Events


This Friday I will be speaking at Nasawiya for a couple of hours on some of the best practices of public speaking. Something I really enjoy. The idea of this session is not to transform listeners into the world’s best speakers – thats not possible in two hours. But rather to provide some practical advice about content structure, delivery  as well as how to deal with nervousness. Hopefully afterward we’ll do a full fledged public speaking workshop. If you’d like to come here are more details: The 10 Commandments of Public Speaking.

 

I’ll be publishing the gist of the 10 commandments here on my blog after the session.  Hope to see you there if you can make it.

So after the lull of work in Ramadan and the Eid holiday, October has come and with a vengeance. There is so much going on that I am afraid to loose track! Here are some of the things happening in October and I will try to be on top of things and write more often about these happenings and more.

October is…

• All month long: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

• Oct 2: Hamzet Wasel kite making activity and the Walk for Right to Play

• Oct 9: Municipality of Amman’s Centennial Parade

• Oct 8-21: Follow the Women bike ride for peace

• Oct 15: Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

• Oct 17: The Amman International Marathon

• Oct 24: 350.org Action day (Hamzet Wasel will be conducting an action too)

I am sure I’ve missed many important things in October so feel free to add to the list.

So as a skeptic of Twitter and its crazy chatter I was surprised at myself for wanting to go, and thankful to Ali for taking me along, to the Amman Twestival. The Twestival that took place last night was not what I would call a festival but more of a seminar with four panelists and a lively audience discussion. As a blogger it was very interesting to hear the about the potential of Twitter as a leveraging tool and a means of outreach.

The discussion though focused on the corporate and the entrepreneurs was if not useful was definitely fascinating to follow with ideas, and responses from corporate, venture capitalists, start ups, and various web initiatives. The leveraging of social media and its use in what is being called social marketing and customer service was one of two topics that dominated the discussion. The other being digital content and how content is the driving force behind followers.

Present in the audience were bloggers and Tweeps (People who use twitter apparently are called tweeps- I am now a tweep). Being at the Twestival I felt something was missing, and that was the Tweep from the panel. But then I quickly realized that a Tweep didn’t need to be there on the panel they were in the room constantly twittering and in doing so they were contributing to the live digital discussion going on in parallel the to the one on the ground. At one point you could hear the people talk and the laptop keyboards and mobile phone keypads clicking away at the same time, and to keep up you had to keep an ear on the conversation and an eye on the main screen projecting the tweets. It seemed to me as if everyone was gossiping, talking, contributing, making fun and having fun at the same time.

The Twestival was a learning experience for sure, and the fact that Aman Fund (www.alamanfund.jo) benefited from it made me a happy camper thanks to Aramex’s gracious donation. The networking opportunity that took place afterwards over atayef and coffee was just as valuable if not more – taking the conversation to the next level and making personal, generating even more ideas and finally motivating me to go twitter. Now to get the hang of the tweets.

A Jordanian journalist, feminist and human rights activist is now published. Rana Husseini’s new book Murder in the Name of Honour was launched in the UK May 28,  will be launched in Amman June 2 and will be launched in the US June 26.

You can attend the launch in Amman at Readers in Cosmo 7pm – 9pm and get signed copies.

Below is more about the book and the woman behind it as published in a press release from her publishers One World.

THE TRUE STORY OF ONE WOMAN’S HEROIC FIGHT AGAINST AN UNBELIEVABLE CRIME

RANA HUSSEINI

A leading investigative journalist offers the first definitive exposé of honour killings.

Rana Husseini’s hard hitting and controversial examination of honour crimes is a fearless, groundbreaking account of a topic that can no longer be ignored.  Claiming the lives of 5,000 women every year, and common in many traditional societies around the world, as well as in migrant communities in Europe and the USA, these so-called “Honour Killings” involve a “punishment” – often death or disfigurement – carried out by a relative to restore the family’s honour.

Breaking through the conspiracy of silence surrounding this crime, the book includes the personal stories behind many high profile cases that have recently hit the news, as well as many other, as yet unheard stories. Rana also describes her battle to change outdated laws and expose those countries that still, even today, legally allow killers who claim to have struck in the name of honor to walk free. No other writer has taken such an unflinching look at one of the most brutal practices that still exists in the modern world.

Journalist, feminist, and human rights defender, Jordanian RANA HUSSEINI is one of the world’s most influential investigative journalists, whose reporting has put violence against women on the public agenda around the world. The recipient of numerous awards for bravery in journalism, she is a regular speaker at major international events and has been interviewed by almost every major international broadcaster, from CNN to the BBC

Kite Flying at Jabal Al Qalaa (Citadel)

Kite Flying at Jabal Al Qalaa (Citadel)

A couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to be part of the start of a new initiative. The aim of the initiative is to bring the diverse people of the city together and find fun and meaningful ways to connect and learn from each other outside of the traditional. What that translated to was that a group of friends and myself headed to the citadel to learn how to make and fly kites.

Arriving in the morning and seeing all the old friends arrive with their kids, walking over and meeting the other kids in the neighborhood youth center built up the anticipation to what was to become an explosion of colors, string, wood, and a lot of smiles.

I never expected kite making to be such an intricate science, and the way these kids made them made seem so easy, but kite making is exact, delicate and time consuming. What amazed me is the kids didn’t once use a ruler or measuring tool, they instead measured with the string they were using against the sticks. They used staples to put things together if they couldn’t tie them securely. And then when they were done with the body of the kite with string they made a tail. I learned that without a tail a kite won’t fly.

The kids were so giving and so full of information. Some were amazing teacher others were fantastic kite makers. But whatever role the children took on they gave willingly and freely. My friends and their kids all had a great time watching and learning, but what really made the difference to me was the connections they made with the people from the neighborhood over a labor of love and joy.

When we went to fly the kites everyone’s face was turned upwards watching their kites fly. Collectively they took pride in their efforts but everyone was overjoyed that they flew – the winds were not favorable that day. But despite the poor wind the kites fly high like the aspirations of everyone on that hill. I remember two women coming up to me and what they said “This is better than playstation” to her I say YES AKEED. The other woman said “my daughter has nevr been so happy”. Thank you to everyone for making it a great day.

But here is where I want to do a plug in about the neighborhood and the hill where we played. This is a small flat area, free of artifacts and ruins, it is not the best but it is the only place the kids of the neighborhood can play. Currently it is used a parking lot for the citadel and for RVs. If you want to help make the space free for all to play in and maybe even made into a community park then please contact Raghda Butros (raghda@gmail.com) an Urban Activist.

We each can make a difference go visit the space, understand the dynamics of the location, meet the people, and contact Raghda. Our children need to be outdoors need to play, need to grow. They have a right to all of that, help preserve those precious spaces today.

Flying kites is a thing I have never really done. I don’t know how to fly a kite let alone make one. This weekend I have the opportunity to do both in a community event in Jabal Al Qala’a made possible by Adraaj Amman. So if you want participate in kite making and flying free up your Friday morning. Places are limited so do confirm your attendance.

 

Date: April 10, 2009

Day: Friday

Time:10:30 am 

Location:  Jabal Al Qala’a

Meeting point: Citadel Entrance

Cost: JD 5- 10 (you will participate in buying materials for both yourself and for a child from the Local Jabal Al Qala’a Community.

 

Contact info: Raghda Butros raghda@gmail.com 079-6637377

Confirm by: Thursday 3 pm

Note: Children welcome

 

See you all there and get read to see your creations, and those of the kids’, soar in a beautiful spring sky.

 

OK for those of you that read my post about my birthday celebrations and want to partake I have an update. There is a lot of coordination and collaboration involved in making these things happen so I would like to thank everyone who expressed interest in joining me and more importantly those of you helping me make my thirty second birthday a celebration of us rather than me. And so here are the various events and ideas that all or any of you can help in and by doing so give me a fantastically rewarding birthday:

 

  1. Jabal Al Qalga Kite making and flying with the kids of the neighborhood with Hamzet Wasel Initiative
  2. Renovating and fixing of Women’s Center in Gaza Camp in Jerash with V-team Initiative
  3. Undecided event with Zikra Initiative
  4. Buy a tree and plant it in Palestine with APN – Arab Group for the Protection of Nature (http://www.apnature.org)
  5. Give me your old clothes, recyclable paper, tins and plastic and I will send them to a community center or the recycling center
  6. And finally for those that just want to hang out a walk in Jabal Amman and a walk in Jabal Al Weibeh (two of my favorite places in the city) the weekend following my birthday

 

 

I will post more info these initiatives and events and include dates, times, places and costs this coming week. And for those of you on Facebook I will create events for them. All are welcome even if I don’t know you and you want to do these things Ahlan Wa Sahlan.

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