This is an unusual “me” post, which, in the lifespan of this little blog, there have been few of (fortunately). But I thought I owed it to my readers (all 10 of you) to have some sort of where-have-I-been explanation. Besides, I feel like rambling. To start with, yes, as you can see from the little pink badge on the sidebar to your right, the Black Iris has been nominated yet again for a Brass Crescent award in the best Middle East category, along with fellow Jordanian blogger Southern Muslimah. The nomination is a nice honor after nearly five years of blogging about Jordan and this region, and the outcome will depend completely on your votes. So if you’ve got some time and willingness, please head over to the site and cast a vote my way. I would be forever grateful.
These last few weeks my attention has turned toward 7iber, our little citizen media site. As some of you know, we’ve relaunched with a new design and a whole lot of content submitted by citizens. Over the past two and a half years, 7iber has been an interesting project or “experiment” and now it’s aiming to become part of a whole other league. So this is the month that the floodgates have opened and most of our team, which includes Lina, Shaden, Ramsey and Mariam, are drowning in work that goes beyond developing content. We’ve got about 1 million ideas we’d love to do under the 7iber name and we’re hoping to start implementing many of those ideas in the coming weeks. But at the end of the day they, and 7iber, will all depend on the support of the online community, which includes those of you reading these words right now. At the core of 7iber and all that it does, be it online or offline, is the desire to see the Jordanian community be at the forefront of production and not just consumption of content.
We want to create that environment where people are encouraged by an idea and want to see it carried out. Where they come together to create something and not just sit around and consume it. We’ve grown accustomed to hearing “nah, people in Jordan won’t go for it, they just like to consume”, and I don’t believe that to be true. All it takes is a small group of people to grow and nurture a larger circle of willing people, and you’ve got yourself a community that can create and produce, rather than consume and destroy. Citizen media is definitely not easy in a country like Jordan, but the belief that it can and should exist is what has kept an idea like 7iber going for over two and a half years. So as we move along in to the new year with new and exciting plans, I’m hoping more people will join us in growing that circle so that 7iber moves beyond just five people trying their best to run the show, but rather a community of people leading it.
Suffice to say, I’ve been trying my best to keep up-to-date with everything that’s actually going on in the country. As usual, things have been up and down. There’s always something interesting to write about and usually I’m discouraged from doing so just because of time. These issues really require me to sit down and write an articulate thought, and I have found myself with neither the time nor energy to give some of these issues the attention they deserve. Twittering has swooped in these past months to fill that void, becoming a place for my first-thing-that-comes-to-mind reactions. But I do have a list and if you have anything interesting for me to write about that’s not on my list, feel free to leave me a note here and I’ll put it on there. Better yet, you write about it, and send it to 7iber! In any case, I promise to buckle down soon and focus on writing.
So we covered blogging and 7iber, and of course the lack of time issue, that leaves us with, well, nothing really. There’s always the weather. I’m honestly glad that winter is fast-approaching and more than content to see it rain as often as it has. It’s interesting to watch people in Amman shift gears and in to winter-mode so quickly. No one ever seems comfortable in the jacket or coat they’re wearing, as if it were a premature and temporary second-skin. Everyone forgets to drive as soon as the streets are lined with water, checkout counters at all the supermarkets grow a little bit longer, the streets a little more emptier at night.
Also, as the New Year approaches I’ve already decided on my first resolution. Simply put, by next Eid, I should have a stellar answer to the frequent and mandatory pre-Eid question everyone poses to each other: “What are you doing for Eid”. Yes, next year is the year my answer will change from “nothing” to “Oh, a trip around the world in 4 days”. Or something like that. You’ll see.
Until then, keep reading.