Sunday, February 20, 2011

Everyone wants a piece of the revolution

Before we get into this, I'd like to clarify two things:
  1. I am fully aware that the situation we are in is most likely the result of years and years of bad government policies and opportunistic behaviour by a select few.
  2. I am even more aware that I will probably never make an impact in the real world, because my ideals are too extreme and frustratingly impractical.
Fortunately for me, and maybe unfortunately for you, technology has given me this platform to let my voice be heard, if only by a small number of people. I know that a lot of us are still high on the domino effect of democracy that started with Mohamed Bouazizi's desperate act of giving up on his country. Yet, we are struggling to find our own path, some of us asking for reform, others for a secular government. I am not quite sure, however, if we are just riding the wave of revolution or if there is a genuine desire (I had argued in an earlier post that I don't believe there is a real need) for change. Are we certain that we don't just want the desire to change, instead of change itself?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Are we all Egyptian?

In solidarity with the Egyptian revolution, many have claimed "I am Egyptian", joining Facebook groups, changing their status or tweeting similar support statements. Personally, I never had it in me to make such proclamations and I couldn't quite understand why. Until Monday, around midnight.

The interview with Wael Ghonim, Head of Marketing at Google MENA who was detained for over 10 days during the January 25 revolution, was as disturbing to me as it was beautiful. It was disturbing because watching the raw honesty and pain in which Ghonim spoke somehow helped me connect every single event that's been happening in Egypt, not for the last few weeks, but years. The horrific torture and murder of Khaled Said was not a one-off incident but a systematic mode of operation by the Egyptian regime, a regime that has no problem running over peaceful demonstrators as if they were insects. It is only now that I see the ugliness in its full form. These are not spontaneous protests by people who have had enough. This is a well-planned long term revolution of a people who have had enough a long time ago, but were waiting for a spark to ignite their flame.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Let's talk about sex

I want to share with you a story that I heard recently from a 23-year-old woman, let's call her Rana, who comes from a well-off middle class family and has just returned to Amman after obtaining her degree from a university abroad. As Rana enthusiastically started work at a well-respected Jordanian firm, she soon found herself face to face with what I believe is one of the biggest issues facing working women today. Rana's 40 something-year-old superior, let's call him Ra'id, turned out to be, to put it mildly, a flirt. Of course this is a problem that can easily be handled, just don't encourage him, and if needed politely push him away.