Tired of politically slanted “news” items about the Middle East? Seems like everyone has an ax to grind, an ethnic or religious group to demonize (preliminary to….?), a book to publicize, or vitriol to barter for that coveted Western visa.
Time to escape the self-serving agendas and look at the ordinary people. Oh, sure, you can find the same old, same old politics in Jordan if you look hard enough, but most Jordanians just don’t go around with a chip on their shoulder hating one group or another.
For a more refreshing, and probably more realistic snapshot of the Middle East, try Wasapnin Jordan, written by a British ex-pat (click the page tabs for photos of Jordan and Amman), or try picking something at random off of the successors to Planet Jordan: Jordan Blogs, Quaider Planet, or Girly Gator (sometimes the Arab women like to blog away from the guys)–these are all blog aggregators with several hundred blogs on their blogrolls.
There’s nothing like a Jordanian blog to give you a slice of real Arab life. Here is just one sample from Jordan Blogs. Moey, who says he has two friends suffering from AIDS right now, has designed a public service announcement for HIV. The slogan in Arabic says “When cheating, make sure you’re protected.” (Click image for larger view). According to his profile:
The free time I have becomes more and more precious to me as the years go by. I’m a working student, I work for one of the most notable advertising agencies in the world. I also like my quiet time to balance out the social leanings of my study and leisure.
If you want some edgy cartoons with a definite pro-Palestinian slant, try Abu Mahjoob. It can sometimes be difficult, but is easily as creative as Doonesbury. Cartoons are in the archives, and the forum is always good for a couple hours. For those who are more comfortable with same-sex forums, there are also forums for only women or only men.
[Note: This post for some reason has become a magnet for Russian spam comments. Do they not notice the irony of spamming a website in a language other than the one it’s written in? I have translated them with a machine translation tool and kept the ones I like–but with the links neutered!]