Are Jordanian Bloggers Making a Difference?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sometimes I wonder if the Jordanian government doesn't have a small department of people stashed away somewhere...people who's sole job is to read the popular opinion of local bloggers and report to a task force in charge facilitating change for the betterment of the Kingdom.

Perhaps this is just an overblown theory, but let's look at some of the more recent (and welcome) changes that have previously been the topic of conversation in the blog-o-sphere.

The nasty black and yellow striped curbs that border Amman's streets
The result? All the curbs are now in the process of being painted gray.
The unknown factor when it comes to determining dates of holidays, especially when it comes to having to physically visualize the moon.
The result? The king has recently requested that government holidays and other occasions, such as daylight saving time, be scientifically determined and announced in advance.
The hindrance of trees and other obstructions in the public sidewalk
All trees are supposed to be trimmed to a specific height. Smaller trees are to be transplanted to another location.
The lack of a city-wide master plan, resulting in poorly planned construction and infrastructure.
The result? The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) has adopted a 30-year master plan which should set greater standards for parking needs, road construction, water, electrical, and sewage placement, as well as proper zoning restrictions throughout the city.
The mandate that all buildings in Amman be constructed out of white stone.
The result? Buildings of varying construction types are being erected throughout the city. (So far, I've been impressed with much of the new constructionnwith the exception of that blue-tiled monstrosity on Zahran Street between 3rd and 4th Circles.)
These are just a few examples of issues that have mysterious been addressed after being lobbied over by Jordanian bloggers. Other issues that still need addressing, however, include:

Garbage bins
Those ugly, gray bins are still lying disheveled in the middle of the streets. And bi shan Allah, stop putting wheels on those things; they're always bent and folded up under the bin anyway!
Smoking in public places
Darn you, America, for introducing tobacco to the world! And the fact that the Jordanian government still hasn't enforced a non-smoking policy in public places, shame on you.
Double (and triple) parking
Why hasn't the government been doing anything about this? If the government needs some extra income to make up for all of the excessive amount of holiday days taken in January, they should just task all of the police officers to go around writing tickets for double parking. And I'm not talking about those lousy 10JD tickets, which apparently don't have any effect on the populace.
Jordanian currency's third decimal place
I haven't mentioned this one before, but I thought I would throw it in for good measure. After all, the thrid decimal place serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever, other than to confuse foreign tourists visiting the country. Why not pull a monetary system reform, Turkish-style, and just do away with it once and for all?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the nuclear program advocated by Khalaf?

1/20/2007 12:52 PM  
Anonymous kinzi said...

Don't forget the Skype fiasco! are you referring to his post or are you saying Khalaf may just be...? Another clever disguise? hhhm.... :D

Dave, great post. Way to go to affirm those bloggers!

I have one...cameras at every intersection and 50JD fines for every infraction...especially those who go straight from a left turn only lane. Oh golly, dont' get me started....

1/20/2007 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about shutting down jordanplanet ? you donr think there is something fishy about it ?

1/20/2007 10:17 PM  
Blogger manal yusuf said...

what about the street conditions they are the worest, when will jordan start using good asfalt...our streets are full of holes, sometimes it feel like a game while driving, if you miss a hole you gain 5 points n if you dont u loose a point...and always you end up loosing cause theres so many holes and un-leveled asfalt...

and its min shan Allah :)

1/21/2007 10:54 AM  
Anonymous EarthChild┬« said...

it's not only Jordan that needs to b altered or enhanced into a better place, it's THE PEOPLE within..

and manal it's lose =P bi shan Alla might exist if someone has a cold. lol i agree with you, i DETEST our streets, and our people.. again.

1/21/2007 4:31 PM  
Blogger Moey said...

nice, i like the decimal idea.

1/22/2007 2:34 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Anonymous, the only thought that I have concerning a potential nuclear program in Jordan is where will we put it? Other than that, it's a fairly recent issue and is just beginning to be discussed amongst bloggers.

Kinzi, I forgot about the government locking down Skype. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous, I don't think that there were any outside forces being the shutting down of Jordan Planet. I think that the management had some quality control issues that they wanted to address and decided to take a hiatus to see if the issues could be resolved. I have high hopes that Jordan Planet will be resurrected. Most of the good that has come from the issues stated in this post are a direct result of Jordan Planeteers.

Manal, I agree; the streets are in rough shape. I'm not sure what type of asphalt the government is using on the roads, but it's poor quality, indeed. There's definitely a need for better road construction in the Kingdom.

1/22/2007 9:01 AM  
Blogger The Observer said...

Maybe it is just that bloggers are sounding what most people in amman complain about.

It seems that the government is listening to people. Maybe it is the blogs, maybe it is other media. But I am glad that they are changing things for better.

We can keep voicing ourselves, and hope that they hear us :)

1/25/2007 3:03 PM  

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