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July 10, 2007



Hi everybody - I know I said I wouldn't comment again, but folks don't seem to want to let it go so what the heck.

Issa - the only connection between the Crown Prince issue and the confederation issue is that each came up at the dinner... which was the topic of the post, after all!

Salim - I'm sorry, but I've seen the numbers on Jordan, and talked to some of the best economists dealing with the country, and they are not good. The impact of the Iraqi refugees is a major wildcard in all of it... helping some sectors, hurting others, introducing all kinds of massive exogenous shocks to an already unsteady system.

Re Batir - I seem to have waded into some Jordanian intra-blog ongoing spat of some kind. When did Jordanian bloggers get so nasty towards each other?

Semsem... not covering yourself with glory, partner! I thought that complaining about my lack of class after posting nothing but a gratuitous insult was a bit rich, but blog comments are what they are... at least now you're trying for substance, as far as it goes. Progress!

One of the funniest criticisms (either from Shifaa or one of the commenters, I forget) was that I was silly to be so shocked about hearing these things debated in public. That cracked me up because I literally wrote the book on public debates about identity politics in Jordan (check it out, published in 1999)... The preface to that book started out describing how my dissertation advisers had warned me that nobody talked about Jordanian- Palestinian relations in public, but that I immediately found the opposite to be true - it was all anybody wanted to talk about. That was in 1994... not much has changed there, at least!


Well I did not want to get into this conversation. After all I wrote my opinion in my post.

Abu Ardvark, I can not write a criticism about all of your writings and work about the Middle East. It probably will take me months to do that. I can only criticize one a time.

I came to your blog through a link from Khalaf(what is up in Jordan?) blog and I liked some of what you wrote and disliked others.

Obviously I did not like this particular post. I thought that the cultural piece was missing from it. This piece is almost always forgotten in the ongoing political dialogue between the East and West and I pointed to it. I happen to believe that the Arabic culture need to be understood by political decision makers and analysts in the West before decisions are made, wars are launched and ambitious projects such as spreading democracy is initiated.

As you know, we are after all a tribal community in Jordan. How many times a tribe change its leader(sheikh) in Jordan? When he dies. Now to come and say that the navigation system is silly and everybody is equal, and that status and social roles in the society is out-dated might make sense to a Western audience but this is not the case in the Arabic culture.

Regarding the funniest criticisms. I was laughing at the fact that you were hiding the identities of those journalists as if their life was endangered for meeting with you or for discussing politics in public.

Look, I am not a naive person. Jordan has its flaws and has a long way to go in its journey toward democracy but every body needs to recognize about the partial freedom and the economic advancements that we have and manage to achieve in a very difficult region. In other neighbouring countries, ordinary people can open their mouths in one place. The dental office!


Hi Shifaa - I just wish you had included a trackback or something, since I had no idea that you had even mentioned me (much less devoted a whole post) until Samara mentioned it. (for that matter, I didn't know Khalaf had mentioned me either...)

One final, final point and then it's time to move on from a 30-long comment thread: the reason I didn't mention their names was just that it was a friendly dinner, not an on=the-record interview or anything like that, and it would have been unfair to implicate them in my own observations. Each of them is perfectly capable of making (and publishing) his/her own thoughts on the matter, and some have!

Til next time!


Good. Let us leave it here. Peace


Salim my resources are the Jordanian government and the CIA factbook, im not going to link it here. I challenge you to get me more reliable resources, btw the 6% growth in fact is in the CIA report as well, you can choose to look at the numbers you like its up to you. Booming ?? man its really sad that people are buying this mirage Jordan is not booming, its not!! taxes? stagnant salaries? stop spinning stories and go talk to people, when i say people i mean go outside western amman please. and please refrain from assuming who i listen to and where i get my numbers from (old people) I repeat a simple google search for CIA World factbook will solve your issues. Here it is im feeling generous:

A final question, now that the Iraqi cash-flow is drying up....how will the economy shape up?


Salim btw what the hell is bank audi..u call that s source? now thats the real joke...


You right. The CIA is the most reliable source. I mean they knew inch by inch about the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. That was incredible and reliable story of accurate infomration. Good for you

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