Aching!

I haven’t had the time to jot down a word on two on this blog in a while; the reason being that I’m simply at a loss for words. What is happening in the already volatile region ails me to no end. From Gaza to Iraq and now to Lebanon, things are deteriorating from bad […]

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4th of July in the nation’s capital

Right after watching the out-of-this world World Cup match between Italy and Germany, we jumped on the Metro and made our way down to the National Mall to celebrate Independence Day along with hundreds of thousands (estimates of 400,000) of people that flocked to the nation’s capital. As expected, this once-a-year mammoth event was extremely […]

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Hope renewed: Kuwaiti women take their place

I have a confession to make: Kuwaiti women have renewed my hope in the Arab world, especially when it comes to the issue of Arab women’s rights. Kuwaiti women fought for years until they finally got the right to vote and run for parliament. It was today that we saw this materialize, as elections took […]

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Jordan’s fight against corruption

It seems efforts are underway to fight corruption in Jordan. The Amman prosecutor general recently indicted 350 people on charges of corruption, a senior interior ministry official said on Monday. "Abuse of public and private posts has wrought havoc on our economy and development," said the official, preferring anonymity due to the sensitivity of the […]

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Bigotry at Jordan’s education ministry

Renowned journalist Randa Habib, who heads the AFP bureau in Amman, reported in a column she writes for The Jordan Times a very disturbing situation. Here is an excerpt: One of my readers called to tell me about this shocking problem: she works for a Christian who is in the field of education, but her […]

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Jordan’s Fastlink caught spying on competition

Jordanian blogger Basem drew attention to an article published in the on-line magazine Elaph (Arabic) where it was revealed that Jordan’s number one mobile operator — Fastlink — was found guilty of spying on Jordan’s second largest GSM provider, Mobilecom. According to the article, Fastlink created a special unit solely dedicated to spying on Mobilecom. […]

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Mona Eltahway details her Asharq al-Awsat banning

Egyptian journalist and columnist Mona Eltahawy, who’s writing was banned from the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat publication, has written an op-ed for the International Herald Tribune explaining her experience with the Arab daily. You can read the whole article here. It’s worth your time. Here is an excerpt: Writing for an Arab newspaper is like playing […]

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Meeting the Moorish Girl

I had the opportunity to meet Moroccan author Laila Lalami face-to-face the other day in Washington, and I must say that she is extremely admirable and more impressive in the flesh than in cyberspace. She was in Washington, DC this past Thursday to read some excerpts from her debut novel, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits […]

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No more Philipino maids in Jordan

Human rights groups on Wednesday welcomed a decision by the government of the Philippines to stop sending domestic helpers to Jordan, saying such a step would highlight the abuse Philipinos and other nationals are subjected to at the hands of Jordanian families that employ them. "These types of measures will positively contribute to providing protection […]

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The DC Metro female Arab blogger meet-up

Leilouta has already discussed the embarrassing incident of several days ago, exposing my footwear dilemma (and Hal’s shoe supply service), so I’m not going to dwell on it here, as I’ve yet to recover. Instead, I will focus this post on the wonderful time we had during our Metro area female Arab blogger meet-up here […]

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Moorish Girl comes to DC

Laila Lalami, author of Hope and other Dangerous Pursuits and creator of the Moorish Girl blog will be in Washington, DC on Thursday to read from her debut novel. The event will take place at Olsson’s Bookstore in Dupont Circle at 7:00 PM. For those of you who live in the DC metro area, make […]

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Zarqawi’s elmination: The Jordanian connection

Time magazine has revealed some details about the events that facilitated the military operation that ended the life of Zarqawi. Read the full article here. What grabbed my attention in the story was the new (at least new to me) information about the role that Jordanian intelligence played in the operation. Here is one excerpt: […]

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Wanted!

Jordanian blogger Hamzeh has unleashed his anger at the Jordanian deputies who showed support for Zarqawi by posting this powerful image. Meanwhile, Roba is disappointed by the lack of female protesters at the sit-in that took place today in front of Parliament. For sure, Zarqawi’s death and its repercussions have galvanized the Jordanian blogoshpere.

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The end of Zarqawi

So Zarqawi is dead. Good riddance. To all the skeptics out there, it seems that Zarqawi wasn’t a "US invention" or a "creation by Jordanian intelligence" after all! What will the conspiracy theorists say now? "We need proof!" "We want to see the corpse." [There’s now pictorial evidence] Frankly, I would have preferred seeing him […]

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The repercussions of banning ‘The Da Vinci Code’

As expected, the proposed banning of the controversial film version of the book The Da Vinci Code in Jordan has increased interest in the film. Here is an excerpt from a Jordan Times article: …shops selling pirated DVDs in downtown Amman are awash with copies of the controversial film, which is based on the controversial […]

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Opening Pandora’s box!

Thanks to my bother-in-law, David, I got acquainted with one of the coolest free on-line radio stations out there: Pandora. The amazing thing about this radio is that it selects music for you based upon your taste. For example, let’s say you like Massive Attack, so you add them to your list. Based on this […]

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The banning of Mona Eltahawy

Through Abu Aadvark, I discovered that one of my favorite Arab columnists, Mona Eltahawy, has been banned from writing for the Saudi-owned Al-Sharq Al-Alawsat daily. The reason is unclear, says Abu Aaadvark, who also wondered if it could be Egyptian pressure. "Perhaps she offended the wrong Saudi? She wasn’t officially told she was banned nor […]

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Giveaway: ‘How the Garcia girls lost their accents’

Inspired by the generosity of Moorish Girl, I’ve decided to start giving away some books and other items every once in a while. Why am I doing this? Well, it is a token of appreciation for everyone who spends time reading my mental scribbles. It is also a thank you to all of those who […]

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The great outdoors

As someone who spent most of her life in Amman, I have never been much of an outdoorsy person. It is simple, Amman is not really designed for the outdoors. If you venture north or south you can get the chance to do some hiking here and there, but other than that the choices are […]

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Gay parade in Lebanon

For people routinely harassed and sometimes arrested by the Lebanese authorities, it was refreshing to be able to attend a public event without fear of being detained....

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A pleasant encounter

There was nothing particularly eventful about yesterday except for one brief, significant incident that will certainly be told for generations to come. The incident...

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Free Ala’!

Ala' is another victim of the fight for freedom. He is an Egyptian blogger and activist who is currently being detained by the Egyptian police for taking part in a...

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Hamas vs. Jordan

I have to admit I was quiet shocked when I read the front page story of Al-Rai daily this morning. According to Jordanian officials, Hamas members have smuggled weapons...

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Jill makes a statement

I was glad that Jill made a statement yesterday saying that the video that circulated on the internet after her release was made under threat. I was appalled, shocked...

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Jill is released!!

We have received word that Jill has been released. The Italian News Agency, ANSA (in Italian), which Jill used to work for, is reporting that Jill was released about...

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Hope renewed

I was thrilled to hear the news about the release of the peace activists in Iraq. Of course this has renewed my hope that Jill's turn will be next. Meanwhile, a US...

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Mad, mad man!

It seems that the case of the Afghani Islam-to-Christian convert is attracting attention from the international community. One of the more outspoken is Amnesty...

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Remembering Allan

The Christian Science Monitor has a moving feature on Allan Enwiyah, Jill's interpreter who was killed during her kidnapping. Here is an excerpt: I worked with Allan...

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The Jordan Planet Book Club

One new initative that has sprung forth from the constantly evolving realm that is Jordan Planet is an online book club -- the brain child of Jordanian blogger Ohoud....

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Movie chatter

When I feel like the world is going down the drain -- something that I have been sensing quite often lately -- I turn to the movies. For me, films provide an especially...

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New Jill tape!

CNN is reporting that a private Kuwaiti TV station -- Al Rai -- has a new -- third -- tape of Jill! I haven't seen it yet but I understand she is wearing different...

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New Jill video, Ah!

Al-Jazeera aired a new videotape Monday of kidnapped U.S. journalist Jill Carroll, showing her wearing a veil and weeping as she purportedly appealed for the release of...

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On pins and needles

It's true, the deadline has passed with no word on Jill's fate, but I remain very hopeful, as efforts to secure her release continue non-stop. As the clock keeps...

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The paranoia continues

The bird flu paranoia continues ... Here is the latest statement from a senior Jordanian health official. Yes it is scary!A senior health official on Monday said Jordan...

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Bird flu paranoia!

Via Zandaqa, I came across this Elaph article, which states that two people have died in Syria after exhibiting symptoms similar to those found in bird flu! I'm not...

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Typepad outage

Typepad experienced a major outage yesterday that took Mental Mayhem out of action for over a day. Of course, I was peeved. I felt like a mother with a sick child....

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Jordanian podcasts

I spent a good chunk of this morning listening to Jordanian podcasts found on this new podcast blog: www.ninish.com. I have to admit, they were highly entertaining....

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Best books of 2005

The New York Times has come up with its ten best books of 2005. On the fiction list: Zadie Smith's On Beauty, Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep, Ian McEwan's Saturday, Mary...

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Kudos to Moorish girl

One of the blogs that I enjoy a great deal is Moorish Girl, a site maintained by Moroccan author Laila Lalami, who recently released her fist novel Hope and Other...

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My uncle

My uncle passed away yesterday from liver failure. It was a sad day. May his good soul rest in peace. He will be missed.

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