Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Open Memo

This memo is an open response to Mr. Ghariebeh's column appearing in the Jordanian daily Alghad newspaper issue dated October 11, 2006.


I beg to differ, if you think that the Jordanians that write in the English language suffer from great deal of deficiencies then I invite you to take a look at the writings of some of the following bloggers on Jordan Planet :

1) Tololy
2) Roba
3) Khalidah
4) Naseem
5) Khalaf
6) Ahmad
7) Batir
8) Firas
9) Hala
10) Hamzeh Nassif
11) Laith Zraikat
12) Lina Ejeilat
13) Ohud
14) Philip

Most of these Jordanian bloggers are in their early to mid twenties, they speak, read, and write the English language as good as the native English speaking people do and most of them do it much better than many of the natives. To suggest that the Jordanian English speaking and writing crowd is shallow and superficial is a stilted opinion.

And while I'm talking about the topic of writing, allow me to tell you something about your own writing : While I must say that to a cursory reader you appear to be an excellent writer but for some one that methodically traces your articles on day to day basis, one will notice that you write in a convoluted fashion, you should stop for a moment and take a look at the way veteran columnists such as Fahed Fanek write their columns, your job as a columnist must be to communicate your words, phrases and sentences in a very simplified fashion that is readily understood to the average fourth grade reader, your job as a columnist doesn't call on you to exhibit your prowess in every single column that you write. The terms that you use are very complex and require pages upon pages of illustration in order for these terms to be simplified and understood to the average reader. You must realize that the average reader doesn't have more than thirty seconds to one minute available at their disposal to decipher whatever it is that you are trying to say, and at any time the reader realizes that he doesn't comprehend whatever it is that you are going to communicate, he/she will skip reading your column and go on to read somebody else's column, and therefore, you lost one more reader. You must realize that in this era of fast moving technology people have too much information to decipher, the time that is allotted to the daily reading is shrinking every single day, so the readers are no longer looking for articles that reflects the classic way of writing, the modern readers want something that goes with the fad, with trends, with contemporary stuff that is readily and effortlessly understood. That is why you thought that those Jordanian writers that write in English are shallow. In essence, all they want to do is to communicate to the average reader, they don't want to delve into complicated matters that require plenty of their time, something readers are always short on.


Rambling Hal said...

VERY well said. I haven't read the specific column by Mr Ghariebeh you are referring to, but I very much am aware of this stance he is talking, and I also agree with you with regards to the redundancy of convoluted language.

I am an Arab, born and raised in the Middle East, with parents who speak Arabic as their first language. Arabic is my mother tongue. But my first language is English. I have studied English all my life, and graduated with a degree in Engligh and in writing.

Not every person who speaks Arabic can write. And not every native speaker of English can write either. This is very flawed logic if that is what his premise is based on.

Thank you for addressing this! I should pick up Al Ghad a bit more often, eh?

Hatem Abunimeh said...

I'm proud of you and I like and enjoy reading your rants and ramblings. We need more and more people to come forward and speak their minds. Good luck to you in all of your endeavors, thanks for stopping by, your comments are valuable.