What about the blog, does people harass you regarding some of your opinions?
A few years ago I had this stalker who used to seize the chance to insult me on every blog post I write. At one point, it got me scared, but then he disappeared!

As we chatted earlier you mentioned that you “feel less safe” and that you feel like you’d “want to be more careful and cautious”. Coming to these feelings, you hated both! Can you elaborate to explain more and what generated these feelings?
I didn’t mean to say that I feel less safe, but what I meant to say that for a limited time after having Aroos Amman published I felt less courageous. I think that it has to do with the publicity it generated and me realizing that my words are reaching a broader audience than the one I am used to at my blog. It is ironic to realize that you work hard to make your voice heard, and once you feel it is echoed, you feel concerned about the reactions.
I had to go back, read my early blog days, and remind myself why I started writing in the first place and what I stand for.

What do you stand for?
Gender equality and individual freedoms especially those tied to body and sexual rights.

Do you think provoking people pushes them to think?
It maybe the other way around. Thoughts that are different than the norms, provokes people in a way or another.

You are considered one of the active online personas, were selected to be one of the best Tweepers in Jordan by Viva magazine. In what way the online platform is evolving?
I think that the emerging of blogging and social media helped individuals to break out the dominance of traditional media powers and give us an alternative voice. But I also think that this period is almost over.
Traditional powers figured out the game of social media and managed to play it to their advantage. For instance, local bloggers are dwarfed now with the online newspapers columnists, and traditional influences such as political and religious leaders have managed to generate the most followers and expand their influence online. I am afraid that it is becoming harder and harder for individuals to shine online and enjoy the powers we had in the past few years.

 

“…the status of gender inequality and the lack of personal body and sexual freedoms in the country is what triggered me to start blogging in the first place.”

 

 

How did it serve you?
It served me both ways, first when I found out an outlet to speak out about things we were not used to read or hear about in our traditional media outlets and now with the obsession of traditional media with the new emerging social media and their attempts to gets in and catch up, it helped utilizing both worlds to my benefit.

How did it serve you?
It served me both ways, first when I found out an outlet to speak out about things we were not used to read or hear about in our traditional media outlets and now with the obsession of traditional media with the new emerging social media and their attempts to get in and catch up, it helped utilizing both worlds to my benefit.

In your opinion, which is a credible source of information, the online sources or the traditional ones?
A credible source is a credible source regardless of the medium used. One should look into the history of the source and the professionalism of the message.

The internet obviously has done you good. Do you think, through an active online life, a society’s minorities can be visible and acknowledged? And can it make a difference?
I think that anyone can make a difference if he really wants to. The beauty of online is that it made information accessible to all and thus helped shattering misconceptions and acknowledges minorities and differences between people.

Egyptian Blogger Aliaa Elmahdy took off her clothes on her blog in the name of art and revolution. Later she fell in trouble for it! Do you think the online platform can be part of a sexual revolution? Can it be part of a “Sexual Liberation”?
I think that the exposure our societies faced in the past 10-20 years through the mediums of TV Satellite channels, the cellular phones and the internet is not precedent before anywhere in history. It has been a strong major shock that we still didn’t realize its effect. We have seen a backlash in the form of more conservatism but I guess that is an initial reaction that will fade out if we manage to defend the freedoms of those mediums.. .

Do you think you may fall in similar trouble, as an opinionated blogger?
There is always a chance for that, but I think that I have a very good support from people around me. I have strong ties with many people online and have been enjoying much support and love from the online world.

Considering what happened to blogger Inas Musallam, do you think such voices (bloggers’) should acknowledge protection?
I think that the case of Inas is a special and rare case, but yes bloggers should be free and protected.

Censorship. You are one of the people who’re against censorship in Jordan? Why is that? Do you think its part of a democratic country?
I believe in freedom of expression and the rights for people to access, create and distribute information freely. Censorship is a violation of that right.

The group ‘No Internet Censorship In Jordan’  (بعرف أحمي حالي. مش شغل الحكومة تحجب النت) calls for a clear agenda. What are you against censoring and with censoring? For example, many countries like France and Canada, they limit American TV and media in their countries to fight capitalism. What are you with censoring?
I am against censoring anything. I believe that people have the ability to collectively give value to what deserves to have a value. Individual adults should be trusted to make sound choices on their own. Government interference would only be accepted if a direct harm is inflicted on a certain individual.

According to OC magazine (On Campus magazine) the government released a software to block those sites, instead of blocking all porn sites, so blocking them becomes a matter of choice. What do you think of this solution?
That is an excellent solution, but the news added more to that! It was also reported that the TRC issued a warning to all local ISPs to take actions and provide clean internet within a week time!

What advice or words would you like to direct to the My.Kali readers?
I would like to echo what Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world” these are a words of a wisdom that can be life changing.

 

The End

 

Watch Fadi Zaghmout on Ro’ya TV, talking about his book ‘Aroos Amman’

 

– Bookmark Fadi’s Blog ‘The Arab Observer’ (here)
– Be updated on Fadis blog posts through the blog’s official Facebook page (here) 
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