On Pause

It’s been a long week so far. I’m here in London to attend two different conferences and it’s been an interesting ride. I apologize for the lack of posting but, on the other hand, I’ve also been getting a lot of fascinating feedback on some of the posts published here lately. The general tone of most of this feedback is the fear that I will end up in a jail cell soon. Suffice to say, my absence this week is not a result of that but I thank those who contacted me in various ways for their feedback and their worry. I still don’t feel that anything written here is not out of the realm of possibly when it comes to what can be written and what should be written in Jordan, especially in English. And having just met Wael Abbas at one of these conferences, I don’t anything I’ve ever said even measures up or can be defined as really “pushing the envelope” or “jail-worthy”, even though that remains my goal here.

That being said, there’s little point in writing some times if no one out there is reading, so the feedback is comforting.

In the meantime, there’s a lot happening in Jordan this week and there’s a lot that I want to write about and hopefully I’ll get to it in the coming days. But I have to admit, any break away from the Jordanian street, even for a little bit, is a refreshing and welcome change of pace. It’s like being disconnected from the Internet for a few days – at first you’re restless, but after a while, you see the upside of the mental vacation.

So I’ll see you all soon.



  • This post gave me a little giggle. A few people over the last couple days mentioned in front of me that they believe you’re going to get into trouble for what you’ve posted lately. I frowned and wondered if there was a recent post I’d missed. Checked, and found nothing new, and like you say above, no jail bird material – far from 🙂

    The talks got me a bit concerned at our own level of self censorship though, and how fear has become so overwhelming. To me that’s quite worrisome. It’s one thing to fear the law and system, but to have so much inhibition about good, analytical, honest opinion with heart…. yikes! It seems the boundaries we need to push are our own, way before we start worrying about provoking watch dogs.

    Anyway, enjoy London!

    People change their worlds one conversation at a time – it’s their right.

  • Glad to hear from you. Funny, I hadn’t even had such a thought. I just assumed you were busy as there was nothing outrageously objectionable in wht you’ve blogged lately. Good to hear that you’re having a cobweb-clearing time away. It’s always refreshing to re-set our mental models…

  • I knew you were shaking hands with people like Wael Abbas and Marc Lynch, so I read his blog to get an idea of what you were all learning. Thus, no worries, but your local fan base still misses your stuff.

  • I heard you presented at the LMEI conference! I was supposed to be there too, but had a scheduling conflict (as a result of me reading the date as 19 instead of 16 – i really need to get checked for dyslexia). how was it? did i miss anything? would be gr8 if you provide a review :p hehe

  • Good to hear that you’re still around – I was also having thoughts of you being dragged away to a prison cell, although I knew that this was probably not all too likely. Living in western Europe, it’s difficult for me to comprehend the reality of governments that find the sort of public speech highly objectionable that we take for granted here. (In the overall Global Changemakers programme, we’ve got a couple of Burmese Changemakers, and some of the stories they’ve told – young activists getting jailed for advocating the use of paper rather than plastic bags – are practically surreal to me.)

    Hope you’re enjoying London in the Spring!

  • Enjoy your time away! It does a body good to step away from your own reality and come back to see it with different eyes.

  • Dear those policing the internet in Jordan,

    Please don’t arrest naseem and deprive us of quality blogging material coming out of Jordan. Plus, it just wouldn’t be a very smart move to do considering the masses you will anger.

    Asoom-A Black Iris fan

  • Glad you are having fun in London, it’s a nice change, I never had any idea that you might be in a cell right now! But I always say, the day I will become famous is the day I go to prison from what I blog about!

  • InshaAllah have a great time. Jail cell will be kept warm by plenty till you get back. (har har)

    Enjoy some mushy peas, fish and chips, real mustard, and treacle. Or not. Take care.

  • Hmm…Well, one thing I think I know is that you should always prepare yourself for the possibility…I wonder if Jwiedeh is wi-fi enabled ? 🙂

    No..I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon, and yes, its a good sign.

  • UmmFarooq. Both Colemans Mustard and Tate & Lyle Treacle are available in Amman. What I miss are fresh rhubarb, gooseberries and proper double cream !

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