Razan Khatib's commentary on life on/off the web

Small victories, a positive narrative 0

This past week has been nothing less than the usual political roller coaster we’ve been through ever since Arab spring came along.

I want to stress on the highs along that ride because for anything we focus on the lows too much.

I was part of a group who said a big NO to the news of an attempt to censor the Internet in Jordan for porn. And once this became almost a reality to censor news websites (a duh moment there), I was privy to swatch how a small group was able to do A WHOLE LOT within a week, see their enthusiasm, drive and see them deliver on their goal. 7orynet did a super great job. hats off. The success of #BlackOutJo of overflowing social media that day was nothing less than a should-be-celebrated small victory.

Today we hear about Mashrou’ Layla turning down a big gig to open the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Beirut -because the latter group is planning a concert in Tel aviv shortly after- was definitely not the easy popular thing to do. But they did it and we celebrate another small victory. Lebanon’s Mashrou’ Leila cancels on Chili Peppers after latter refuses Israel boycott call

Small victories are big in their effect, they give us hope when hope is almost a no reality thought or idea.

Small victories bring a new exciting narrative to a region so swamped with a defeatism attitude, a conspiracy theory culture and a life once lived in dignity to dream of a different future and a more progressive attitude to change its discourse.

Jordan Internet Blackout Day: Aug 29th Action Alert 0

The Jordanian government officials are planning to censor the internet in the country using baseless moral claims.

Join the Internet Blackout day this coming Wed, Aug 29th.

Read more here in English at The Black Iris

Read more here in Arabic at 7oryanet.com the official campaign website.

7oryanet badge

#FreeRazan Ghazzawi الحرية لرزان غزّاوي 0

My dear friend and respected human rights activist Razan Ghazzawi got arrested on Sunday Dec 4th as she was traveling through the Syrian Jordanian border. As our hears are holding her, we want to create as much noise to make her release sooner.

I am copying the exact post her friend Alia Gh posted on her Facebook account to help the situation.


Action Alert! FREE Razan Ghazzawi رزان الحرة

by Alia Gh


اللغة العربية في نهاية البريد الإلكتروني


A friend of mine and an endless advocate for human rights, Razan Ghazzawi, was arrested on Sunday, December 4th at the Syrian/Jordanian border – on her way to a conference for media activism in A’mman.  She is one of the many courageous bloggers and activists of Syria who risk their lives to get information out about the revolution and other prisoners of conscience.  Razan is an amazing person, a brilliant thinker, and one of the bravest, most steadfast people I know. No one can judge those who choose to hide behind koffiyeh’s and masks – but Razan did everything under her full family name – in pure defiance of this Oppressive Regime!  Her courage is an example to us all at this time of social revolutions.


You can read past writings at her blog:  http://razanghazzawi.com/


Please like this support page and share with you friends on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/freerazan


If you could all take 10 minutes to make some calls, write some emails, or tweet some information adding appropriate hashtags – please do so!  We have heard from other prisoners in Syria that phone calls really do help turn out information about where people are being held, and often times can aide them in getting released.  So, please, help spread the word and take some time to help our friend and comrade Razan.


Below are other steps you can take to help, and below that are phone numbers to call, email addresses to write, and appropriate scripts for each.  Arabic articles and a statement from Syrian Bloggers is at the end.


Thank you!



PS There is a rumor happening today (Monday the 5th) that Razan will be released tonight – but let’s keep the pressure on – as we can anticipate the lies of the Regime!



The most important thing : Keep Razan in your thoughts and prayers!


1. Write an email or send a fax to your local politician, Foreign Minister, members of parliament of congress. Use the internet to find their contact details or see this list of emails. Razan is an American Citizen – See here for a list of US Embassies to contact demanding they take urgent action.  (I have compiled important numbers and put them at the bottom of the email!)

2. Use your profile photo to draw attention to Razan’s arrest and the plight of all prisoners in Syria via Twibbon or you can use this image, or make your own


3. Use the tag #FreeRazan to share links, videos, news from #Syria – keep attention levels UP, don’t let this important news be overpowered by other stories and fade from view. Here’s some US Twitter users that you could message: @AlecJRoss @RobatState @KrisAtState @AnnatState @State_DRL @SlaughterAM @USEmbassySyria @USEmbassyJordan @StateDept

4. Post news and links to FaceBook, blog, forums, and in comments on videos and news posts about Syria. If you write, please write about this issue. Search FaceBook for other pages or groups where you can post messages or links to raise awareness.

5. Schedule tweets for when you can’t be online – use Dlvr IT for feeds or Buffer for individual tweets

6. Join the new Free Razan FaceBook page and share the page with all your friend

7. Continue Red’s work! She fought for the rights and freedom of all detained Syrians, you can help by doing the same. Don’t let Razan’s arrest remove all those other victims from the spotlight, too. Check the #Syria tag on Twitter – but watch out for trolls! Look at @Mar15Syria timeline or website for example, or see the latest Syria tweets here.

8. Learn from her example. Razan had a contingency plan shared with close trusted friends, of what to do in case of her arrest. They mobilizxed as soon as they heard the news, locking down her FaceBook page, securing her email, blog and Twitter, then posting messages explaining their actions. Should you or anyone you know do the same?



Contact the State Department!


US State Department : Eastern Affiars Richard Soler 571 345 3005

Office of Middle East Director Helene Kessler 202 776 8404

Middle East Team Leader Adam Bloomquist 202 776 8559


Contact Syrian Consulates!



Dr. Hazem Chehabi    Tel: (949) 640-9888 Fax: (949) 640 9292



Mr. Ayman Midani Tel: (713) 622-8860 Fax: (713) 622-8872




Dr. Naji Arwashan Tel: (248) 519-2496 Fax: (248) 519-2399


Embassy of Syria

(202) 232-6316


Phone Talking Points

  • That US-born Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi was arrested, and you urge she have immediate access to her family, legal counsel, medical care and that her whereabouts be known
  • She is a human rights advocate and a part of the brave people that practice Freedom of Media and Expression in a world that punishes those who dare to tell the Truth
  • It is known that the Syrian Regime regularly practices torture and that many people never come to trial, or are killed in detention
  • We need to build pressure for the release of all prisoners of conscience!


Email/Call the US Embassies in the Arab World


Telephone: (961) 4 542600 – 543600

Fax: (961) 4 544136




Telephone: 962-6-590-6000

Fax: 962-6-592-0163





Main switchboard:  +216 71 107 000

Fax:  +216 71 963 263




Telephone: 9661-4883800

Fax: 9661-4887360




Istanbul / Turkey

Phone: (90) 212-335 90 00




Email Script (make sure to change wording if you are emailing a Syrian Consulate representative or a US State Department rep)

To Whom it May Concern:


I am writing to you in order to express my concern over the arrest of Razan Ghazzawi.


On Sunday, December 4th, 2011, Razan Ghazzawi was arrested by border officers at the Jordon-Syrian border on her way to attend a conference on Freedom of Media in the Arab World, as a representative for the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression.


Razan Ghazzawi, a human rights activist and blogger, has not been charged with any crime and is thus a prisoner of conscience according to international law. Credible and internationally respected human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, have voiced concerns about the use of torture and the abuse of human rights occurring in Syrian prisons and detention centres. These reports have prompted serious concerns for the safety of Razan and other Syrian prisoners of conscience.


I am calling on the (United States government to pressure the) Syrian government to order the immediate and unconditional release of Razan Ghazzawi.


I demand the Syrian government immediately clarify the reason, legal basis and place of detention of Razan Ghazzawi; to cease holding her incommunicado and allow her immediate access to her family, legal counsel of her own choosing, and any medical attention she may require; and to ensure that she is protected against torture or other ill-treatment.


I thank you for your urgent attention to this matter.




Your Name







الآن باللغة العربية….



بيان مشترك | مدونون سوريون | حول اعتقال المدونة السورية رزان غزاوي :

بالكاد تنفّسنا الصعداء بعد الإفراج عن زميلنا حسين غرير قبل أن يعود اختناق الغضب والحزن ليذكّر صدورنا بواقع القمع والكبت وعبادة الصّمت الذي نعيشه.. وردنا خبر اعتقال زميلتنا رزان غزّاوي.

رزان غزّاوي سوريّة بامتياز.. سوريّة بعملها المحموم للمرافعة عن القضية الفلسطينيّة وﻻجئيها في وسائط الإعلام اﻻجتماعي باللغتين العربيّة واﻻنكليزيّة، سوريّة بالتزامها بكل قضايا التقدّم والعدالة اﻻجتماعيّة والمساواة، سوريّة بوقوفها مع الأحرار في طريقهم لنيل الحرّية والكرامة.. رزان صوتٌ ﻻ يريد له الصمت إﻻ أعداء الحقّ والكرامة والعدالة والحرّية.

نطالب السلطات السوريّة بالإفراج الفوري عن رزان غزّاوي وعن كلّ معتقلات ومعتقلي الرأي والضمير والكرامة، ونحمّلها مسؤوليّة أي أذى قد تتعرّض له، كما نطالبها بكف سياسة القمع الإرهابي الرعناء بحق المواطنين السّوريين، وندعو جميع أنصار الحقّ والحرّية للتضامن مع رزان غزّاوي، معنا، مع سوريا..!

نرجو من الصديقات والأصدقاء المساهمة في نشر النص في المدوّنات والصفحات والشبكات اﻻجتماعيّةهاش تاغ

فلسطين 3

انا لسّة ما عشت بأرضك دقيقة وحدة

شفتك إكتير من فوق وعلى جووجل إيرث، و من الضفة الشرقية، موطني

تخيلتك من قصص تيته

شُفتك بعيونها، وبعيون خالتو و عمّو

شُفتك بدموعهم، بغضبهم، بذكرياتهم

شُفتك وإنتي عم تتلاشي من عيونهم بالأفق، لما تركوكي

بيسان، طبرية و صفد

انا لما بقول أني أردنية، بقول اصلي فلسطينية

بعض الناس بتفهم، و بعضها لأ

أنتي قضيًّتي، من لما تعلّمت إسمي.

عطيتيني وجود مختلف .

انا و ملايين غيري بالبلاد و بالشتات

يمكن عشان هيك مابيفهمو هنّه

لأنو مفكرينو موضوع جنسية، موضوع وطني، موضوع سياسي، موضوع دول و استقلال و مجلس امن،

كانو إمارات و صارو دول الا انتي

محوكي او أجّلوكي

وهللأ بدهم يقنعونا، انو انتي جاي عالطريق بمشروع هالدولتين

طب وين بيسان، طبرية و صفد؟

تاريخ عائلتي وين راح؟ انا وين تاريخي؟

هي القصة شقفة ارض وبس؟ علم، رئيس، حكومة، جواز سفر، سفارة وأمم متحدة؟

يعني بصير أقول اصلي من فلسطين التاريخية؟ من امارة فلسطين؟ اللي إسمها إسرائيل؟ اللي هجّرت عائلتي؟

فلسطين، انت قصة وجود

فلسطين، انت ووجودي إشي واحد

هادا الوجود ما بتخلى عنّو ابداً

أنا إمرأة أردنية 1

أنا إمرأة أردنية

حياتي يجب أن تحميها قوانين صارمة و عقوبة شديدة لمن تسوّل له نفسه ان يأخذها بلا حق.

جنسيتي يجب أن تكون حق لأطفالي، كما جنسية أخي حق لأطفاله. لا تُحملّوني وحقوقي المدَنيّة قضايا سياسية.

ولاية أمري يجب ان تكون مسؤليّتي وحدي، كما أًُحاكم إن سَرقت ولا يحاكم أبي أو أخي نيابة عني.

مكان معيشتي هو من إختياري متى أصبحت في السن القانوني اللذي أُحاسب عليه كإنسانة عاقلة.

زواجي و طلاقي هم قراري، كما هو قراري أن أنتخب من أريد.

أنا إمرأة أردنية

حقّي أن أعيش، أن أختار و أن أكون.

Where I stand 13

For those of my friends who understand any call for reform as calls to bring the Islamists to rule.

For those of my friends who understand any call for reform as calls to bring the monarchy down.

For those of my friends who want to give the government a chance to do the reform for them.

For those of my friends who got excited about Egypt and Tunis so much that they wish NONE of it touches their home or themselves.

For those of my friends who want to refuse reform in order to protect the status qua with all the well/fear they’ve got.

Can we get more conflicted than this?

What you and me should do, is make our voices as loud- if not more- than the Islamists if we are to win them in the next election. Rather than conspire to create yet another failure of an election law just because we don’t want more Islamists to win or more Palestinians or more tribes.

What you and me should do, is form independent movements and new political parties that can win in the next democratic elections so we might get and limit the win of the Islamists if you and I fear their rule the most.

What you and me don’t want in Jordan is not March 24 movement or Friday protests or online news sites, what we don’t want is our government silencing peaceful protesters by force and allowing ignorant thugs to hit them by bricks. What we don’t want is security forces that interfere with our freedom of speech, assembly or organization while we need them to focus more on protecting us, citizens of Jordan.

Whether the March 24 movement chose a good or bad location, or a right or a wrong day is just the details. Its easy to say they are Islamists or Palestinians or even thugs, if you only listen to hearsay and rumors yet not investigate information yourself.

Focus I think should be on what they wanted, they wanted to put more pressure on your government to act faster. Why?

Because you and me should ask yourselves, does it need THREE months to come up with a new election law? Does it need THREE months to come up with a new party law? Do you think these laws are artifacts that need such time and deliberation to be innovated out of vacuum?…etc.

Do you and me like to  have the big elephant of who is your or my origin from to be forever in the room? Or Should we talk more about it? Remove the suspicion from all sides and focus on citizenship with its rights and obligation as our uniting factor?

We are in the middle of a big wave of change, you and me can get stuck in fear and stay in the backroom behind closed doors or go out honk our cars in an empty show of loyalty that is a given to most or we can help lead this change to where we want it to go.

When your kids, nephews and nieces ask you in 20 years where were you in 2011, you better have some great story to tell!

Its your choice, but I guess you have figured out where I stand from all of this.

My personal pledge to the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions 6

Before a new work week starts and to commemorate this incredible weekend, 18 days and year so far; I wanted to write a post about this whole new state of affairs that took us on a roller-coaster of a new kind. But I already shared a lot on Twitter and Facebook through the past month. So I don’t want to add new thoughts or share any more feelings.

I want to share my very personal pledge to all those who stood up high, rose their voices out loud, suffered and died to free a quarter of the Arab World.

1. I will no longer accept the long-standing-and-greatly-accepted-as-a-norm of a defeatism attitude no more. Neither at work or my personal life. When there is a well, there is ALWAYS a way.

2. I will make my voice heard, I will not shy away because I feel my school of thought is a minority.

3. I will make my voice heard, I will not shy away because someone thinks that what is concerning me has “lower” priority than other things that needs fixing in the society I live within.

4. I will make my voice heard, whenever I see someone is doing something I don’t like in my name or with my taxes.

5. I will not let difference of opinion discourage me or others from voicing out our thoughts. We all need to listen and try to understand each other, let’s try to find a common ground.

6. As an entrepreneur/business owner, I will always try to keep my commitment to quality over quantity, to reward with no punishment, to systems of dignity & trust and not belittling doubt, to push as much as possible for consensus over majority, to everyone-is-their-own-boss and finally -yet not least important- to create meaningful experiences, to reduce waste, to contribute value to our environment and society from the ground up.

7. I will read the constitution of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and learn as much as I can about our history, about our laws and regulations and on what it means to live in a democracy. Because, Omar Suleiman thought Egyptians of all people didn’t know what democracy is. I bet you, it’s because he himself didn’t know what it means.

That’s what I though of. I will add more as they come to mind.

Screen-shoting the moment, world media on Egyptian victory Feb 11th, 2011 1

الشعب أسقط النظام

Viva Egypt! The happiest moment that redefined my generation.

Thought i wanted to “screen-shot” the moment! So I took snapshots of several websites of major media from around the world.

12 – 02 – 2011 at 2:30 am, GMT+2


Al Ghad


Al Ghad


Al Sharq-Alawsat








Can capitalism be re-invented? 2

Funny how my first and longest post in months is about capitalism of all topics! I promise it’s worth it.

I was forced to be made a defendant of capitalism in more than one occasion, where in a social gathering some  business/capitalism-hating individual or the other had to make remarks, like

What value do you bring by opening a business? You help those big corporations turn this planet into ruins and turn us into consuming junkies? oh so you help employ people…mmm…what do they really get out of it but end up being consumers for your existing or wish list of clients? How can someone be creative in a 9-6 job?….

If you take the ignorance out of these accusations and see them at face value, you might see a point somewhere or the other. I kept my defense at calling what I do “Human-based capitalism” as my partner Ahmad Humeid calls it. The act of eventually creating value that makes the human at the center of the creation process rather than profit alone.

I’ve always been weary of public corporations rather than private corporations or limited liability companies. Public corporations in my view eventually loose the human value and focus on the profit they are generating for their shareholders. Regardless of what their must-have CSR activities are about or all the money they donate to charities on the side. “On the side” being the problem here, that doing good by it self is not always at the heart of their operation.

Some see the ugly face of capitalism in the notion that a separate legal entity is a person though unnatural. And the bigger that person becomes the more people hide behind it to do all sorts of deeds.

Until I read “The New Capitalist Manifesto” the above is where my thoughts usually ended without any resolution in mind other than sticking in the small/medium sized human-based-capitalism world.

It’s one of those rare books that offer a paradigm shift, you will never think of business, marketing and competition like you used to before. It helps you make a better case for opening a business in this new century as it provides a set of practical principles into what thick value is, how to create and sustain creating one as well as how to keep evolving this value to create more with less.

The book talks about how 20th century capitalism which was born on the back of the industrial revolution doesn’t work any more. Evidence in point are the financial crisis of 2008 and climate change amongst others.

Umair Haque the author describes it as follows:

The twenty-first century capitalist’s agenda, in a nutshell, is to rethink the “capital”—to build organizations that are less machines, and more living networks of the many different kinds of capital, whether natural, human, social, or creative. And, second, to rethink the “ism”: how, when, and where the many different kinds of capital can be most productively seeded, nurtured, allocated, utilized—and renewed. What we need, then, is a new generation of renegades, laying deeper, stronger institutional cornerstones.

Haque sites examples of what he calls “Constructive Capitalists” from companies that exist today and per his assessment are already leaping into being 21st Century capitalists. He asserts that none of them is perfect or have it all but state they are on the right track. The book details 6 steps to guide you into what it takes to be a constructive capitalist, I’ve summarized them below:

1. Creating value cycles rather than value chains, by actively renewing resources, instead of depleting them whether human, natural, social or creative. Example here are Walmart.

2. Creating value conversations instead of value propositions, by creating a direct link [Responsiveness, participation, association] between the supply of your product or service to its demand. Example here is Threadless.

3. Focusing on deriving an overall business philosophy rather than set a strategy every few years, example here of course is Google’s philosophy.

4. See where you can complete a market rather than keep protecting it through 2oth century competitive tactics. Example here is Tata with its revolutionary car Nano. This is similar to creating a blue ocean instead of swimming in a red one.

5. Create difference rather than differentiation, see where your you can help people, communities and society. Example here is Nike, look at their recent Nike Better World website to see what their new business philosophy is  are all about.

6. Grow smartly, locally or globally by focusing on creating thick value that brings really lasting benefits for people, communities and society, nature, and the next generations. Examples here are Whole Foods, Apple’s iTunes, Nintando’s Wii.

Its fast addictive read, and it will help you to know how to build/rebuild your business to be constructive from the ground up on all aspects and not only focus on compliance when it comes to CSR, or having it as a separate department. It should be instilled in everything you do from what you sell, to how you sell it to what you produce and how you produce it and what happens to it after the sale? Are people gaining real benefits from your product or service? Is it making them happier or just blind consumption? …

Obviously, i highly recommend this book to those who lost their faith in the ugly, fat, greedy capitalism, those who always hated it  and most importantly those who -like me- want to make the world a better place and neither want to be called naive anymore or have to be part of an NGO to do so.

“Thoughts on the now and future of Social Media” presentation @AmmanTT 1

Below are the slides I presented at last week’s Amman Tech Tuesdays (#AmmanTT) event. Would love to hear more of your comments/questions.

Thoughts on the now and future of Social Media

View more presentations from razank.
Big thanks to AmmanTT team for the opportunity and support!

Initial impressions on the iPad 0

1. It’s awesome! Super awesome actually, the whole experience feels like being part of sci-fi movie!

2. Since I own an iPhone too, the main driver for me to get one was -beside being a gadget freak- the iBooks and Kindle apps; the idea and then experience of buying a book and getting to read it instantly while you are at home in Amman is just thrilling.

3. Pulse, BBC News and Reader apps made my daily ritual of reading news and blog posts from my favorite RSS sources much more intimate and relaxed than reading those on Google Reader on my laptop browser.

4. The much talked about Wired app was amazing. Yet, i slowly grew out of it because it still felt like i was reading a magazine with articles as images and not live web pages.

5. I downloaded one of cityscouter.com brilliant travel guides that had all information ready within the app it self, both the iPad version and the iPhone version got installed only to discover they didn’t talk to each other. Whatever I saved or did to the iPad version, I needed to do again in the iPhone one. I didn’t like that. This is the case with many other apps that are not associated with a big website as their backend, not like Dropbox…etc. I found that to be annoying and would be great if someone can build this generic platform where app developers can sync in their apps to it and have the data saved across devices.

6. I just got the Keyboard Dock yesterday, it really made the experience much more productive, making the iPad a truly portable computing experience; from one side it’s much more comfortable than a smartphone when you want to write a long blog post like this one yet, not as bulky when using your laptop.

7. I haven’t experienced super photography much on the iPad beside’s the guardian’s eyewitness. An amazing app and experience.

8. YouTube. And How. Watching YouTube videos is so rich on the iPad that you don’t want to watch anything on your laptop, again the relaxing and intimate nature of the iPad has this great effect on video as much it did for reading for me.

9.Yet, video from other sources that don’t yet have HTML 5 support is annoying. You’ll be reading a news item on Pulse or Reader and if the source didn’t use YouTube for their videos you can hardly read them. I want flash support on the iPad and iPhone, whichever smart excuse Steve Jobs gives against it, i want it.

That’s about it for now. My advice? Go get one, and be for once part of a revolution of a new breed or devices that will soon be the norm.

What makes this year’s World Cup a whole new experience? 1

Well, you figured right. It is the first time being hosted in Africa. BUT that’s not all…

Back in 2006, we didn’t have Facebook (the majority of the world beyond US schools) nor Twitter or the dozen other social networks we have today.

Funny thing is that I asked several people at the office just now but no one thought of that. Don’t know what to make of it, either I am too obsessed or they are totally in a different world all together.

So looking forward for all the tweets while watching decisive games this time around!

ArabNetMe afterthoughts 1

So we talked about my feelings before; now here are my afterthoughts on the conference!

The short version:

It was great in so many ways to participate @ArabNetMe the past couple of days. The energy, the spirit and the conversations were all too amazing.

The longer version:

It felt at home away from home, with the significant number of Jordanians participating as well as the lingo, the issues the whole cult built around web entrepreneurship.

The tweeting, I just loved the tweeting…best solution to my short attention span problem!

The numerous coffee breaks were very thoughtful and worked very well I think.

However, did the sessions contribute much new information to the average webist? Not really. With the moderate reading and catching up we do from silicon valley, I can’t say the sessions contributed more than about 15% of either new insights, trends or solutions. Even my partner alma, who’s a social researcher and not a webist didn’t think she gained much new information!

Here are my two cents for ArabNetMe 2011:

With all the hype before the conference about the inclusion of women, I was very disappointed with the low number of women speakers, one. Really? All this hype and then only one woman?

Don’t be the all & everything for the web industry. Get selective, mine the feedback and see what worked best.

Sessions should be shorter, must run at least two in parallel,  topics be much more specific and make it more cozy, with people HAVING to select which sessions to attend and participate in resulting in a lower number of attendees thus more conversation between the panelists and the audience.

Have the participants vote for the topics they want to discuss before hand and submit their questions instead of having the moderators do it, or doing it for the moderators as it seemed to be the case in the conference.

The conference should be about finding solutions, sharing of ideas and coming up with action plans.

Share the list of participants on the website before hand, so people can pre-prepare meetings with those of interest.

And make the following in BOLD in every way you find possible


Big thanks to a well organized conference by ArabNetMe team, especially Omar and Sana, you rocked!

En route to ArabNetME 1

Yes, it’s been over two months since my last post as I’ve been very busy and swamped with lots of operational and financial stuff at work. The only thing that kept me going is working on one very innovative project SYNTAX and Spring are cooking these days, yes I can’t say more about it now :p

So, I am thinking the best thing for me to do is to end the first quarter of what so far has been a very tough year at work by attending ArabNetMe, the region’s first dedicated conference for the web industry (as Ahmad said, it came 10 years late! I guess, better late than never in this case).

From the minute I heard about this conference, I was skeptical it would be something I would look forward to attend. Why? With my low attention span and my need to engage in a conversation or discussion and not just listen to people talk for hours; simply, I am not a conference person.

Having attended so few conferences in my life so why this one?

First and foremost, I need to get WEBsessed again.

Whether by coming up with new ideas, or taking existing ideas to new directions. ArabNetMe would be a great place to meet a lot of people that talk the same language, share the same passion and where geeks like me are more than welcome! I’m thinking the energy there must re-ignite my passion for creating more web stuff.

Second, is my utmost respect to Omar Christidis and his team. I mean look at the energy this guy came with and what he was able to accomplish in few months. A very impressive list of speakers that someone like me who has a strong conference-o-phobia couldn’t resist attending.

Excited to listen and participate in the conversation, catch up with the people I know there, meet face-to-face the ones I’ve been following on Twitter and meet all those other people I never heard of :-)

On Jordan’s court decision to “control” websites 2

While a significant and growing number of Jordanians are/have been working very hard for over 10 years to put Jordan on the global map of innovation in building and maintaining web communities/tools of all sorts and purposes, comes the Jordanian court’s decision last Wednesday with a big blow to our faces.

Yahoo! comes and invests in our own creation, Maktoob and what does our government do? A court decides to censor the web. Rendering each website, portal, blog, wiki, tweet, tumble, stumble, photo, video…etc an entity that can be governed under the aging Print & Publishing Law that is making our print media obsolete to a certain degree.

Not only do Jordanians bloggers as the print media Journalists alike practice self-censorship online in fear of being harassed or imprisoned, now they want us to talk about the weather all year long!

Thanks to people like Hajjaj for his brilliant caricatures and the analysis of Bassem Sakejha the existing law and how would it would apply to electronic media the absurdness of the situation appears there so well.

But let me try to speculate what will happen. This decision will be overturned somehow[I am no legal expert], instead the decision will be magically reiterated to put the real target of last week’s decision; increasingly  popular news sites like Ammon News under that law which will be bound to fail so miserably. Maybe some IT vendor here in Jordan or elsewhere is already making plans to supply the technology needed to make that seemingly impossible task possible! Maybe a catching-one-fish-at-a-time policy will be used instead!

But let me end with this, amongst other freedoms we don’t enjoy in Jordan, this is something we actually know what it tastes like, something we love so dearly, we nurture and are leaders in our region because of it. So this time around, we will not let that freedom be taken away from us so very easily!

Another brilliant holographic laser projection technology! 0

Meet Light Blue Optics‘ Holographic Laser Projection (HLP) Technology!

Can’t wait till we can use LightTouch at the office! or LightSpeed in my future car!

More on Light Blue Optics technology here.

(Discovered from an ArabCrunch.com post)

AramramTV: Social media for social change 0

Part of AramramTV coverage commemorating one year since the Israeli Assault on GAZA winter 2008/2009 was this video containing interviews with me, Ali Dahmash and Ghassan Yonis.

Funny that they called the feature “Electronic Jihad” not sure i would call it that. Would call it of course Electronic Activism instead!

Sixth Sense Projection Technology Demo 1

Amazing technology, can’t wait for it to be commercialized with a better product design!

A call to blog/tweet about the upcoming Gaza Freedom March 2

The International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza  an organization formed after the 22-day assault on Gaza in winter2008-2009 is holding and coordinating the Gaza Freedom March which will take place on Dec 31 to mark one year since the assault through mobilizing an international contingent for a nonviolent march alongside the people of Gaza to end the illegal blockade.

Though participation is now closed, this post is to call on everyone who supports this effort to blog about it on Dec 31st as well as to to tweet and try to make #GAZA a trending topic on Twitter on that day.G

For more information please add a comment to this blog post so I can arrange for us to meet one of the participants and activists who’s a fellow Jordanian. Together we can find the best way she can update us about the march as its happening.

A day in the Internet 0

A Day in the Internet
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