On #B4JO & Web Censorship


Blog for Jordan day

When I first thought about what to write for B4JO day, I got a complete writer’s block. I thought I’d write about censorship and the new law’s effect on what we have to say. Our inability to explicit freedom of speech in so much as a twitter update. Our very own Jordan blocking us from expressing what we like and what we don’t about this country? This has been our thing, as far as I know. “Bidna nel3an #$% el 7okome!” and so forth and so on…let’s not get carried away shall we :P. So when it comes to web censorship, I believe we should all thrive to claim our rights on the matter. How else would we speak out on the failure of our government to apply more strict laws on honor killings? How many more women should be brutally stabbed to death before our voices can be heard? How else will be bitch about corrupt officials? Or simply about paying more attention to our citizens’ rights. Everything that the internet claims to be, a mass communication between ourselves, our government and the whole world, will be shot down by web censorship, and I want my voice and all our voices, to be heard.

I’m a 20 year old medical student, with a heart full of Jordan. I’ve been living alone here in Jordan for the past 4 years, and I have to admit, this country has shaped me up from a high school boy to what I am today. Here, in Jordan, I found lots of things, both good and bad. Blog for Jordan day shouldn’t only be about telling everyone out there how amazing our country is, because we sorta do that all the time. What we should also be concerned with is the opinions on the inside. If something isn’t broken, or you don’t know it’s broken, no one’s going to try and fix it.

Jordan is more like a huge canvas, one that has had a significant number of marks painted upon it. Whether we’re talking about it’s superb military intelligence, our culture or the astounding number of new talents arising every day, we all have to admit that our country is getting a good view from outside. Examples are many, notably the movie “Hurt Locker”, which was filmed mostly in Amman winning many Oscars to Samih & Hussam’s Maktoob being acquired by Yahoo or whether it’s our famous Petra being a world wonder. Many and many examples I can give to how our country is something to really be proud of.

Jordan has many ups and downs, and we try to live and adapt accordingly. Whether it’s the price inflations that lower income making families suffer from, to the new laws that govern us completely insensibly, we have a lot to complain about. What has happened to the world when I can’t go online anymore and tell the mayor of my city that the roads are a mess and they should get to cleaning them up. Or when I can’t argue about who’s governing my own country. As fellow blogger Dee said, this is bound to create a revolution.

At the start of this post, I thought I as going to turn all cliche’ Jordan, and talk about the freshly baked bread and Humus in the morning, walks down Rainbow street or hanging out in Leweibdeh. I realize how beautiful my country is, a country where I have learnt to miss and love as much as I miss and love my parents. A country where I fell in love with an amazing woman. A country that I’m currently being taught how to become on hell of a physician. I know how many beautiful things Jordan has, but I think it’s time we all learnt to point out what’s wrong and fix it, before we can boast ourselves as being an amazing nation.

With all my love to the people of Jordan, and to everyone who holds Jordan deep within their hearts, wear your sham3′ high and mighty, high and mighty…

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “On #B4JO & Web Censorship

  1. Dee

    Lovely how you managed to mention some good and some bad.. a balanced post. and thanks for the mention 🙂

  2. You’re most welcome 🙂

  3. Jordan is more like a huge canvas, one that has had a significant number of marks painted upon it

    That is so true, [Modern] Jordan is a “Mona lisa” in the making. It can turn to a masterpiece, and example to be followed or simply turn to the dark ages. We need to first achieve many of our liberties.

  4. Qwaider: With the growing number of aware individuals, and the ability to spread the word collectively through online campaigns and the social media, I think we’re not that far from painting that canvas pretty well :).

  5. God bless you Shadz, and your land.

  6. Great post Shads, I thoroughly enjoyed it. “If something isn’t broken, or you don’t know it’s broken, no one’s going to try and fix it.” Couldn’t agree more to that sentence, I should probably take your words and start balancing matters more. Thanks for the lovely post!

  7. Kinzi: Thanks for the kind words 5alto Kinz :).
    Yazan: You’re welcome man, thank you for the lovely comment :). Yes, we should all start balancing matters more, forward we shall always go :).

  8. Good post! But to say the truth, Jordan can not be as huge as we wish with the type of people we have around! We have a good IT and services sector, not “A” quality but we can use it as a starting point toward a better future, and along the way we can start growing!

    But there are always those who drags us back some 20 to the 30 years toward the past! Censoring the internet is one move that overrides 1000 moves toward a better future, just to save the asses of those criminals, whom in their turn are acting toward a new stone age in Jordan!

    I wish that protesting becomes part of our culture one day!

  9. Haitham: Haitham, here’s the thing my man. One of the main reasons we’re being pushed back is because everyone says, “We can’t do this” and they all blame the government and lack of natural resources. What we lack in natural resources, we make for much more in human resources. What we really lack is motivation.
    Again, like I told Dee, we were born into a system that already doesn’t support freedom of speech, so until the new law really settles in, we’re not losing anything.

  10. Good one…eventhough I don’t believe there’s such thing as a free “internet”..but yeah to a certain extent… 😉

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  12. Abed: In this country Abed, ma fi ishi free 3’er el 3ama wel 6rash.

  13. That is true, but, this censorship means that these sites were already doing a good job in exposing what was really going on!

    saying what was going on on my mind was a sign of rudeness that I would get my butts grounded for, in school or home, but when I grow up and became independent I never felt like this was a new right or privilege!

    We all grow up, and had some parts of our identity hidden till later to protect some of it from external forces! So in away, I believe that each and every blogger was free in mind since her/his childhood! So I believe if the law was passed, we will lose a lot of things!

  14. KJ

    Sadly the internet isn’t free, even if there is no censorship, we will be the ones censoring ourselves, based on the moral model we have engraved ourselves in.

  15. KJ: Moral model? Bil 3aks, I think we’re more open-minded than we used to be. More and more people are readily talking about their own opinions regardless of moral models, be it homosexuality or atheism or whatever it may be.

  16. Haitham Al-Sheeshany

    Good read, thx shadi…
    Balanced and realistic.

    🙂

  17. This is last year’s #B4JO, but you just reminded me that I wrote a pretty good piece last year. Will be writing an even better one tonight.

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