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 ( 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.

This is being circulated around the web and came into my inbox. We need to be vocal we need to be visible we need to use logical rhetoric. I am reposting their email that calls all of us to action. View their work so far and see how you can help!





Dear friends,

We are a group of Arab women from Jordan who have come together in
response to the vicious attacks by Israel on Gaza. Our aim is to spread awareness across the globe on the atrocities and encourage all responsible citizens to act in the name of humanity. Help us give voice to those who have been silenced by doing the following: 

 1. Visit our YouTube links and rate us positively!

We need your views so we can become the first Arab youtube clip to get onto the most viewed page
The YouTube clips address the following:
On the Humanitarian Situation

On Israel’s Violations of Humanitarian Law

On the Media Spin

Our Call to Action


2. Forward this message to all your friends and encourage them to do the same! Make sure everyone you know watches these videos!

 3. Join our Facebook group and share our videos with your friends!

4.  Add our links on your website and/or blogs.

5.  View our Call to Action episode on You Tube on the 30th of January 2009 so that we may reach our goal of becoming the most viewed clip on YouTube so as to give the crisis in Gaza the exposure it desperately needs.


We need your support! Please help us! For more information, please
email at

In solidarity,
Voices for Palestine


We have all received them those lovely letters that declare love, friendship, and eternal bonds, good fortune or bad… blah blah blah blah! Don’t you hate those chain letters, messages, Facebook posts…etc.? They are everywhere, and it’s annoying.

I remember being a child and receiving them in my school bag, let there anonymously and even as a child I was unimpressed. I played the game once or twice handwriting the 10 copies that we were supposed to send out before bad luck befalls us, or wait for our true love to reveal themselves. Today they have become a bit more sophisticated with issue relating to health, internet viruses, wealth and even Microsoft shutting down. 

What amazes me is the fact that so many adults continue to press the forward button and send these annoyances into the world. Well the letters die here. Any chain letter sent to me no matter how mushy, cute or touching comes to its final resting place with me, the recycle bin. If something is legitimate I don’t need something devised by a complete stranger being sent enmass from stranger to stranger to stranger until it reaches someone I know and I receive it! If I want to express anything I can do it for my self thank you very much. 

To all my wonderful friends who keep sending me that crap, know that I love you dearly, but I will NOT send back a friendship chain or forward any hacker, virus, money racket letters, or any mushy made up stories about cancer or otherwise. You can continue to send them even though I vehemently detest them (yes I am aware that these are very strong words), but they will not be returned no matter how special you are. So I love you dearly but cut the crap, and don’t feel the need to send this on. 

Yesterday a dear friend of mine arrived from her travels abroad and while we were all sitting around one of us picked up a her laptop and it was contagious. All three of us were sitting in the living room playing laptops. 

While we were playing we interacting in monosyllables and barely conversed… Until we stared to chat online. We had a hilariously ridiculous time chatting, commenting, speaking, typing. It was quite pathetic, but we enjoyed it. In fact we had a blast. I don’t know why typing your words and responding online seems to add an element we lack, a courage, a silliness, an element of humor that we seem to lack in reality. 

While we were online I had a little fit, related to another virtual reality. A family member, my mother, is now online. My mother is not computer savvy or internet friendly. Finding a friend request on Facebook from her stopped me in my tracks and made my jaw drop. MY MOTHER IS ON FACEBOOK. The world is changing and the few vestiges that keep the generations apart are being torn down. My online world which is very separate from my family life is now being invaded. This is a part of me that yes is partially public but not something I perceive my family being active participants in. It’s weird. 

I think the way we interact with the people around us has changed drastically and that includes our family. Our public persons are those online as well as offline now. Our interactions are virtual as well as physical. I don’t know if I like those ideas. It’s a bit sad that sitting in a room we need the aid of computers to talk and that a family member will get to know parts of me through a virtual tool rather than through conversation; or is it? 

I don’t know, the jury is out on that, but I do know it is a different world than that of 5 years ago even and a drastically different world than 10 years ago. I wonder how the future generations will interact with each other 10 years from now?