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From Waqt Al Farah To Jordan's Parliament
One of my childhood memories I remember with more lucidity is a JTV program called Waqt al Farah; I am sure this program has largely affected all Jordanian youth of that time. The program was quite innovative, with a naive design and a fancy red-fish mascot, all mixed with a high dosage of childish happiness, meaningless songs I still remember and a cute young presenter named Aroub Soubh.
A few years later, I have suddenly started to read her articles on Ad Dustour newspaper, which reserved her a right column on its last paper… the result was extraordinary, as her strong opinions and brilliant thoughts were going well with the other Ad Dustour's sarcastic writer Youssef Ghishan.
Aroub was expressing a new idea on different political and social issues everyday, and although I didn't expect that, the articles were well written. By sure I was not the only one who liked her personal method of exposing opinions.
I don't know the reason she left Ad Dustour, however a few posts on her blog do prove her potential, now, she defines herself as a freelance journalist, while she will (?) present a program on ATV called Samehni (or something like that).
Some time ago, I have discovered a Facebook group called Vote For Aroub Soubh, it is the Facebook's support group for Aroub's candidacy to the next parliamentary elections that will be held in November. In fact, Aroub will run for parliament in this year's elections in Amman's Third District (Zahran-Abdali) with a higher probability of success as women quota are re-approved in Jordan's electoral panel.
Even if you like her or not, Aroub's popularity is above suspicion, I was monitoring the Facebook's group for weeks and its members are increasing daily (They are now 992!).
I will not be surprised to see Aroub Soubh as a future MP, and, in reality, I hope that! Let's vote for Aroub Soubh!
This is my first attempt to draw something similar to a graffiti in Arabic. Thanks to my friends (Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop) the result is, in my own opinion, quite good. By the way, I will post what "A7la Shabab" is, and the reason I'm so busy these days in some future posts :)
From isreal21c.org (click for full article)
Take a dive off the coast of Eilat these days and you're liable to find yourself swimming around a huge yellow concrete and wire construction that stretches four yards up from the seabed, is four yards wide, and is full of holes. No, this isn't some strange new structure left behind by an alien race, or cargo dropped from a sinking container shop, this is the first artificial coral reef in the Red Sea.
The reef, which was developed by the Israel Nature Parks Authority and a team of academics from the National Center for Mariculture at the Eilat campus of Ben Gurion University, the Inter-University Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat, the Hebrew University, and the Marine Science Station in Aqaba, is a unique new approach to conservation in the Red Sea and part of a joint co-operative project between Israel and Jordan.
"The number of visitors is large and the size of the reefs is limited and too small," explains Dr. Nadav Shashar, the supervisor of the research project. "Because of the increase in the number of visitors, the coral reefs are unable to overcome the damage caused and are beginning to die out. If we don't act quickly, it's only a question of time before the excellent breeding conditions in the north bay become barren. Many bodies are aware of the problem and are seeking a way to solve it."
The openings of the reef have bars to prevent divers and swimmers from entering into unsafe areas, and to preserve the reef.
In six months another artificial reef is to be added on the Jordanian side of the Red Sea, it will be followed by four more - one in Eilat and three more in Jordan. Improvements and modifications are planned for the next reefs. "We are trying to improve all the time," says Shashar.
"Within a year we will estimate whether the whole thing is a success or not, and we will go on from there," says Shashar. "If all goes well then we will go to places where reefs used to be and actually build major large scale artificial reefs there. We are trying to design a new environment. All over the world reefs are being damaged and broken down, we are trying to add surface area. So far it looks like a great success. The fish are coming, and so are the people."
The speaker of the Lower House, Abdel-Hadi al Majali, advised Kuwaiti politicians to put on a legislative model similar to our two-house parliament in Kuwait , he said that such model could help the Kuwaiti democracy.
After less than a day, Majali was fiercely attacked by many members of Kuwait's parliament, he was accused to interfere in Kuwait's internal affairs and one MP accused Majali to have converted the Kuwaiti democratic government into an "anti-costitutional, illegal and police government" , while other MPs criticized "Majali's intentions to arrest the development in Kuwait" . The cruelest declarations where from four MPs who said they are now afraid for the Kuwaiti democracy after the Majali's statements, the same MPs asked Majali to keep his advice for Jordan (? Jordan already has a Senate) and said the democracy in Jordan is retarded .
By sure Majali is not the man I most like on the earth's surface, I have respect to all other countries and especially Kuwait for their democratic reforms, however I find the Kuwaiti response too much exaggerated .
I do not think Majali has such a relevant influence on Kuwaitis who will make them drastically change their political system, no one can convince me that the government in Kuwait City makes its decision based on what the Jordanian House Speaker says, in my opinion, his declarations were not more than personal political visions, that are normally underestimated by other delegations, but things are different when we come with Kuwait.
All we know that the Jordanian parliament is not so beloved by Kuwaitis, we should return back in 90s and the "popular" Jordanian politics regarding Gulf War to simply know the reason. Everything becomes clearer, the attack on Majali is not caused by his successful actions to make Kuwait an undemocratic nation, the real problem is that Majali invited all parliament members to read the Fatiha on Saddam 's soul the day the former Iraqi president was hanged up; we can add to this many other actions not tolerated by our Kuwaiti brothers , also keep in mind that the Kuwaiti internal politics is not so perfect (on Kuwait's political work, there is a good article of Ahmad Jarallah, if you want to get a deeper look on what I talk about, please read it.)
My last word is about the Jordanian Senate, with no doubts, it safeguarded the constitution more than once (for example it banned the imprisonment of journalists after a law was approved by lower house), and it is known in Jordan that Senate do not represent a real democratic problem, yes, we have a lot of other problems, but, if our democracy is retarded because we have an upper house, then we should be proud that the British democracy is more retarded than ours!
Do you remember the movie they shot in Jerash about war in Iraq? I've found its trailer and the behind the scenes on YouTube, both clearly shows the downtown, Jerash citizens in their daily activities and even the famous Mitsubishi pickups used in Jordan. All this makes the film's location more similar to Jordan than Iraq. (Yes, I know there's little difference, but it is so evident they are in Jerash!!)
This is the link to the trailer cut to run at Cannes Film Festival in May. Movie is supposed to premier at the end of the year.
The springy atmosphere and the green hills do contrast the tragic story, which reveals the massacre of 24 men, women and children in Haditha in Iraq, allegedly shot by 4 U.S. Marines in retaliation for the death of a U.S. Marine killed by a roadside bomb.
The movie follows the story of the Marines of Kilo Company, an Iraqi family, and the insurgents who plant the roadside bomb. New York Times asked if this film will be the Iraq's Apocalypse Now.
Errata Corrige: I've mentioned before that the movie was Redacted, that is another movie shot in Jordan at the same time, I'm sorry but I've cited that citizens were not allowed to encounter the crew and ask about the film. And by the way, this morning I've read that DePalma's Redacted stuns Venice Film Festival!