One Hundred

Author’s Note: This is, unfortunately, my 14th post on Fouad Al Farhan’s detention by Saudi authorities; 11th in the series of day-counting. So I felt it only appropriate to say a few words to mark the sad occasion. I think most of these posts pass unnoticed by most of my readers, and indeed most people have lost interest, perhaps not out of apathy but at least out of crestfallen helplessness. But for me, as a blogger, every time I write one of these posts I stop to think and reflect on the state of freedoms in the Arab world. This is what Fouad’s case has come to represent for me personally. There are many Fouads who are also imprisoned for speaking their minds, whether vocally in the streets or on a blog, whether in the Arab world or around the globe, whether in the present or in the past. And as Arab bloggers, in a way, we are all Fouads, struggling to have our voices heard above the fray; above the overbearing feeling that any minute the tide may change and our words may lead us into troubled waters. This is especially true if you are an issues-blogger, where nearly every post you write is covered with the awareness that you are crossing a red line.

In Jordan, there are no freedoms for me to take for granted; for me to say, well thank God we’re not like Saudi Arabia or Bahrain or Egypt or Morocco or anywhere else where authorities have cracked down on bloggers. If it’s one thing all Arab states share in common, it’s that they are all reactionary, and reactionary governments will always react with varying degrees of authoritarian crowd control. There is no gratitude for it not happening in Jordan; only apprehension for it not happening yet. An unfortunate conclusion that becomes increasingly and dangerously close to realization day after day.

So to Fouad and his family, I hope you can get through these dark times, at least with the knowledge that you represent something much, much greater than just a number to the many of us who blog in this part of the world.

One Hundred: The number of years in a century.

One Hundred: The number of tiles in a standard Scrabble set.

One Hundred: The year China invented the wheelbarrow.

One Hundred: The boiling point of water in Celsius.

One Hundred: The number of yards in an American football field.

One Hundred: The number of days Saudi blogger Fouad Farhan has been stuck in jail as of today. He is yet to be charged.

Sixty One
Sixty Two
Sixty Three
Sixty Four
Sixty Five
Sixty Six
Eighty One

We Are All Fouads


  • “I think most of these posts pass unnoticed by most of my readers, and indeed most people have lost interest, perhaps not out of apathy but at least out of crestfallen helplessness.” the latter is most likely the case. people don’t know what to say anymore! it makes you wanna question the power of the “words.” In Fouad’s case lies the irony; his “words” were powerful enough l to strip him his freedom, whereas the media, activists, and other fellow bloggers’ “words” fail to gain his freedom back… Also, are the “words” alone the problem, or is it that the function of the ears should also be questioned??? are words actually falling on deaf ears when it has to do with calling freedom for Fouad?? Or are those ears selective of what they hear??

  • Well, I think your counting posts are great.

    They say something about Fouad where nothing is to be said. That’s one of the major problems of his case: There’s just nothing to write about Fouad. I’m eager to write an article about the case, but about what?

    In fact. your counting posts say everything: Time’s passing by. It’s horrible. You can’t do anything. Wait.

  • I hope with all of my heart that justice will be served and Fouad will be compensated. The second request of mine may be asking for too much, but in any case, I hope he is freed because that is more than he deserves. It is his right.

  • great job naseem, its a reminder for those who think that he will be forgot behind bars.
    what do they think by the way?

  • I posted today and wondered what you would come up with for the countdown. May I hope that one day soon it will be a happy countdown, one of reunion, one of hope, one of joy… Thanks for the on-going reminder.

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