Blogoversary: The Black Iris Turns Five! Pick Your Favorite Post And Win A Gift!

I missed my five year blogoversary by one day, which is perhaps a testament to the difficulty of finding time to blog these days. Yes, I haven’t been blogging as much as I would like to these days. 7iber has me occupied most of the time lately. But nevertheless, it has been five years since this blog was established and since then it has taken me on an long and winding journey. Along the way some of the posts here have sparked some of the most interesting conversations in Jordan I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Along the way a little community grew. Some of whom even chastise me for not posting enough during those hectic times in my life when this blog becomes a luxury. Some even send emails during those absences to make sure I haven’t been “hauled away”. Along the way it has surprised me. Whether it’s a public official leaving a comment or a post consisting of a single picture and a caption being able to spark a 40-comment long discussion – this blog has surprised me. Along the way I’ve voiced my frustrations with specific Jordanian issues only to find that many others share those same frustrations. Along the way it became my mouthpiece. Along the way it became my refuge. Along the way it became the refuge for others. Along the way it has changed as I have changed. Along the way it has fluctuated. Along the way it has become a chronicle of evolving personal viewpoints. And for that especially I am thankful. For what good is a blog that has lasted for five years only to demonstrate that its author has never changed his mind?

I will be making an effort to blog more often. I will also be making an effort – and hopefully soon – to redesign this space to host a new look and feel. In the meantime, thanks to everyone who has been reading, commenting, following, spreading, sharing, fighting and writing throughout all these years.

And although I am a poor man who can barely cover his own hosting fees, I still want to show my gratitude to this growing community by having a little contest to celebrate the blogoversary. Here’s how it’ll go…

1) Search the blog and select your absolute favorite post and/or discussion on The Black Iris.

2) Leave the link in a comment on this very post along with a single sentence (aim for no more) of why you’ve chosen it.

3) The commenter who leaves the 50th link will get a $25 gift card from Amazon.

You can only post a MAXIMUM of TWO comments with a link, and let’s establish an honor system because I don’t want to have to check ip and email addresses to make sure there’s no voter fraud. We’ll probably see enough of that later this year during election time.

In the case that no one leaves a comment or we don’t get to 50, the gift card goes to me. And yes, I’ve already picked out a book!


    Happy Blogoversary! My favourite post would be romanticising Nasrallah because it’s raw in its honesty and is an argument that should be heard widely but unfortunately seldom is. And since I overran my one sentence limit (I am the first commentator anyway so no chances of clutching that prize πŸ™‚ lol) I will request that, when you have the time, to get it translated and published in Arabic πŸ™‚ many more to come Inshallah!

  • lol thanks deena! point taken…i’ve upped it to be TWO comments instead of ONE in order for the earlier commenters to have a chance! πŸ˜€

  • @Mariam: well you have two comments in your pocket so you can use one now and the other for the 50th if you really want the prize!

    @Anas: interesting. the discussion that that simple, and perhaps even silly post now that i think about it – managed to spawn is pretty interesting to read through two years later. sexual-related posts always seem to get people talking. i’ve always wondered if that was a reflection of a sexually-repressed society…

  • What are you doing commenting here? Are you trying to beat us to comment #50 πŸ™‚
    This blog is truly a know-it-all about Jordan. Every Jordanian expatriate or people wanting to know about current Jordan affairs should follow this blog. Congratulations!

  • @mariam: fee minno

    @petitenemisis: that’s a cool screen name. (p.s. i dont think emoticon winks are meant to be literal)

    @jaraad: thanks! …comments with no links (like mine) aren’t counted πŸ˜‰

  • I hope to come back with my favorites, but if I don’t, let it be said that this blog gave me hope for Jordan when I had given up on my generation to initiate change for good.

    Your posts have been challenging, encouraging, game-changers. We may not always agree, but I always learn something from you and your commenters to add to my world of thought and opinion…and pass on. God bless you Naseem.

  • That’s a hard one! πŸ˜€ I’m going to refrain from picking a link (because picking JUST ONE will probably take me an hour) so I will go ahead and congratulate you on your 5th blogoversary. May there be a 50th! πŸ˜€

  • I don’t want the gift, I just want to say that it’s a pleasure having you around in the blog sphere world, Your one of the reasons i started blogging in the first place!, Congratulations and keep blogging πŸ™‚

  • @Kinzi: thank you and please do come back with those favorites, i’d be interested to see your picks.

    @hamede: thanks. i like how people started sharing their own tips on mosques with cool and interesting imams. i should check them out.

    @Qwaider @Roba @Ali: thanks!

    @mona: unfortunately, not much has changed since the writing of that post! if anything, things are getting worse it seems

    @Ahmad: a decent choice πŸ˜‰

  • Congratulations! And many happy returns!

    And thanks for making me laugh out loud this morning with these two lines:
    “You can only post a MAXIMUM of TWO comments with a link, and letÒ€ℒs establish an honor system because I donÒ€ℒt want to have to check ip and email addresses to make sure thereÒ€ℒs no voter fraud. WeÒ€ℒll probably see enough of that later this year during election time.”

  • Bravo Hamede’s choice, that was the first one that stuck in my mind.

    I am not good at coloring in the lines, I couldn’t stop at two, so here are my four after dredging a year sample of archives. There seems to be a theme of ‘contrast’ for my choices: Your coverage of dishonor killings gave me courage to jump in too I loved your reflections on life here, God’s faithfulness to reveal His plan and now contrasting with where you are today. Changes part quatre? oh yea. I so appreciated your mention of this problem, in it you set an example for me that it is ok to write about such touchy topics.

    These choices may not have been the most visited or commented, but were examples of ways you influenced me. πŸ™‚

  • @Fred: thanks!

    @Kinzi: wow…great picks. i enjoyed writing some of those!

    @Stephen: an interesting pick. i almost forgot about that one and the conversation it sparked. i actually put it on the list of posts whose discussion managed to change my mind a bit. not completely, but enough to cater to the other side of that interesting argument.

    thanks all πŸ™‚

  • Congrats Naseem. It’s rare that people reach their fifth year. 3o2bal the 10th, that’s like 100 years in real life. So I guess your blog is 50 years old πŸ˜‰ .

    Anyway, I do have a bunch of favorites but this one popped right into my head :

    Wow, looking at the date, this was written in 2007 and I still remember it! I truly love this poem and have read it many times.

  • Assalamu alaykum,

    Mubarak, Nas on your five year anniversary. I couldn’t find the link to the post, but I remember the first post that I read on your blog and that was the one that drew me in and got me hooked to the way you write and the opinions that you express. I think it was in Ramadan and you were speaking about going to the prayer and it was just lovely. MashAllah. I think was impressed because I had not, to that point, met any 20 somethings in Amman who were: religious, Western educated, and determined to make a difference in this country. Alhamdulillah, through your blog I found the Action Committee and met some other lovely people with like minded agendas. I think your blog has given me some hope that that things will eventually change in this country. InshAllah. I need that and I thank you geniunely for providing a tad of hope out there in the bedlam that is Jordan. Mubarak.

  • @Um Omar: wa 3aleikom al salam…thank you for the kind words and i’m glad this little space was able to connect you with like-minded people on-the-ground. that’s good enough for me!

    @Jo: thanks!

  • I have said it before that YOU are the one who is setting the standards for quality blogging in Jordan. You are a true master in this platform and I think your next move should be to consider collecting your best 50 posts in a book. Try to contact a good publishing house and I am certain your book will be a hit.
    My favourite post is

  • Every post you write, without any exaggerations, is my favorite.

    The fact that there are people who we could relate to in this country, on its own, is magnificent. What your blog did and continues to do is something very important. Truly, this is the only place where we could rest our thoughts at, while being understood, and also get together in a community that knows better.

    Your style of writing, approach and the very versatile yet logical points that you give is something I never see outside of here. As modest as this blog might appear to some, it truly changed me a lot and gave us all a larger scope of thinking. I honestly believe that it is one of the finest ever!

    For this Naseem, you deserve a big big big THANK YOU! And NEVER EVER think about stopping the blog posts!

    Happy 5th anniversary buddy.

  • @Batir: thanks for the kind words! not so sure about the book though, but i’ll let that idea brew πŸ˜€

    @7aki: as black as the night πŸ˜‰

    @yanal: thank you very much for the kind words and i’m happy to see that it impacted you that much!

  • although i tried hard,but really could not remember,what was the first post i read!but it is my favorite for one reason…because it led me to be a frequent reader of your blog,which brings pleasure,wisdom,and a relief feeling!your a talent Naseem!congratz congratz on your fifth anniversary!
    inshalla on your 100 you will be read more than the Jordan times πŸ™‚

  • i’m gonna sacrifice winning the price for fixing my first comment

    On your tenth anniversary inshalla you will be read more than the jordan times πŸ˜›

  • Dear Naseem,

    I have been reading your blog since three years now. During my master of Conflict & Development my university offered a course on fieldwork which would bring me to Jordan. The first time I came with a group of 30 students for a month. One of the first days during this visit I made the decision to come back for a longer period of time because I just loved the country.
    October 2008 I landed at Queen Alia Airport for the second time. This time I was going to stay for six months and I was planning on writing my masterpaper on the privatisation of the public transport in Amman.
    Until a black day in december Israel decided to launch the ‘Cast Lead’-offensive in Gaza. In response to your post ‘Action Alert! How Jordanians can help the people in Gaza!’ I started going to a lot of different protests and ended up spending New Years eve in a warehouse somewhere near the airport. I didn’t knew anyone when I first went there but over the next few weeks I got to know so many fabulous people who were sacrificing their time to help people in need. Then JO magazine contacted me to ask if I wanted to write an article on the protests. Then I changed my subject for my masterpaper and after I returned to Belgium by train I finished my masters degree. The title of my dissertation: “Raising their Voices. Activist networks in Jordan during Israel’s ‘Cast Lead’ campaign in the Gaza Strip”.

    On this occasion I want to say thank you. Especially to you, the 7iber crew and JO magazine but also to the whole Jordanian community who reacted on this atrocious war from within. Thanks for letting me get to know you all.


    ps: Sorry for not being able to say this in one sentence…

    and please keep on going this great blog (if only for me so I can stay updated on Jordan in this cold and wet country of mine)

Your Two Piasters: