Tuesday, July 18, 2006

 

YES YES YES, FINALLY SOME SENSE

I cam across this on JordanPlanet. I have to say Rami's insights are bloody brilliant. This is exactly the kind of sentiment we need in Jordan. Neutrality in the ongoing conflict is a great boost for the Jordanian economy. All this bullshit arab nationalism coupled with some islamist jihadi mentality thrown in is really getting tiresome. That is not to say that as individuals we should not be oblivious to the barbaric violence. We should be outraged by senseless death but we should not as a society channel all those feelings of anger and disgust into abstracted visions of an "honour redeeming" confrontation with Israel. The foxnews of the Arab World, a.k.a. Al-Jazeera watching idiot seems to be sitting comfortably back in his or her armchair watching the events unfold and feed the cycle of violence by giving tacit approval to Hizbollah.
I'm ecstatic to see that many Lebanese, besides the maronites, are fed up with Hizbollah. I think Nayef in Beirut says it best here. The Hizbollah leadership knew very well that kidnapping those two soldiers would invite massive retalliation on the part of the Israelis. So why the hell did they choose to embroil Lebanon in such a conflict? Personally, it's becoming painfully obvious that Hizbollah is willing to sacrifice the lives of hundreds of Lebanese in order to re-establish sympathy for the group as a resistance movement. A cool calculated political move which on some levels appears to be backfiring.
None of what I have said is to say that Israel's bombardment is not equally deploarable. Destroying the entire Lebanese (not only Hizbollah) infrastructre with countless civilians along with it is not going to secure the release of the soldiers or lead to what Israel is projecting to be increased security.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

 

Lebanese/Palestinian/Israeli Conflict

Israel once again responds with collective punishment and disproportionate force. It appears the Israeli military thinks it can secure the release of its soliders by bombing everything in sight. Somehow, something tells me that won't be a very succesful strategy.

The blogosphere is alight with condemnation and outrage, so I won't repeat it. But I do feel that there is a lack of criticism of Hezbollah and Hamas. Don't get me wrong, I think what Israel is doing in both Lebanon is both barbaric and completely unacceptable. The Israeli ambassador to the U.N. based his defence upon the Israel's wish to rid the Lebanese of the oppressive Hizbollah. I agree that Hizbollah is oppressive, but simply bombing the hell out of all infrastructure in both Gaza and Lebanon is ridiculous. And initial reports suggest that the Lebanese are abandoning their weariness of Hizbollah and Syrian influence, and are moving towards rallying behind Hizbollah.

It is difficult to gauge public sentiment in a place as complex as Lebanon a time like this. On the flip side, there also appears to be a large number of Lebanese whom do not care for Hizbollah's cavalier attitude, but so far, most of those individuals are either Maronites or Druze. However, I am sure that there are others who feel that the actions of Hizbollah are not in the best interest of Lebanon as a whole.

In all the high drama, death and destruction, the Levantine psyche often reverts back to a monochrome or plays a crude number's game. It appears that we are neglecting an important query. How have the actions of Hizbollah (i.e. the kidnapping the Israeli soldiers) benefit the Lebanese people? It is a basic question, one that I don't think is as hard to answer as whether the actions of of Hamas benifited the Palestinian people, though they can both be answered with a resounding NO.

I understand that the actions of Hamas were not created in a vacuum. However, I refuse to believe that the Hamas and Hizbollah leaderships did not foresee Israeli retalliation. They knew that the kidnappings of the soldiers would have been seen as an escalation. It is not fair that thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese languish in Israeli jails and are ignored on the world stage. However, the actions of Hamas & Hizbollah are not benifiting the prisoners, and these anti-Israeli leaders knew that from the start. Of course, as Sabbah points out, there is a viable racial discourse here which is also often neglected.

But what governing and authoratitive bodies should do is engage in realpolitik and pragmatism, not political grandstanding that would ultimately lead to hundreds perhaps even thousands of needless deaths. Lebanon has been struggling for nearly a decade to rebuild, and is doing so with some success, but this latest conflict has already set the Lebanese back a few years with investors and tourists shying away. This development comes at an especially difficult time, given the fact that Lebanon is suffering from massive external debt which one of the reasons why Arab investors are now favouring Jordan instead of Lebanon.

Everyone in the area is aware of Israel's lack of inhibitions when it comes to retalliation, so why invite it? All over the blogosphere there appears to be too much subconscious exaltation, perhaps fuelled by the likes of Al-Jazeera. It seems that the "Arab Street" is obsessed with the idea of an epic struggle in which "honour" is regained. It is easy for the random person sitting in front of the computer to laud the heroic Lebanese or Palestinians without actually sharing the misery and pain. I would venture so far as to say that most Palestinians and Lebanese don't want constant struggle. I would say that what most Palestinians and Lebanese want is a chance to live their lives: for their kids to go to school, to go to their shops, take weekend excursions, and so on. Few desire a prolonged engagement with Israel in order to regain "honour." The fates ( in the form of Israel, Hamas and Hizbollah) are conspiring against them in a struggle for something that is not tangible.

In the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, no amount of suicide bombings, kidnappings or any displays of violence has brought the Palestinians an inch closer towards allowing people to live their lives without the threat of an Israeli airstrike looming.

What I ask for is that before anyone is encapsulated by feelings of patriotic fervour, one should remember that the people at the centre of these struggles really want their lives to go on and get better. So it is time we ask ourselves the question. Is what the so called "resistance" really helping the Palestinians, or are their actions dominated by a need for revenge, fuelled by foolish, passive onlookers in the rest of the Arab world?

Perhaps our mindset should be augmented to follow different solutions, new ideas towards ending the terrible conflict.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

 

Ignoramus of the Week Launch

I hereby announce the launch of the dubious yet prestigious "Ignoramus of the Week Award". The award will go out on a weekly basis to the blogger or commenter exhibitng the greatest ignorance, stupidity or idiotic behviour. The award unfortunately does not carry a cash prize due to certain funding and financial difficulties.

This week we shall honour Dozz who quite amusingly attempted to convey some semblence of higher homo-sapien thought by addressing the social issues concerning modesty and dress over at Omar's blog. However, it is worth noting that the cockroach (Ziad Abu Ghneimeh) came in a close second after quite a valiant effort with his piece entitles "What they buy and what we buy". In it our dear friend Ziad outlines the frivolities and sheer eccentricities of wealthy Arabs, which is in not a bad subject considering the ridiculous lifestyles of said wealthy Arabs. However, Ziad would then proceed to regurgitate the old Zionists-are-taking-over-the-world routine coupled with a hefty dose of racism and anti-Semitism. It was ultimately this latter part that brought him close to the award with the former inhibiting him from claiming it outright. No matter, something tells me that Ziad will not give up and redouble his efforts for next week's award as Ziad is an embodiment of all the aforementioned ideals which are the very spirit of the award.

Let's turn back to Dozz, lest we forget the man of the hour, our hero, this week's Champion. In his comments Dozz displayed a lack of command of the English language and a number of peculiar irregularities and contradictions. He said that he loved music but there are too many concerts, and women are either westernized or immitating other cultures. Dozz eloquently describes peer pressure, and then proceeds to thank God for the conservatives whilst simultaneously exuding some wonderfully sexist attitudes.

Your award is well-deserved Dozz.

From all of us here at the Spreading Chestnut Tree, a sincere and heartfelt Congratulations on winning "Ignoramus of the Week."

Tune in next time as we crown more winners.

Monday, July 10, 2006

 

Turning to the Dark Side

Khalaf has just posted an interesting article regarding the popularity of terrorist and extremist groups in Jordan. Not surprisingly, the post-11/9 sentiment is begining to erode quite quickly.

There appears to be a sort of mathematical identity present whereby historical evidence suggests that dire economic situations encourage the populace to look towards the extremes of the political-economic spectrum. Years of persecution, oppression, and propaganda have almost completely crippled the socialist left in Jordan. In fact, one could even argue that the Islamic Brotherhood was nurtured to counter the populism of leftists, communists and socialists by the powers that be. And now, what remains is the spectre of right wing Political Islam.

On a different note, I just read Abu-Shreek's comments on democracy. A really good piece in my humble opinion. There appears to have been some sort of mystification process involved in the development of democracy as a viable political system. It appears that the aritifical juxtaposition of economic prosperity and democracy has led to a somewhat sub-conscious association between thew two. However, the real consequential elements of democracy that would foster economic growth are: respect for the rule of law, and guaranteeing private proerty rights. These are of course, not exclusive to a democratic system, but are more readily available through the ballot box.

Aside from all the political theory, I firmly believe that what individuals want by and large is prosperity, stability and security. If a government, democractic or otherwis,e provides the general population with this ideal, all political grandstanding becomes completely irrlevant.

Democracy is not an end result, it is not a destination or an idyllic form of political existence. It is an imperfect ideology whose flaws are glaringly illuminated when populism comes into play. However, it remains a conduit through which economic prosperity can be acheived.

The seemingly egalitarian institutions of democracy can be easily hijacked and subverted. The two-party system is a direct example of this. Furthermore, there exists the erroneous assumption that the establishment of democracy leads to the adoption of centrist politics by civil society. There only exists a corellation between centrism and democracy because of the Western experience. People often neglect to remember that Western societies enjoyed affluence and prosperity long before democracy became a buzz word.

Irrational decisions often plague civil society, especially in times of crisis, as the Arab world and specifically Jordan are finding out right now. An artifical imposition of democracy or democratic ideals will not lead in any way to the elevation of individuals from misery. Indeed, the only thing capable of doing that is economic reform, which would then lead to economic prosperity.

Democracy has been successfully built up as this sort of demi-god ideology and a blissfull state of being, but rather it is simply a method that has worked well for the West in furthering its own prosperity. It does not necessarily translate to prosperity.

The sad or happy truth (depending on how you look at it) is that Religion, Democracy and other socio-political constructs can be easily traded in for a BMW in every drive way, a live-in Sri Lankan maid and 3 story house.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

 

Misconceptions

There was an interesting comment on my blog, and the advice I have heeded, but I'd like to draw attention to the phrase: "I think that open market economy is borderline criminal."

There are of course legitimate complaints against free market principles embodies in the existence of market failure and monocultural economic development in a free trade environment, as well as income inquality depending on the tax regime. I do not know what Abu Shreek's exact meaning was, but for all intenets and purposes I thought I'd outline some recurring misconceptions about the the Free Market and The Economy in general:

  1. Corporations and Big Business are reflections of the free-market. This is completely untrue. Monopolistic and monopsonistic (firms with the power to affect wages) are actually antithetical to the free-market. In many cases huge and exploitative corporations arise due to a lack of competition or government regulation and protectionism.
  2. The United States is the greatest bastion of free market capitalism. Absolutely not. The United States economy might have some semblences of the free market, much more so than many Arab countries, but the U.S. remains highly protectionist and mononpolistic. The U.S. has been referred to the World Trade Organization disciplinary committee almost 3 times - more than any other country. The U.S. encourages volountary export restraints in other countries. Taxes are amongst the highest in the world. Bureaucracy is rampant. The state employer in the U.S. is the government (state and federal combined). Americans themselves seem wary of free trade as there appears to be hysteria regarding illegal immigrants depressing wages and taking jobs, as well as a fear of jobs being outsourced. Having said all of this, the U.S. does well in terms of having open capital markets and easy-to-navigate investment laws. There are lots of things that are great in terms of free market economics, I won't go into them here, but the assertion that the U.S. is a model for the free market is completely wrong.
  3. Syria and Israel have great Economies. This has always puzzled me. You always hear people saying, if you build a wall around Syria they'll do fine, because they produce their own goods. Despire whether that statement is true or not, WHY IS THIS AN INDICATION OF ECONOMIC HEALTH?????? Syria has continuously underperformed because of this very reason. Syria suffers from high unemployment, sluggish growth (if any), the products produced on Syrian soil are of sub-par quality, etc. There appears to be admiration of mercantilism and autarky deeply that is embedded in the Arab psyche for some reason. Perhpas it has something to do with the Prophet warning a nation against eating for what it does not sow and clothing itself with what it does not produce. The exact quote escapes me right now. However, the statement is completely irrational. You also hear the same sort of thing with Israel. Israel has one of the most fragile economies in the world, owing to the fact that 63% of Israeli GDP is based on Military spending. Perhaps that is one of the reasons the Israelis are not very keen on ending conflicts because it would simply send their economy into dissarray. They do have a strong high-tech industry, but is still in its infancy, and there is a strong film industry. Israel also relies heavily on foreign aid.
  4. The Jordanian government controls the price of oil. It DOESN'T. The government stopped subsidizing gasoline because it could not simply go on supporting the deflated price indefinitely, considering the soaring price of gas. If anything, it is a good thing. The artificailly low price of gasoline in Jordan has led to many problems, congestion and pollution being at the forefront. The low price of gas has allowed an artificailly high number of people to purchase and use cars, straining the road system. Jordan should not have as many cars as it has now. If proper government policy is drafted and incentives for public transport are increased then the higher gas prices might be benificial for all. I would go so far as to sat that eventually the government should tax gasoline.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

 

The Fallacies of Islamic Economics

(note this post still needs to be edited and proof read sorry for the obvious mistakes)

A while back, I came across a publication by Hizb Al-Tahrir, an supranational islamist movement. The linka alludes me right now but I'm positive if anyone is truly interested you can find it online or at a number of bookshops.

In this publication, we have an almost 200 page outline of the way an Islamic economy out to be run. It appears that Hiz al Tahrir was the first islamic entity to codify a methodological apprach to Economics. This publication served and continues to serve as a blueprint for aspiring islamic movements in terms building a platform for economic growth and prosperity. Inspired by Firas' blog regarding the IAF agenda and the recent ventings of everyone's favourite cockroach, I mean IAF member I decided to write something concrning the IAF's economic platform which is based on the hizb al tahrir publication.

Not to be confused with Islamic Banking which I am hoping to blog about one day, Islamic Economics represents a system of government based on a widely agreed upon set os Islamic principles. The abolition of money as a medium of exchange and with that Interest rate, re-establishing the gold standard, nationalization of industry, flat tax system exhibited in the zakat or charity on wealth not income. Interestingly enough bear an uncanny resemblance to Lenin's policy of war communism implemented in the 1920's (Gasp Islamists sounding like those pesky communists).

I can't go into all the issues because it'll take forever but I'll address some of them.

First of Interest Rates and Money. The Islamists say that Islamic tradition clearly forbids these two institutions. Well lets see. If we remove money and abolish interest rate and have gold as the medium of exchange, the following will happen. The price of gold is not constant. If I were to borrow one hundred bars of gold from someone and promise to pay back that amount in a year. It is unrealistic to assume that the price of gold will remain constant, it would either shift upwards or downwards according to the forces of supply and demand. It is unrealistic to assume that the price of gold will remain constant even if the islamic government steps in and decides to artificially control the price or value of gold due to the simple fact that gold is a finite commodity as more of it is extracted the value of gold will increase as there is less supply. Anyway back to the exampl, the 100 bars of gold I borrowed from my friend will change in value either upwards or downwards depending on the Demand-Supply interaction in the year that I have to repay the amount. As such Interest will naturally accrue on that loan naturally. Interest in one way or the other is a naturally occurring phenomenon which in this case is directly equal to the rate of inflation. So the real interest rate on gold (the medium of exchange) becomes the same as the inflation rate. As such, we cannot really get rid of interest even if we tried to, Furthermore, an underlying force of growth in an economy is investment. Eliminating interest would undoubtedly lead to banks not giving out loans to entrepeneurs wishing to open businesses. After all, part of the profit made through interest on loans is used in negotiating the risks of possible defaulting loans.

There also appears to be the erroneous notion that the state can cure unemployment and fuel growth through large scale state owned enterprises. A sort of Kynesian principal. Obviously, the problems with state owned enterprises are a lack of productivity growth and so on, slow or stagnant productivity growth has an adverse effect on economic growth in general. There is a long list of problems with monopolistic and inefficient state owned enterprises that is really. long. However, remember the Islamic platform also proposes a very rigid flat tax strcuture. Hence we would have a problem with funding these large state owned enterprises to begin with considering the fact that a flat tax system would not be able to cope with the situation in most islamic countries (namely very little wealth in the hands of a few), the minute this tax system is implemented the few wealthy individuals in socitey will simply spirit their money abroad to avoid the flat tax. Furthermore, a flat tax on wealth would hurt the poor a whole lot more than the rich. Think of it this way, an individual with a million dollars in the bank would be able to easily take a 10% tax on that million dollars. That person wouldn't even need to change their lifestyle choices but a person with only 200 dollars in the bank, that same tax will hav a serious effect on lifestyle and spending choics. Furthermore, there has not been a successful updating of Islami tax policy since the 1200s. Saudi Arabia has attempted to do so with little effect and as such we see massive inconsistencies in the tax regime and is one of the major reasons the Saudi economy performs so badly. If it weren't for the petro-dollar the Saudis would have gone bankrupt along time ago. That is not to say that Saudi Arabia does in anyway more than the superficial adhere to the sort of policies that the IAF is calling for. The Tax policies the IAF is calling for will further exacerbate Jordan's major income inequality problem rather than solve it.

The IAF agenda betrays a sort of naivete which is surprising considering the fact that that so many Jordanians appear to agree with them. The notion that the state would be able to provide unemployment and thus stimulating the economy is a throw back to earky 20th century Keynesian economics. The problems with this sort of system arise from the lack of acknowledgement of the supply side of the economy. These policies do not take into account
the effects of supply shocks on the economy. For example a sudden increase in the price of oil would leave this sort of Islamic Economy in tatters with high inflation and high unemployment (stagflation).

Another problem is protectionism. This sort of import substitution in order to promote the local economy has faileddismally in the past. We need look no further that Syria for that. Protectionism will not promote growth but rather cause massive stagnation and a deterioration in the quality of goods produced. It would also not help employment or growth in the long run.

Withdrawing from the global monetary system will have serious negative ramifications on the Jordanian economy. Jordan's stellar growth in the past 4 years has beem fuelled primarily by foreign direct investment, capital controls will completely obliterate any chance of such investments in the future.

These have all been long run problems associated with the IAF's economic policy. In the short run there will be major problems associated with transitioning the economy towards this sort of islamic economic infrastructure.

I guess this is really long as it is so I hope the few readers aren't bored by the end of it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

 

Some thoughts

The traumatic events of 9/11 elicited a number of interesting responses from the Arab and Moslems around the world. On on level, you have your typical brainless twit. This type of response is comprised of assorted conspiracy theories, presenting "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" as evidence (forgetting that it is undeniable truth that the aforementioned book was nothing more than a tsarist fabrication, but enough of that now).

These esteemed individuals do not want to deal with the fact that there perhaps exists something inherent in Islam that led the hijackers to commit such a monstrous act. This mindset is often coupled with the fact that many of these people funneling these conspiracy theories have lived out their entire lives under the domineering eye of a totalitarian state. These individuals find a free and RELATIVELY impartial media unfathomable. They cannot conceptualize the notion of independed journalism, because they have never experienced. In their own countries real journalism is a joke, so why would they trust the press reports in general?

Furthermore, the dictatorial Arab state has successfully funnelled years of frustration and economic chaos on that elusive Other or outsider, blaming all of its shortcomings on the Zionists or Jews or the Americans.

If you're Jordanian, I'm sure you've heard this one before: "Everyone is getting the flu, it must be that the Israelis are leaking radition through the Dimona reactor". Such ludicrous statements are commonplace in polite conversation in Jordan. It's no wonder so many of us can't face up to the fact that some really fucked-up people flew planes into buildings on September 11th, 2001. We're conditioned to blame everything on the outsiders.

 

ALLEZ LES BLEUS

Well played!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

 

Jordan Planet

I stumbled onto Jordan Planet about a year ago while I was googlng for Jordanian blogs (of all things). At first I was, to say the least, intrigued. The fact that Jordan had its own blogosphere was an extremely exciting idea.

In the West, the blogosphere is valuable in the sense that it provides a reflection of the wide spectrum of ideas, positions, ideologies and the random ramblings of a diverse demographic. I am, of course, paying mere lip service to the wealth of the blogosphere in general but the point I'm trying to get across in a nutshell is that whatever value the blogosphere offers is inherent within the the blogosphere's ability to communicate diversity, and as such promotes what can only be referred to as a "smidgen" of dialogue culminating in an intellecutual dialectical evolution.

This is not the case with Jordan Planet. JP is a representation of more or less a very narrow and distinctive slice of Jordanian Society, namely the middle class. As such we see a monotonous repetition of the same old tried, tested, and frankly boring upper middle class diatrible on the same old issues. Dissent from this unwritten party line of sorts is markedly absent. Of course not all members of Jordan Planet are this bland. Some are actually quite entertaining and intelligent. The overall majority however, are not. It seems a lot of people on Jordan Planet engage in a sort of communal patting each other on the back over joining the modern world b blogging, all that crap about young voices being heard etc,, Hearing those voices is all well and good, but how about we really listen to what they are saying, which is as it turns out for the most part a whole lot of nothing.

We see for example, JPs self-proclaimed "Feminist" Roba Assi. The first time I read her blog I saw her as breath of fresh air, only to be deeply dissapointed later. Instead of finding her feminist inspiration in the works of Rosa Luxemborg, Gloria Steinem or even Janice Raymond, she derives wisdom from No Doubt's "Just a Girl". How stimulating!

Of course we also have the vocal pro-palestinian activists: Sugarcubes and Palforce. Their take on the Israeli Palestinian conflict is so tedious and unintelligent that it beguiles mental nausea. It reminds of a baboon rattling his cage: "YES Palestinian good, Israeli Bad, give me BANANA".
Their response to one of the world's most complex conflicts is so incredibly uninspiring that reading their respective blogs has finally led me to understand why the conflict continues: Idiotic behaviour on both sides, from so-called intellectuals who ought to know better.

How can I forget JPs resident leading Islamist/nationalist (how those two are compatible I don't know) - Ziad Abu Ghneimeh It is such a pleasure to to examine this neanderthal in his natural habitat. This great sage of our time is the very embodiment of the limited nature of political Islam. It is also apparent that very few people on Jordan Planet want to stand up to this "bearded" cockroach of a man. No one but Batir appears to have the stomach for it. This is probably because of the aforementioned unwritten constitution of middle class Jordan whose primary tenent is: "Don't rock the boat, no matter what." Let the crazy Islamists say whatever they want because after all they represent "Islam."

A common theme not solely tied to Ziad or JP is global zionist conspiracy. It appears everyone and their mother is a zionist. This ongoing demonization of jews as a whole is shameful and a disgrace. This is the modern legacy of Political Islam. A system of government based soley on cultivating the myth of the malicious outsider. It is a shame that there exists out there a war of ideas between these fanatical assholes and the rest of us and unforunately the rest of us are losing badly. The left has even gone so far as to embrace the Islamists in what can only be termed as an unholy alliance.

Bloody Hell, how is this association made? How does the Cockroach, a.k.a. Ziad abu Ghneimeh, become the voice of Islam? How does the mere reference of Islam elevate a person or movement beyond criticism? If it wasn't for this Zarqawi business the majority of Islamists would have been allowed to continue spewing their venemous hate without challenge.

I don't have time for more at the moment, but in closing:

It is often said that a society's path of development can be veiwed through the mighty middle class. If JP is any indication, I weep for Jordan's middle class.

Monday, July 03, 2006

 
"BENEATH THE SPREADING CHESTNUT TREE I SOLD YOU
AND YOU SOLD ME."
-George Orwell

I decided to start blogging after being an avid reader of JordanPlanet, the Jordanian Web-portal, not because I was inspired, but rather because I was appalled by what I read. I'd always regarded blogging as the ultimate form of self-indulgence, or worse, the sanctuary of the failed amateur journalist. Having said that, I now find myself joining in. I would like to use this space as a way of chronicling my thoughts. For the casual reader that will stumble upon this site by accident, I would like to say that I will often have little time for proofreading so please excuse the grammatical and spelling mistakes.

I chose to blog in English mainly because I can't be bothered to do it in a less PC friendly language. English is, after all, the world's lingua franca, not simply because of pax americana or pax brittanica (as the culture dinosaurs would put it), but also because of the undeniable truth that English is an incredibly easy language to converse in.

A few personal issues:

I disapprove of religion in virtually all its forms. I am more or less a Libertarian in the sense that I believe in the power of the free market as well as being a firm believer in the Kantian notion of personal freedom, except when it comes to religion.

I believe that globalizaion has the potential to be one of the greatest forces of good in human history. I detest what is commonly referred to as local culture or tradition. In this vein, I detest Nationalism and Pan Arabism to the nth degree. I am reluctant to call myself pro-Palestinian and refuse to be identified as being pro-Israeli as good and evil can be found, it seems ,on both sides of the divide. Rather, I perceive myself as someone who sees a great many problems in Palestinian civil society besides the Israeli occupation of the west bank. Indeed the greater threater to Palestinian well-being is the prevalence of violent Islamist movements.

Furthermore, I am a male feminist.

I think these are all issues that I will touch upon as my blog progresses. Mainly, I think my approach will be a sort of reflection of things read on the Blogosphere particularly the Jordanian Blogosphere, but nothing is set in stone and I will probably diverge from this as time goes on.

With this outline, I welcome you to my blog.

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