A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Issue explosion

If there’s anything that pisses me off, it’s the attempts of those with power to practice thought control on those beneath them- it makes me feel like I’m living a chapter out of an Orwellian novel.


I mean, regardless of whether you are for or against a certain issue, IT STILL EXISTS. You should have the right to think about it, discuss it and debate it. Fact of life- CLOSING YOUR EYES WILL NOT MAKE IT DISAPPEAR. It will not make it any better either. Or any worse. Actually, maybe worse. Depending on how you look at it.

Point is, God gave us brains, let us use them, alright?

Banning “The Da Vinci Code” will not magically make the book and the theories behind it disappear, it will only make people more anxious to see what the fuss is all about. Pulling out a magazine off shelves because it has an article dealing with LGBT issues does not make the fact that we have homosexuals in the Arab world disappear either. And worst yet, condemning female sexuality does not mean that it does not exist (this post by Amino, entitled “Sexuality and Sex and the Arabic Taboo”, is one of my very favorite posts, make sure you read it).

Hello Arabia! Wake up and smell the coffee.

Thinking about such issues makes me laugh at our hypocritical tendencies- they are amazing, aren’t they? Most magazine stands around the country stock Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Vogue, and many other Western magazines that elaborately discuss issues pertaining to sexuality. Yet, when a local magazine starts to discuss these issues on a local scope, the drama kings have a piss fit. It’s like- oh, my, don’t you even dare to think that we have the issues that have resulted in the fall of infidel West, oh, no, no, no. Don’t discuss it either, discussing it will make it come true! Shut up! Don’t talk about it! Shut up! You’re making it come true!

Yeee 3aleina 3ad!

The silver lining? I am so happy to see that we have such fantastic women in Jordan, whether I am talking about the women over at Viva who chose to publish the articles, or our very own bloggerettes who gave a piece of their mind.

Quoting Lina, and completely agreeing with her a hundred percent, “To me, this isn’t about this particular magazine or about Gay and Lesbian rights, it’s about respecting people’s right to know, and people’s right to decide for themselves. When will the custody over our minds end?? It’s very naive to think that you can completely block certain issues from being exposed and pull a blanket over our eyes!”

Don’t let them pull the blankets over your head. Read the articles here.

Jordanian bloggerettes take on this:
Khalidah Mufleh
Hala Khalaf
Natasha Tynes
Lina Ejeilat


Miriam Asnes


The message after the beep


Me wants


  1. takhalluf!

  2. Great post as usual Roba and thank you for emphasizing what we all want to say .. the message we want to send out is very clear .. if you put a blind on your eyes .. it does not mean that you are invisible .. so when we deny issues (regardless of the issues themselves) .. denial won’t and does not make them disappear …

    Thank you again .. you said it best

  3. Jad

    ya 3aib el shoum ya 3aib el shoum 3an sho 3am te7ki ya roba :D

  4. husams

    “oh, my, don’t you even dare to think that we have the issues that have resulted in the fall of infidel West, oh, no, no, no.”

    Yes yes, God is protecting us from such dilutions, its clear we are safe from such sick thoughts, these thoughts are just the results of sexual immorality and lots of freedom in the west, we are safe for being conservative societies, god protects us…… BUT Google trends is not helping making things invisible anymore, DAMN you Google

    So the search for “man boy sex” so maybe it’s just the desperate girls of Saudi Arabia looking for hot guys, well in both cases we are so busted! – Search obtained from Sandmonkey-

    This result will make things sure , notice the language too.

    I don’t know if to laugh or to weep…. Something so fuuuuggged up, believe me something serious must be fixed up, believe me it doesn’t worth it, people from the far future will look back into history, and say what the hell these people were doing to themselves, pity them.

    I used to believe that LGBT is not influenced by the environment (not affected by the way of living), now thanx to Google, I just don’t.

    Yes yes, I know, this is just another conspiracy theory, Google is a big big fat liar.

  5. Roba, WONDERFUL. Great post. Muchas gracias.

  6. Hide your women at home. Don’t let them use the phone, watch TV, and God forbid that they use the internet. Boycott Safeway, Hardees and Starbucks. Becoming too Western is dangerous to your health. I’m living proof of that.

  7. The Right to Know vs. the Right not to know.

    You would be amazed by the number of people who believe that they have a right to the latter.

    If there is a bright spot here, it is

    a)seeing what blogger solidarity and internet access can accomplish

    b) recognizing that work must be done to bring other parts of the country up to speed with the capital. Long term reform in Jordan will stall if efforts are only centered on the people who live in Amman & those pockets of cosmopolitanism.

  8. kinzi

    Well said Roba!

    I believe Jordanian people are strong enough to keep the best of their conservative culture securely intact whether they know of other ‘options’ or not.

  9. Roba, as it happens I agree with you for knowledge is power, however if serious debate on the right to information is to be had then it needs to be coupled with a debate on whether people also have the right to shield them selves and others from information, for that is the struggle at the core of all those issues. Mix that with a socio-political system particularly one where majority ruling is considered of value then the fact this is not an open-shut case becomes apparent.

    I some times ask people who consider such issues straight forward: dose a mother “have the right”(not should) to shield her daughter from the fact that her neighbour has been horrifically raped and murdered?

    I believe its extremely important not to view such issues as simple for that hampers the opportunity to make any serious progress.

    well, unless I start to rule the world then all will be ok ;)


    deeri balek ten7awlee,
    looking so deep into the ‘problem’

  11. She

    This is a great piece, Roba. The Arab world (indeed, the world in general, not just the Arab world) needs more people like you.

  12. Anonymous

    why dont you download the movie? censorship is nothing new in the Middle East used to be a lot worse.

  13. Samer

    “It’s very naive to think that you can completely block certain issues from being exposed and pull a blanket over our eyes!”

    From being exposed? You forego the fact that an article in a mass distributed publication is sympathizing with and glorifying homosexuality? Do you consider an article entitled ‘forbidden love’ to be a heroic attempt at exposing the truth? (that much is apparent from your praise of Viva) Truth is something arrived at by being critical and objective, not by glorification and sympathy…

    Excuse my harsh words, you are blindly riding on the Freedom of Speech train. You simply aren’t doing your homework in critical thinking. The vaunted Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that anybody is free to spew forth whatever he wants. Do you realize the power of ideas? (example, people get killed for their ideas) Do you realize that there is what can be constructive and what can be destructive or detrimental to society? Do you realize that not all ‘percieved’ progress is forward (thus backwards progress)?

    Here’s what I have infront of me, a young adult Muslim who is defending and helping distribute an article that clearly intending to normalize homosexuality in a Muslim and Christian society. A forbidden act for which a whole town was divinely punished according to the Qur’an (i.e. God’s words, if you’re Muslim).

    That is proposterous. That is crossing the line between open mindedness and no-mindedness.


  14. I want to scream!

    Stop this insanity of trying to cover our eyes!! It is the era of the internet. We are connected to the world now. No one can hide the sun in his bare hands!

    Most people read The Da Vince Code, and most people would probably be able to bring the movie either on DVD or downloading it from some site of the internet. This banning is useless. It just shows out our stupidity.

    The about homosexuality and women sexuality articles! How come other foreign magazines enter the country with those topics while our magazines can’t talk about it??


  15. Sex, Sexuality, and the Arabic Taboo has been edited, since it’s your favorite. The new sequel that has been published today is
    Dating, Chastity, and Society

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