Thursday, September 28, 2006

Jordan is having rude awakening

I wonder whether the gripe by the federation of the labor unions is something that will have some grave consequences on the long run, or is it going to end up being just a tempest in the tea pot.! Getting wrangled in legal proceedings can be very arduous thorny & costly process. I'm not even sure that Jordan has the wherewithal to withstand standing up to these giant labor federations and their highly paid elite lawyer.
We all know how much it cost the Arab Bank to defend its position against an alleged accusation of transferring money to illegal Palestinian organizations.
While there is no parallel between the two cases still, litigation especially coming from the USA can be very costly and time consuming.
I hope that Jordan would do something quick to extricate itself from this legal mess. Being a member of the free trade organizations may end up being a liability rather than an asset for Jordan.
These people mean business they use the law to its fullest extent. Repeated violations of the labor laws will not be tolerated by them and what may be acceptable working conditions in Jordan may not even meet the minimum standards required by the federation of labor unions.
In the place where I work we have been negotiating with the union officials for over a year and a half just to remove one paragraph from the contract and to adjust the labor re-numerations by less than fifty cents over a three year period.
Jordanian official need to wake up and smell the coffee if they want to continue with this free trade thing and with importing laborers from poor Asian countries and working them all kinds of hours with very little benefits and lousy work conditions.
I'm almost sure that if this litigation is allowed to proceed before any quick amicable solution is found, Jordan will be stymied and would have to make a lot of concessions before the working conditions of the laborers can be corrected and brought up to a standard acceptable to the global community.
Some bloggers were quick to point that other parts of the world are still practicing slave labor and no one is bothering them, while this may be true but remember that those countries are probably not members of the free trade organization and not governed by the same standards, in addition, that no one of these people have come forward to lodge a complain the way the guest workers in Jordan did.
I'm not going to speculate about the upshot but in my opinion it doesn't look good at all.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Audible Jordanian Voices

What does Randa Habib, Ayman Safadi, Ahmad Humeid, and Marwan Muasher have in common ? You might say that they are all Jordanian citizens, and the first three are journalists while the fourth one is a former Jordanian government official. Perhaps so but that isn't the purpose of my lumping them together. For one reason or another they were selected to comment on the fifth anniversary of the spectacular September eleven attack on New York and Washington. I heard them speaking one at the time on national public radio station while driving from my work toward my house. I don't know who reached out to who, whether the media correspondents in the USA reached out to them or whether it is the other way around, but no matter who reached out to whom it is a good forward thinking and it is about time that we hear the voices of the Jordanians reaching all the way into the United States of America. Over the past ten years or so I have grown accustomed to listening to one and only voice of Rami Khoury, he was always the one and only Jordanian appearing on US media apparatus. He always does a good job explaining the situation whatever it might have been, I would even say that there were instances when he did an exemplary job responding to tough questioning by experienced veteran US Journalists, but again how much one person can do and no matter how different ideas he had, eventually the listeners begin predicting what exactly Rami is going to say about a given situation. That is why I was both surprised and exhilarated when I heard the voices of those other Jordanian presenting fresh views about terrorism, blogging, and Arab & US relationships. For the most part they all did a good job expressing their views & echoing the sentiments of the Jordanian streets pulse. The point I'm trying to make here is that the Jordanian must make a concerted effort to reach out to the US media, it is the only way to raise the awareness about Jordan and the people of Jordan, the US media loves to talk to local native people no matter how important or unimportant these people are. I'm not sure why the people of Jordan tend to want to stay away from the media lime lights, no body knows more about Jordan and the Jordanian people as much as the people living in Jordan do, why then don't they reach out to the US media and try to grant them interviews just like the ones mentioned above, and they don't have to wait for an occasion such as the fifth anniversary of September 11, they can and should do it all year around with and without occasion. They should express themselves in the most professional manner with the best way they know how in a transparent fashionable way. The US media loves to hear from them especially when Jordan is highly representative of epic center of both war and peace.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I'm Ashamed

I can't believe that the national flagship news agency for the Kingdom would make a flagrant mistake like this one , a native English tongue reading the report would definitely get the impression that the valorous awards are given for an act of insolence. I don't understand how did that egregious mistake slipped through the proof readers working for Petra News agency ? Aren't they supposed to read those news releases prior to posting them for the rest of the world to read them. I tell you, I'm ashamed of Petra News Agency for calling those valiant individuals audacious. There is really no excuse for it, this is elementary stuff, the translator or whomever did that should have instantaneously recognized that the word "audacity" had a negative connotation to it and should have never been used in this particular instance, but in any event : To whom the bells toll ! I guess if you didn't notice it no would would have bothered noting it either. In my opinion a correction and retraction are in order, they should be made to the readers and to the heroes that risked their life to save the other tourists and rush them to the hospital, but when was the last time you noticed the Petra news agency admitted making and error or issuing an apology ?. I'll leave the answer for your imaginations.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mohammad Salah

For those of you unfamiliar with the case at hand , you will be much better served by first Googling the name Mohammad Salah and then read the post below.

Mr. Mohammad Salah will not get a fair trial the same way Mr. Sami Alarian before him didn't get a fair trial, so is Mr. Mazen Alnagar, and Musa Abu Marzooq, and Ghassan Baloot and many others . The list goes on and on. When the evidence is so frivolously minute to nonexistent, the government resorts to trumped up charges that could never be proven under the law of the land. That is why the government resorts to bigoted incredibly phony witnesses such as Judith Miller and other secret informants that no one is able to confront or cross examine due to the fact that they are kept incognito. Mr. Salah's case is no case, and so is Mr. Alrian and some of the others, these are passionate people set out to help the impoverished amongst their people, they raise funds for charitable contributions to help the families that lost their bread winners fighting the occupation forces of their countries. They aren't by no means aiding or abetting terrorism, they don't support killing of innocent civilians, they don't raise funds for the purpose of purchasing military hardware, they can be considered in western interpretations as if they are philanthropists, humanitarians, altruists, or whatever. How could such actions be so wrongfully interpreted as aiding or supporting terrorism or terrorist organizations. Mr. Salah is being accused of being the front man for Hamas, the bagman as Mr. Grossman described him, what does that really mean ! The money is being disseminated for charitable causes period. By contrast, Mr. AlArian was accused of being the front man for the Islamic Jihad, he too was raising funds for charitable purposes but due his hostile stand against Israel the occupier of his ancestors and his own land, he was accused of aiding terrorism and terrorists in the Islamic Jihad organization. Neither one of the two men can never be proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, their cases are purely political, they are intended to be as teaching lessons to other activists in the Arab and Muslim community in the United States-- implicitly warning them so to speak to refrain from raising charitable funds to help their people back home in Palestine, they are also intended to appease the Jewish Americans who are constantly pressuring the government through their lobbyists and special interest groups to subjugate Arab and Muslim activism in the USA even if the situation necessitates concocting trumped up charges. Salah and AlArian should have never spent one day in jail. On the contrary, they should have been rewarded for their courage to go out and stick their nick trying to raise funds to help their people deal with the abject poverty that they have been living and still currently living through for many years. I don't believe that Salah's case or AlArian's case should deter those of us that are determined to help their families and friends back home in Palestine to improve their financial status or at least be able to secure the daily nutrition to sustain normal living which they are currently lacking. Salah is probably going to jail due to extreme bias --the recent events which will no doubt prejudice the jury decision. Mr. Salah's under torture confession, plus five years in an Israeli jail, plus the years that have gone by since the early nineties should render his case null and void and dismiss him outright to go home-- under the statute of limitation. Sadly though and knowing what we already know about the penchant of the government to tag any Muslim with terrorism charge would give us the inevitable ominous notion about the outcome of Mr. Salah's fate. I wish him well but I'm really standing on the cusp of hopelessness.