ohoud,great stuff, yes I know what you’re saying. I think Sabri Hakim’s whole blog has that covered. The architecture thing is also a good idea, I believe that is your specialty :-D

    Khalidah, thanks for the links…I started to dig in your blog when I wrote the post and I just got lazy because there were too many good posts, so I decided to leave it until you got involved eventually :-D

  16. Naseem,man,my name is driving me crazy ,I am a woman and a wife and a mother and people call me man !Well basee6a just had to say it !

  17. Nasim,
    I concur with the rest that itâ??s a great idea. However I donâ??t think itâ??s necessary or advisable to create a totally new site.

    You guys have a very good thing going with Jordan Planet and thatâ??s because it works as a single point from which you can access the various interesting topics, so what you really need is a way to maximize and expand this forum to allow for your new initiative, otherwise you will be in danger of having all sorts of data in different places.

    There are of course multiple ways you can approach this, of the top of my head I would suggest you expand the definition of a post to include a category, add a section to Jordan planet for topics and of course have a Jordan culture topic, you might want to have different profiles for various bloggers and use this to only load post from a pre defined group to start with, you might even create an editor role where someone can choose if certain posts will be allowed to be filed under the given category and so on.

    I guess what I am trying to say is you should consider the user interaction part of this before the back end stuff.

  18. Salam, lol, oops, my bad. I guess it’s a common mistake.

    Nidal, thanks for the idea, appreciate it. As you can see we’re still floating things around, but what you said makes sense.

  19. A noble project–and timely. Now is a good time to begin explore forms of collaborative blogging.

    If your Jordanian blogging project should need a foreign correspondent (I’m American), I would be glad to assist. :)

    My credentials include work as a professional editor, published writer, and professor of composition. (Is my age showing?) :)

  20. Here are mine:

    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/10/anita.html

    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/10/abu-il-abed-just-got-make-over.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2004/10/jordanianpalestinian-culture-item.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2004/10/msa7arati.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2004/11/dead-sea-pictures.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2004/10/msa7arati_24.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2004/11/jordan-wild.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2004/12/jordan-is.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2004/12/jordan-beautiful.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/01/amman-yesterday.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/01/lavazza.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/01/hajj-goodie-bags.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/01/amman-today.html

    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/01/old-amman_06.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/03/falafel-jabal-il-hussein.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/03/sharing-my-love-for-dara.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/03/hills-are-alive.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/03/spring-rubas.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/04/housing-and-hay-il-rashid.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/04/watermelon-tent.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/04/second-circle.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/05/church-and-mosque.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/05/nine-reasons-to-love-jordan.html

    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/05/revisiting-national-gallery.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/05/cafe-amman.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/05/pigeons-over-sunset.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/06/o-nezel-3al-dabkeh-il-lawee7-il-shater.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/07/uhhh-no-parle-pas-francais-or.html

    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/07/death-to-gardens-street.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/07/on-weddings-fashionistic-riyadhites.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/07/49-awesome-things-to-do-in-jordan-this.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/07/amman-amman.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/08/kan-ya-makan.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/08/very-ammanish-flea-market.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/08/day-at-dead-sea.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/09/why-amman-can-never-be-gpsed.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/09/another-term.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/11/celebrating-dokaneh.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/12/ruby-slippers.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/12/amusements-of-desert-bred.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2006/01/knafeh-ya-knafeh.html
    http://andfaraway.blogspot.com/2005/06/road-trip.html

  21. zaid, roba, khalidah, thanks for the link, great job and great posts! :-)

    peter, no not your age, just your experience. thanks for the offer, i’ll keep it in mind :-)

  22. Hello,

    While living at a college dorm, I once observed a Jordanian friend interact with an American friend. Their procedure was rather odd, and almost suspicious. The American girl was outside studying for her exam as the Jordanian man approached her. They talked and the Jordanian man went into the girl’s bedroom. The Jordanian man then walked past where I was seated, and as I stared at him, he looked at me in seemingly paranoid manner. He went to a computer lab where he sat at a computer, and printed some material. Then, he went into his room. A while later, he came out, and talked to the girl, and, once again, went into the girl’s room. The girl then walked past where I was seated and into the computer lab, where she sat at the same computer the man had used. Then, she went into the man’s room. They have weblogs on the internet where they can state their status, and on it, I read something about the man teaching the girl a word or two in Arabic. I highly doubt that was the case, considering the elaborate procedure. Another time, the man was telling the girl to do odd things that he himself could have done effortlessly, like to close his bedroom door. I could not help to think that this activity has to do with some aspect of Jordanian culture. Do you think you could explain this elaborate act of exchange? Thank you.

  23. Sean I didn’t exactly get what happened but I’m assuming there are sexual undertones to the story? What specifically made you wonder if this was some aspect of Jordanian culture…the hush-hush manner of their sexual escapades? :-D

  24. 7aki Fadi: it’s going to come to life in another shape and form fairly soon inshallah. email me the links though if you like

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