King Abdulla's Hypocrisy! #دون_للحرية #reformjo

Do you know why King Abdulla likes being on the Daily Show? it's because a show like that is illegal in Jordan. 

at a time when the King's appointed government looks for any way possible to tighten the noose on freedom of speech in Jordan, he appears on a show known the world over for how the freedom of speech is best displayed. in the segment preceding the appearance of King Abdulla, Jon Stewart ridiculed Obama's appearance on morning show, "the view," instead of meeting with world leaders gathering in NY for the annual UN general assembly. that segment was just a passing moment in the shows usual "for laughs" critique of the president of the US.

imagine for a second that a Jordanian news-comedy show made fun of the king's height or his constant blinking. imagine that, one day, mohammad al wakeel made a couple of jokes on the king's obvious accent. gendarmerie, darak, forces will be on his ass in no time!

so, when king abdulla or queen rania go around wowing the world of how democratic, modern, and forward thinking the leadership in Jordan is, please talk to a Jordanian to get the real story! 

this post was brought to you by a generous contribution from the "are you bordered by Egypt?" foundation and a group of direct descendants of prophet mohammad

how to deal with Jo Parliament

for as long as I could remember, the names abdilkareem al dughmi, mifli7 er7aimy, bassam 7addadeen and many others have been the names I hear to be members of the Jordanian parliament. it's the same few, financially capable gang elected to represent the people. some get through with the help of the intelligence department, royal court, the government, vote buying, or the persistent tribal affiliation. it's almost always the same names and, therefore, the same outcome. more corruption gets swept under the carpet, more benefits, like duty tax waivers and the recent life-time pensions, and the usual hiring of close friends and relatives in the already over-burdened public sector. we are here today facing the same old, good for nothing parliament and we have to do something about it. therefore, I propose the following two option:

  1. bar current members from ever serving in public office and establish term limits for future members. this way we know new blood is flowing through the political process and hopefully new ideas would come up to solve our many economical and societal challenges. 
  2. the second option, which is my preference, is to make away with elections altogether and establish a lottery system, where parliament members are randomly chosen from all Jordanians 18 and over. what other system offers a better representation? 
the question is: whom would you rather choose to represent you? ya7ya als3ood, or randomly selected Jordanian citizen?


happy habbit Nissan!

I haven't blogged for a while. not because I have nothing to say. I don't blog often because I hate to keep repeating myself. Jordan has seen an upswing in the amount and substance of the national dialogue calling for reform. However, much of it is misdirected. I know that slogans shouted at protests have been crossing never before approached levels of audacity. But, the majority of opinions voiced are pointed at either the government or the parliament. as if these two hold any meaningful decision making capacity in a country held tight by a King and his omnipotent intelligence department. 

king Abdulla is the country's sole authority and, therefore, the responsibility for reform falls on him. despite all he says, including the laughable recent comment, "I am with the reform movement," he's still playing a dangerous game of appeasement and hypocrisy. every single time he comes out in support of reform and people's right to free speech, a new wave of arrests follows, deeming his words worthless; he's losing face with the people. the longer he continues down this path of hypocritical opacity, the farther the people will be driven away. and we can all see this happening today by having a look at the names of protest groups: form retired army generals to a7rar al tafeelah, and from youth of bani hassan to the group of 36, which are all composed of mainly tribal Jordanians. these people are traditionally the bedrock of king Abdulla's support. without them, he's only got the business elite to side by him. and boy what a faithful team to pick!

although king Abdulla still enjoys a relatively high, slowly decreasing, level of support among Jordanians, he ought to come clean and regain the support of Jordanians by distancing himself from the corrupt types. all those corruption scandals took place on his watch. it's only fair that he takes responsipility and make things right. that's all we ask for. 

the best, simplest, and greatest tasting Qatayef recipe

  • Ingredients 

2.5 cups of all purpose flour (I used half regular and half whole wheat)
2 tea spoon sugar
1 tea spoon instant yeast
1 tea spoon baking soda
2 cups of warm water (I used 1 cup water 1 cup milk)

  • mix all ingredients and let sit for 30-45 minutes. 
  • pour onto flat grille in 2oz portions (or enough for desired size) 
  • if no grille is available, use a non-stick frying pan on med-high heat
  • enjoy (this step is mandatory. otherwise, your efforts were squandered in vain!) 
أفضل و أبسط و ألذّ وصفة قطايف

  كوبان و نصف من الدقيق
 ملعقتان صغيريتان من السكر
 ملعقة صغيرة خميرة 
 ملعقة صغيرة صودا الخبز
كوبان من الماء الدافئ

إمزج جميع المكونات وضعها جانبا للتخمّر لمدة ٣٠-٤٥ دقيقة
بإستعمال  قلّاية لا تلصق ، إسكُب المزيج بقدر كافٍ للحجم المطلوب
تتمتع.هذه الخطوة إلزامية. بغير ذلك ، فإن جهدكم راح هدرا

this post was brought to you by شباب كُلنا الاردن 
they even gave me money to give king Abdullah a break from my blog :) 

A Widening Gap


King Abdulla II Speeches illustrated

this is a tag cloud of the speeches given by King Abdulla II to the Parliament, representatives of the people. notice in the cloud the following:

  • security and stability are bigger than freedom, law, democratic, respect, principles, rights, and the parliament itself!
  • government is bigger than god! :) 
  • challenges are bigger than effort!
  • education isn't in the top 50 phrases, but we see these featured: future, human, priorities, rights, and building! 
  • draw your own conclusions!

created at


King Abdulla on the cover of Home & Garden magazine


10 things you didn't know about King Abdulla II

  1. King Abdulla sleeps and wakes up everyday
  2. he eats almost all food groups daily
  3. he has parents, siblings, and children
  4. he once was a child and has since grown up
  5. his children call him daddy/baba (only Crown Prince Hussein calls him "Yaba")
  6. January is his lucky month. he was born, met Queen Rania, and became heir apparent all in January
  7. the black watch he is always wearing doesn't actually work
  8. he has a voodoo doll in the shape of laith shbailat
  9. he is a big fan of fanny-packs 
  10. King Abdulla breaks wind almost everyday
this post is brought to you by the "King Abdullah IS a Human Being" Foundation. 

p.s. is that guy in the background naked?


the best Ten things about education in Jordan:

  1. Jordan First!
  2. stodents are tawt english very good. 
  3. students are encouraged to be as creative as their limiting textbooks allow for.
  4. mansaf and celebratory environment after tawjihi results are announced. 
  5. حصة الرياضة
  6. حصة الفن
  7. math is (specially arithmetics) what Jordanian education system is known for

this post was brought to you by 
مركز دحبور
"we pick up the slack of the Jordanian Government"


Dear King Abdulla II #B4JO

Dear King Abdulla:

Just in case you haven't noticed, Jordan sucks. It sucks so bad that Sri Lanka, Malta, and Zimbabwe all were granted more US patents in 2009 than Jordan. Would you like more numbers? How about...
  • on corruption Jordan is given 4.7 out of 10, worse than Botswana and Puerto Rico.
  • Jordan ranks 111 out of 183 countries when it comes to ease of doing business. It's actually easier to do business in Yemen! 
  • Jordan is full of maba3ees that we rank 52nd out of 155 on happiness
  • and...our lovely press freedom is so bad that there are 119 countries who have it better. Do you know who offers better press freedom? The savage dictator Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast! 
Therefore, once the country is done celebrating your birthday, please consider making a real push for reform and stop insulting our intelligence with another "tsok" story. 

thank you. 

this post was brought to you with a generous donation from Jacob. 
(if you don't know who Jacob is, ask the smoke monster!)