Jordanian Bloggers At The BBC Debate Today [UPDATED]

The BBC held a debate today at Zara Expo on whether the Internet was changing our world. “Our”, being the Middle East. The panel included Rania Kurdi who needs no introduction, Dana Suyagh who’s head of news at the yet to be launched ATV, Doud Kuttab who needs no introduction, the one and only Roba Assi and myself. The audience was made up mostly, if not entirely of young Jordanians, who I have to say were very engaged and enthusiastic about the subject. In fact I think the audience got the chance to speak more than the panelists.

While a great deal of discussion was generated by the audience, it’s a topic I’d like to discuss in a separate post, perhaps in a long boring essay. But for now I’d like to (quickly) say that I thought it was very interesting that the BBC got bloggers to be involved in the debate. For what is the Internet and indeed new media, without bloggers? And that’s not a rhetorical question. I think both Roba and I were pleased to have the opportunity to participate in such a debate and inject some youthful on-the-street perspective in an industry dominated by much bigger players. I’m not so sure bloggers would have been invited had the debate been hosted by the more regional media which seems to be oblivious to blogging and the awesome power it can wield. But again, that’s something for the long boring essay post.

I also enjoyed meeting all the people that came up to me afterwards. Some were bloggers themselves and some seemed interested in the idea and I hope today’s debate will nudge them in that direction.

And of course the lovely gift bag…it made backstage at the Oscars look like a joke. (just kidding)

While I formulate my incoherent thoughts feel free to read up on what others had to say about the topic in the meantime.

The debate will be broadcast on BBC World Service radio’s Newshour on Saturday 17 March, at 1230GMT

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  • It was a nice debate, we enjoyed it really. The topic of the debate cannot be overwhelmed without mentioning bloggers of course. You & Roba have done a good Job.
    It was also a nice chance to meet you in person.
    Hope that bloggers continue to meet in the future on such prosperous occasions.

  • that seems quite interesting! Unfortunately I heard nothing about the event; I would’ve loved to go. I’ll try to catch the radio show

  • Naseem, I met you today in Zara expo after the debate, Media research analyst at the Arab Advisors Group. You and your friend Ruba were definitely impressive, you both quite inspired me! Keep it up! Gr8 blogs indeed!

  • This is the most unrepresentative sample of Jordan’s bloggers. it reflects upper middle class Jordanians, and Jordanians who spend most of their time outside of jordan.

  • Omar: it was nice meeting you as well man. and i share that same hope.

    Lubna: i’ll make sure to drop you a line next time something like it happens.

    hamede: thanks man.

    Layla: yes of course i remember. it was nice meeting you and i hope you’ll start blogging soon!

    Dave: an orange t-shirt

    Kinzi: i don’t know what a big time blogger is but thanks 🙂

    Jude: I totally agree. wealth, education and travelling are all very bad things.

    OmAr: thanks man, it was nice meeting you as well. glad you enjoyed it.

  • Hey man,,
    it was really nice meeting you. I really enjoyed the debate and the participation of most of the attendance..
    Hope to meet you again one day for a hot choco or something..

    Keep up the good work.

  • “I totally agree. wealth, education and travelling are all very bad things.”

    nas, that’s not my point and you know that. you are not a typical Jordanian. your views don’t represent those of the majority of educated Jordanians. you are a regime Jordanian. as for Ruba, her concerns and aspirations are so far off the mainstream it’s not funny. neither of you is connected with the average Jordanian’s fears and hopes. if any, you exhibit a degree of insensitivity to mainstream Jordanian concerns.

  • russian wolf: thanks, and drop me a line any time

    ma3ali 3tooftak: ah, so i guess we should both hand in our citizenship now?

    btw, no one said that we represent the typical jordanian

    except you

    if someone asked me, i would say we represented a segment of the diversity that is the jordanian blogosphere and the jordanian street. our diverse jordanian audience filled in much of the other gaps.

    i dont know what a regime jordanian is, but i’m guessing it’s someone who doesn’t yell obscenities at the king…and if that is indeed the requirements for being a “regime jordanian” then yeah, i’m glad to be a part of that group.

  • I believe that Nas represents what any true Jordanian should aspire to be: educated, cultured, well-rounded and free thinking.

    I believe that Nas has done an excellent job of reporting on the issues and concerns of Jordanians. I’m not sure what is meant by the accusation that he is “[not] connected with the average Jordanian’s fears and hopes”, but if that is the case, I would be interested to know how his views differ from that of the “average Jordanian”.

  • Dave, Nas represents the sort of Jordanian every anglo-zionist like you admires. he is disconnected from arab and jordanian concerns, and he is on your side of the issues most of the time. no surprise you like his thinking.

    your compliment is hardly good for Nas’s stature around here where an anlgo-zionist handshake is akin to being slimed in public.

  • Ah, anglo-zionism? Did I forget to mention that?

    I’ve never considered myself a Zionist, not by a long shot. If I did, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for me to be living in Jordan, would it?

    Nas and I don’t agree on all points or issues, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect his views. I feel like he does a fine job of representing Jordanians, and any name-calling comments posted have done little to illustrate otherwise.

  • Dave: thanks for the comment my anglo-zionist buddy. ill see you at the next “help israel” rally.

    p.s. dont forget the secret masonic handshake

  • “I would be interested to know how his views differ from that of the “average Jordanian”.”

    other than my above statement i am not interested in answering your questions. nothing against Americans, but from your blog and comments, you are neither centrist nor leftist. if any, your role on the Jordanian bloggers community has been to back friends, and influence people but not to nudge them to the center or left. i don’t know what you do in jordan (if you are in jordan) and i could care less. but the last thing i wish to do is to find myself debating with an intelligences officer who overseas torture of Arabs or a military person with Arab blood on his hand.

Your Two Piasters: