Life Lately: We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Apologies for the shortage of posts these last few days but things have been a bit hectic. In fact, I think the past 5 weeks of my life have been pretty incredibly hectic, but suffice to say, pretty incredible.

– At work we’ve been working hard to produce a pretty special issue of Jordan Business, marking the publication’s 50th issue which has intertwined with the King’s 10th anniversary on the throne. It should be hitting the newsstands today, there is a pretty interesting interview with Mustafa Hamarneh, who I think provides one of the most critical analysis of the past ten years under King Abdullah that I have ever read (from within Jordan). At the very least, it’s a pretty sharp contrast to what’s been said about the anniversary in local media circles. So make sure to check that out.

– At 7iber, the post-Gaza era is now emerging and it has required us to sit down and make some interesting plans, some of which you’ll see unfolding in the weeks to come and I’m pretty excited about that. So stay tuned.

– Doha, as someone here described it to me, is very much like a Mars colony. From the minute you land to the city itself, it feels like what NASA would build for the first human inhabitants on Mars. There wasn’t anything I really liked about the city other than the Islamic Arts Museum, which I think is one of the coolest and most fascinating places I’ve ever been to.

– Before leaving to Doha I handed in my pickup truck to be fixed after it was hit 8 weeks ago. I never had any spare time that I was willing to sacrifice these past two months where I could afford to go around car-less. But the point is, it was all done and ready when I came back and I think in the process, I met the most honest car repairman in Amman. For anyone who has ever gotten their car fixed in this city, you probably already know how difficult it is to find someone like that.

– Pray for rain.

I leave you with photos:


  • 7amdilla 3ala el salameh (re Doha and truck accident) i think my mom says something along the lines of ‘mnee7 ijat bil 7adeed’. it goes withour saying u r in amman, so drive extra extra carefully πŸ™‚
    – re 7iber: looking forward to it!
    – re the islamic musuem: wow!
    – re the pedestrian crossing picture HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA
    – re the interview with hamarneh: will it be online too?
    and looking forward to the return to normal programming!

  • Deena: Allah ysalmek…you can check that story out in pdf format on the site.

    kinzi: for the sake of the farmers…i’d hold off on the snow prayers for now πŸ™‚

  • I read the introduction of the artical on Jordan business.

    ” Holding one of the most difficult jobs anywhere, His Majesty King Abdullah II has, since 1999, successfully steered Jordan through the perilous waters of regional instability, where in an often-dangerous neighborhood security remains at the heart of national concerns.”
    Difficult job? ,you guys are hilarious,for the last 10 years the king and his family spent 100 of millions of dollars on vacations,gifts,travelling (lodging in most expensive hotels on the world,undeclared salaries to the family(only god knows how much was spent on them and their travel, and you call that “the most difficult job”?
    come on guys let us be much more substantive and real.

  • Hi Nas (and Deena, Nice to see you from my previous email!)
    I have a couple of questions:
    1. I could only get to the intro of the article in PDF format. I was really looking forward to reading it, but couldn’t get any further than the one page PDF that showed up. Any ideas?
    2. What is 7 and 3 when you use them in front of words? I know a few words in arabic (like el hamdulila) from my egyptian grandmother and was hoping the numbers stand for a sound in arabic, that MAYBE I will be able to understand.
    3. Not really a question, more a comment – from what I hear (I am not in Israel) Tzipi Livni is winning the elections. Let’s all be thankful that the racist Lieberman did not win, and let us all pray that this new government will bring some peace (if not Hudna? Tahadia?)

  • Lovely pictures, mashAllah. I, too, thought it was a women only crossing! I was thinking those Gulf Arabs really are doing great things for women down there (thinking of Dubai and their women only buses and taxis.) Welcome back.

  • So to sum up a few of Dr Hamarneh’s thoughts into barely-tweaked conclusions

    -The palace is not serious about reform – at least any time soon
    “King Hussein and Prince Hassan dominated the national landscape for decades and the time (was) ripe for King Abdallah to have a stronger government and parliament to help him introduce deep reform into the country. However I think a completely different route has been adapted”.

    “The declarations that emanate from the palace are wonderful in theory but their implementation on the ground lags way behind in the declared objectives of the state”

    -Jordan is now more of a police state than it was prior to King Abdullah
    “In the last ten years we’ve witnessed the complete securitization of the state paradigm. Everything has been turned into a security file: the election law is a security file, the appointment of a professor in a department of modern arts warrants a security file, Hamas is a security file…”

    -Jordan today is more of a banana republic than it is a modern state.
    “What’s basically being created in Jordan today is a new elite. All this money is given to these individuals who turn into notables in their localities because they can deliver at the expense of the national treasury. …this is a form of lawlessness that leads to the undermining of the law and the concept of citizenship, and this is really the Hondourian (sic) model”

    -The political elite is specifically picked to assure they remain meaningless in a political system dominated by the palace and the security apparatus.
    “With the elections to parliament rigged you presumably end up with a group who rate favorably on the General Intelligence Departmet’s list…you really end up with a group of mainly castrated spineless individuals who make up the political elite of the society.”

    -The old-guard and the tribes are not the ones holding reform back. On the contrary the regime maintains these elements to maintain the status-quo and stunt reform.
    “There are ‘super individuals’ and ‘super tribes’ in society where the law isn’t really applied to them equally. However this is the product of state policy, not the other way around.”

    -Reform is a decision in the hands of the king – and the king alone
    “We’re thus faced with the historic question of which route exactly Jordan wants to choose. The only person who can really answer this and deliver on its promise is his majesty the king”

    -The king should not be afraid of initiating reform, on the contrary, it is the current state of affairs that lead to the collapse of similar regimes.
    “The government must be convinced that it is within its own interest to move down the reform route than to maintain the old defunct status quo that has failed miserably in other parts of the world. I genuinely believe there is no domestic threat to the monarchy in the country, regardless of how far they go down the line of reform….I believe it’s the other way around: the lack of opening up sows the seeds of instability.”

    It was just great to see someone with credibility make similar points to those of a prematurely-terminated conversation we once had.

  • hello again – the pdf doesn’t seem to have been uploaded to the website; just thought i would give u the heads up in case u didn’t know… thanks!

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