Jordan’s Gaza demonstrations and the vibrancy of the online discourse

Today I came across the latest post of Mohammad Omar’s blog [Arabic Link] (which is one of the most interesting Arabic blogs in Jordan). He’s talking about the incidents at the demonstration in Al Rabieh neighborhood last Friday. The Gendarmerie forces clashed with the demonstrators, some of whom were beaten (not to mention the people who passed out due to tear gas). Amongst those beaten was Al Jazeera’s Amman bureau head Yaser Abu Hilaleh, who ended up in the hospital. His beating was well publicized, especially that he received a phone call from HM King Abdullah and was visited in the hospital by the Prime Minister and other officials. The security forces apologized for what happened. More about that incident is in Ammoun News (where you can read the story and over 300 comments on it).

Mohammad Omar, wrote about the story in an interesting way. He’s somewhat optimistic about the situation in Jordan, where demonstrations have been happening across the country daily since Israel’s war on Gaza started, yet life has not gotten disrupted and property has not been damaged (with a few minor exceptions). He contrasts the apology issued by the police to the situation in the early 1980s when student demonstrations where brutally put down by security forces with no apologies or anything. In short, he sees a certain progress in how society and the state function.

Mohammad Omar is a nuanced and critical observer. But what is also interesting is the kind of responses he gets from his readers. On this particular post, published today, he already received 30 comments of all shape and color, agreeing, disagreeing, criticizing and debating. A full spectrum of opinions. And at least one detailed eye witness report of what happened that Friday.

What is happening in Jordan, is the “mainstreaming” of interactive media. Blogs, forums and electronic newspapers have arrived in the mainstream, beyond the initial elitist circle of bloggers. The debate and the full spectrum of truth online is much more interesting and honest than what we see in print.

5 Responses to “Jordan’s Gaza demonstrations and the vibrancy of the online discourse”

  1. Muslimah Says:

    Assalamu Alaikum,
    Muslims around the world are fasting in solidarity with the people of Gaza until the offensive ends.
    It is expected that the offensive is going to continue for another two or three weeks.
    As Muslims, we are responsible and will be accountable for what is happening to Muslims (Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, etc.) around the globe today.
    The least we can do is fast in solidarity.
    Please forward to all Muslims you know, even if you do not agree.

  2. Elmashkalgy Says:

    ضربني وبكا وسبقني وشتكا
    Give a break man, this government is partner in this crimes ,and it’s all documented ,
    We must understand they want to destroy the elected government of Hamas ,p0lain and simple ,because if Hamas stays, their thugish rules will be next

  3. Ahmad Says:

    One of the saddest thing imho is the fact an entire Generation feels hopeless and helpless, thus surrendering to the norm, with the exception of those who choose ACTUALLY do sth on the ground (e.g. Protests, NGO donations…etc) and those who express themselves and those of their peers online.
    We need to let the world know, that we at least will not sit around and watch a massacre happen, we will sit around and talk about it.

  4. Orla Says:

    I hope you spread the message to everyone ..

  5. Mariam Ayyash Says:

    actually, there is one sadder thing that hopelessness and giving in, its turning into our own enemies :(

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