Feb 17, 2011

Egypt, Jordan, # and my cap

Talking about the Egyptian revolution now might seem a little too late for some, but I never blog because I feel "I have to", I blog because I feel I have something to share. Ever since the "anti-Rifa'ee" demonstration(s) started and through out the Egyptian revolution, I've been amazed by people's reactions to whatever is going on as events unfolded, not only on a general level, but on a very personal one as well, and that's what I'd be listing today, what it all meant to me.

1) I've realized that I can now chant, walk and tweet simultaneously ( I'll never know how to write that word  without the help of a dictionary btw!), though it might seem silly, but I find it much telling, tweeting and sharing information as it happens became a part of what we do. We: The youth segment. which takes me to the next point.

2) In the demonstrations, protests, اعتصامات etc..., I've noticed a new look in the "older people"'s eyes when looking at me, it used to be that those old-school-seasoned-activists/politicians would look at us during such events with eyes full of good-surprise and hope, with a look of cautious relief that there's still hope in "this generation", they'd be leading and we'd be there "with them". Now that look has changed, you could feel that they're stepping aside and leaving it up to us to say what we want, and now they're there "with us". looking down at your phone pressing those buttons is no longer disrespectful! In fact, I've had one woman who came to me while I was doing that while at the Egyptian Embassy, tapped over my shoulder and told me " Inta 3al facebook halla2? / are you on facebook right now?" I smiled and said "No, Twitter!" she said "Ah?! bravo 3alaikom bravo 3alaikom"!.
Even though the shift is nice, it's still not where I want it to be -again this post is all too personal- people still won't take me seriously with my cap on, dammit. I have a dream, and in that dream I'm talking to the king with my cap on!.

3) Every time I saw someone holding Jamal Abdel Nasser's picture and when the crowd chanted for/ about him, I felt grateful to my father for naming me after him. I also felt he -my father- was with me, especially on the night of Mubarak's fall, I think I spoke to him at some point in the middle of it. I remember him asking me about the social/political life in the university, and I remember answering him: nothing happens, no one talks about anything. He'd be happy to have seen how it all went down eventually and who is leading these historical revolutions. RIP dad.

4) I'm no longer seen as the crazy/ too political/ dreamy guy! or that's how I feel anyway. Both online and offline, people are more involved in what's happening, they're sharing views and opinions, they're discussing with me, they're asking me about what I think, people are asking me about twitter, how does it work, what da fuck is a hashtag -of course-. The usual random morning talk at work for instance has been all political, domestic and foreign, everyone is involved, and not everyone is on the same page, which is great, because it means that people are not pretending to be involved, they're not repeating what they've heard to look involved, they're actually analyzing and coming up with their own conclusions. brilliant!.

5) I can't help but feel the tendency from everyone to "talk to the youth", to "listen to the youth", it's as if this "mystical creature of the Youth" has been discovered recently and everybody wants to get to know it out of a sudden! Which is good and scary at the same time, good because it's about time someone pay attention to us and take us seriously, and scary because like all-things-Arab; we function on an impulse, with no clear plan or intention, "today the trend is talking to the youth, let's jump on board". I hope I'm mistaken.

All in all, It's been a fascinating time, the situation in Jordan is still unraveling, the calls for change and reform are getting louder, search twitter for "Reform Jo" and "Hashtagdebates" and join the conversation.

Last but not least, I'm working on writing couple of books to help all sectors of the society understand us better, I'm still looking for a publisher:

للمتخوّفين: تعلّم لغة الشباب في ثلاثة أيام دون معلّم
للآباء وأولياء الأمور: رموز الهاشتاق في فك رسائل العشّاق
للإخوان المسلمين: 140 كارَكتَر والله أكبر
للرفاق العتاولة: البناء التكنولوجي والحصاد الإلكتروني