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الصحافة المدللة: فن التذمر في الوقت الخاطئ

أثناء قراءة احد احدث المقالات على موقع عمّون الأخباري، تملكني العجب تجاه نزعة التذمر في الوقت الخاطئ ومن دون حق. المقالة بعنوان "الوزير المدلل" وتناقش بعض سياسات وتوجهات وزير الاتصالات وتكنولوجيا المعلومات مروان جمعه، خصوصاً خطوة حجب بعض المواقع الالكترونية عن موظفين الدوائر الحكومية في الدوائر أثناء ساعات العمل. وجهت الصحافة اتهامات ورد جمعة عليها بحقائق وأرقام وبيانات مقنعة، فإذ تفاجأت بأن أرى "الصحافة" ترد على جمعة بعبارات غير مدروسة وغير منطقية (الأمر الذي يسمى الـ"مغالطة الشكلية").

قبل المضي قدماً، أود التأكيد على احترامي لمهنة الصحافة بشكل عام، والصحافة الأردنية بشكل خاص، وأن تهجمي على بعض الممارسات غير موجهة للصافة الأردنية بأكملها.

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Cyberspace Crime Law: Concerns, Reassurances, and Thoughts

Jordan's ICT Ministry published the text of the latest Cyberspace Crime Law recently, introducing some regulation, but also protection and possible restrictions to the largely unregulated IT sector in Jordan. The law is a major step forward for privacy and security, creating punishments for unauthorized access of all types, as well as unauthorized modification of data, etc. But the text of the law at certain articles is vague, providing multiple possibilities of interpretation and thus some concerns.

Note that I translated all relevant snippets from Arabic to English myself, and I am by no means qualified to give a proper legal translation or correct legal terminology. It is only done for the sole purpose of giving context to non-Arabic readers and not to be taken seriously as correct technical interpretations.

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Election Law & Selective Representation

As part of a final paper I'm working on, I requested, and obtained a copy of a M.Sc. and B.Sc. thesis in Political Science at MIT, entitled "Containing the Opposition: Selective Representation in Jordan and Turkey", by Raffaela Wakeman, who also worked in the Center for Strategic Studies in the University of Jordan for a while.

So, I went through a good chunk of it and read it, and while it reaffirms most of what we hear already about representation being the most fundamental problems, it also hows how fundamental a problem it is. Cities like Amman, Irbid, and Zarqa are between 2-3 times under-presented than Balqa'a, Karak, and others.

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On the Arab Revolt

As an assignment, I was to write a review of the movie Lawrence of Arabia. Part of the such review included, of course, a comment on the Arab Revolt, which I think might be relevant to share. In any case, for the relevant parts, here we go:

The status of the Arab Revolt is complex, especially when considered by an Arab. While on the one hand, the Arab Revolt signifies a rebirth of the Arabs, in which attempts for independence re-emerge, and in which the yearning to greatness after years of dormancy is rekindled. In that respect, there is a big chance that Sherif Hussein’s correspondence with the British to secure an independent Arab future lead to the existence of the modern Arab states. One the other hand, however, while the Arab Revolt might signify the birth of Independent Arab entities, it also embodies some sort of death; a more serious Arab decline.

The deep involvement of the British with the Arab Revolt, as well as the Hashemite-British alliance have given leverage to Britain over the Arabs and allowed it to secure an autocratic role in handling the remains of the Ottoman Empire after its dissolution. The Arab Revolt, instead of resulting in the Birth of a unified and independent Arab state in the Arab regions of the Ottoman Empire, lead to the partitioning of the entire empire, the creation of artificial nation states, often with imported regents or rulers, the birth of the Palestine Question and the greater Arab-Israeli Conflict, the continued ‘colonization’ of the fragmented Arab states as a weak periphery ever supporting the west.

This complex two-sidedness of the Arab Revolt makes it particularly hard, especially for an Arab, to determine one’s views towards it. While an Arab might owe it to the revolt to still call oneself ‘an Arab’, its long term political failure means that an Arab also owes it to the revolt that he probably is, with an increased probability, regretful of being ‘an Arab’.

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