Comments on some Al Rai news articles

Al Rai is the most popular Jordanian daily news paper, who has been leading the news papers Jordanian market for over 30 years, and is always considered to be the voice of the government and its policies advocate.

With such years of experience and spread in the Jordan Market, one would expect a high level of professionalism. Unfortunately, lately I have noticed two stupid mistakes that one shouldn’t expect to happen in such newspaper.

1. Before yesterday, they had this article about American summer movies with a title “150 movies are ready for the American summer season”. At first, I thought that title is weird as we are nearly at the end of the summer, but I told myself that it is probably a review about summer movies, and so I started reading. Slowly I started to realize that this must be a year old article. First they talked about Mission Impossible 3, then superman return which kept me a bit skeptical, but when I read Da Vinci Code! I was sure that this is a mistake!

2. A week or 2 ago, I came across an article criticizing the effect of video games on the children of Zarqa. It grabbed my attention to read not just because I am a big fan of video games but also because the title was something like “Spread of the Atari games in Zarqa is causing many problems”!

ATARI??!? It is either the article is written 20+ years ago and is republished, or it is the writer who is still living in 1985! It is common to call Video games with the major console currently dominating the sales. Some say lets play Nintendo, others lets play play station, and before yes, it was lets play Atari as it dominated the market back in the early 80s, but after 20 years, and now with them being out of the hardware market, is it appropriate for a professional writer in the leading Jordanian newspaper to mention Atari as a synonyms of video games??!

Fahed AL Fanek 9/11 article
I usually love reading Dr. Fahed Al Fanek economic article. He usually pushes in defense of raising the government hand of supporting certain elementary items that helps in keeping prices lower while putting much strain on the government yearly budget. He always gives logical reasons, like we are supporting items that goes to everyone whether he worth the support or not, and whether he is a Jordanian citizen or not, which is true somehow. In other times he highlights the problems of the budget and how keeping on expanding its shortage would cause a bigger damage to our economy. He gives an example of a patient that has to take a bitter medicine or else would die as a mean of telling us that it is okay to lower our level of living a bit rather than having it destroyed later on which makes does make sense.

Yesterday he gave an interesting comparison that I don’t agree with. He compared physical occupation with economic domination. He said that we have obtained our physical occupation a long time ago but we are still under economic occupation. He then continued and pointed out how nations are ready to pay with their sons and blood to achieve physical independence, so why not pay a little to achieve our economic independence?

I personally don’t think that achieving economic independence is possible. With the way the world is heading of freeing trade between countries the way Dr. Fahed Al Fanek always calls for. It is impossible for any country to be economically independent of the rest of the world. The USA being one of the largest economies can always play the card of economical sanctions towards a small country like Jordan whether we were able to all our debts or not.

We are only 5% dependent of foreign aid based on the expected budget of next year, and thus we enjoy a respected amount of economic independence that unlikely to get any drastic changes if we raised the prices of fuel as Dr. Fahed calls for.

I would prefer to keep our current living level than lowering it for the sake of achieving economic independence that is impossible.

Speaking of economy and prices:
I really have to wonder why our government has to wait for the King’s orders in order to take actions to prevent current prices inflations.

First it has been the fuel prices; the king came up and asked the government not to raise the prices anymore this year and they obliged.

Yesterday, he also issued them an order to open several public small markets for vegetables and fruits in all of the cities in the country and provide means to help lowering its prices.

While I am happy for such actions, I can’t understand why didn’t the government do it by itself? Why don’t they think of ways to reduce the implications of inflations on our citizens by themselves? Why do they have to wait for orders from the king?


  1. for me i stoped reading newspapers from a long time ago , i used to but now i dont ,… i just got boread of the same 40 killing in iraq , 20 men dead in gazah and so on around the world , it seams that death is the only sealing item for the news … other than what u have said about the out dated , un related news that am sure the writer was eather a sleep or drunk during his job … any way as bakkouz , i say happy rammadan to u alll readers and may this ramdan ce’s without any big insedants as every year … murad


  2. Economic idependence is important, we in jordan can’t achieve this, but we must at leat be independent in what is called strategic resources such as energy and water, but let me tell you this, when countries become economically dependent on each other the chances of war and conflict go down dramatically. I See jordan trying to attract as much investments as it can as not only a way to improve the standards of living but also increasing stability.Anyway, fahed el fanek lost credibility long time ago..


  3. Muard, happy ramadan to you as well :). I like reading newspapers, although the death news dominate every other news, bt you can always find interesting stuff to read. Mohannad, why do you say that Fahed Al Fanek lost his credibility a long time ago? I think that he is a good writer, and a brilliant economy analyst. I don’t usually see eye to eye with him for his political views as he obviously was biased to Saddam Hussen Regeme, but all in all he alreays tries to logic with numbers and facts and give good reasoning. Yes, we can work on for achieving more independence everywhere, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the quality of life of our citizens. If we can compromise to keep us going, then why not? I hate the talk of pride to explain a political move just to offset the rage of people. Country’s policies should be based on a business model, not feelings and beliefs!


  4. That’s hilarious I had an atari (one game, pacman) and I’m 23 now, at this point the nintendos and segas are ancient! My bro has a wii“We are only 5% dependent of foreign aid based on the expected budget of next year” ummmmmmm that’s actually a HUUUGGGEEE percentage I didn’t realize it was that much! The US is one of the greatest sources of foreign aid (if not the greatest) and that constitutes less than 1% of the budget.


  5. amma15 5% for jordan’s budget isn’t much really, you forgot the difference in the size of both of those (although US foreign aid is far from 1% it is actually closer to 0.12%) I honestly read fahed’s article with a skeptic eye, while some of his points hit home most don’t. He seems to be slow on picking up trends and he only caught up lately to the free market train just when it was about to be derailed. speaking of independence you need exports, to create exports you need an industry to manufacture them. Since we are creating a service industry (low wage, unskilled jobs) & living on the real estate bubble you can forget about independence and worse is that you should expect instability and shakiness to global market tremors that are starting to pick up pace. inflation is gonna hit us hard soon, and if u think things are bad now give them a couple of years to see how fun things get then.As for the Rai in general it is not worth the ink it’s printed on, and as you pointed has dated material for whatever eroding space it has that are not filled by adds and obituaries (good for occupying u while ur sitting with the family for small talk). such a different flavor from ya, and should i say happy Ramadan although u dont celebrate it ??


  6. amma15, I want a Wii! :(. I will definatly by one soon :P.Yes the USA is the major contributer of our foreign aid, and thus demand some political support in return. No_angel, happy ramadan to you as well. Do I celebrate it? I am not a Muslim, and I dont fast, but I like the atmosphere and enjoy the celebrations with people around here, so I guess I do 🙂


  7. Aslim hadak allah 😛as No Angel said, you need exports. and to add to that, you need added value exports. if you are only selling raw materials (phosphates, potash) you are shooting yourself in the foot as those products are coming back to you further in the product development cycle as imports. Fahad al Fanek means Economic Independence of foreign aid. Jordan is essentially occupied by the EU and USA, if not technically. e63im el thim btiste7i el 3ain.


  8. Globalorama, ennak la tahdi man a7babt, enna allah yahdi man yasha2 😛I understand what Fahed Al Fanek implies, but I don’t think it worths the struggle people have to go through in order to achieve it. No_angel, I feel happy :), thanks.Mohannad, actually I think that those articles are good one. He uses good logic in there. It is just a matter of taste 🙂


  9. I don’t know about Jordan, but since it is a Kingdom, anything has to be approved from the king. If it was run by several independent sanctions then it is possible that only the sanction responsible for one thing will have to approve. With everything needing the king’s approval, things will take a while


  10. hello observer, this doesn’t have anything to do with this post but I was browsing through some of your old posts and I saw that there was a major piece of misinformation in an older post (well to me it’s major!) and there’s no email contact address for you so I’m posting here:“what if God was one of us” IS NOT by alanis morissette, IT IS by Joan Osborne-I just couldn’t have such misinformation flying around LOL (I hope the first paragraph didn’t make you nervous)!


  11. kj, actually the king appoints a set of ministers to take on the tasks of running the country. They dont have to come back to him with every single decision. King Abdulla 2 seems to treat his ministers as a professional team. He requested an action plan from each minister and have only got 2 so far. He was furious on them last week, and bluntly demanded that anyone of them who doesnt feel himself up the responsibilities at hand should resign!To be honest with you. I admire him for that.Amma15, thx for the correction 🙂


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