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Ask About Life, Blogging and Linux in the Middle East

Roblimo posted more than 8 years ago | from the get-the-local-scoop-by-talking-to-the-locals dept.

286

Isam Bayazidi is about as far from the current U.S. media stereotype of an Arab as you can get. He's worked on the Arabeyes (Unix/Linux in Arabic) project, helped start the Arabic Wikipedia, co-founded the Jordan LUG, is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), works as a senior software developer for Maktoob, an online community that boasts more than four million members, and created Jordan Planet, a blogging community whose members have many different religious and political viewpoints. Isam is also a long-time Slashdot reader, so he's the perfect person to ask what's going on in the Arab (cyber)world today. One question per post please. Isam will answer 12 of the highest-moderated questions. We'll run his answers verbatim as soon as he gets them back to us.

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question (-1, Troll)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817092)

Does the muslim/arabic edition of wikipedia include an article with the mohammad/allah cartoons? (pics included.) Shouldn't there be a research/educational clause in that whole 'we can't depict images of our gods' rule or are all muslims/arabs completely irrational? There are athiest arabs right?

Interesting... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817151)

...but does it run Linux(tm)?

Re:question (1)

orzetto (545509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817247)

Does the muslim/arabic edition of wikipedia include an article with the mohammad/allah cartoons? (pics included.)

It does not take much to check the ar link. Here you go [wikipedia.org] . No pics included, however, except the cover of an Egyptian newspaper [wikipedia.org] that published them.

However this is how it is right now, I would expect a few flame wars to have been waged about this.

translation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817290)

durka durka durka jihad durka durka jews durka

Re:question (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817334)

It does not take much to check the ar link. Here you go.

Wow--they use Arabic numerals, too.

Re:question (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817263)

If this guy isn't a troll, I don't know who is. "are all muslims/arabs completely irrational"? What kind of question is that?

And yes, I'm sure there are atheist Arabs. There are also Christian Arabs and ... wait for it ... Jewish Arabs!!! Considering that most Jewish Israelis and most Muslim Palestinians are ethnically indistinguishable, one might argue that all such Israelis could be considered "Jewish Arabs".

Re:question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817472)

are all muslims/arabs completely irrational?

Yes. Yes they are. Do you now feel better about whoever you are?

get in the soup (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817099)

FP

fuck da gnaa

Which is more important to develop... (5, Interesting)

Viperion (569692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817109)

A communication infrastructure, or a transportation infrastructure? I ask this because what my American viewpoint sees of the middle east is the seeming lack of mass-transportation systems like we have in American (highways, railroads, and the like.) The Middle East also seems to lack a stable communication infrastructure, especially to rural areas. Which do you think is more important, communications or transportation?

Re:Which is more important to develop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817386)

Will questions modded funny count for the 12?

CLI in arabic? (1)

j35ter (895427) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817116)

How do you mix Arabic commandline arguments with English commands on one keyboard?

Arab and Israeli communities (5, Interesting)

Yonkeltron (720465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817133)

Is there any collaboration between the Arab and Israeli communities when it comes to blogging, Free/Open Source Software or general computing?

Re:Arab and Israeli communities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817648)

To Reboot, you just press your detonator.
To Escape, Ctrl +D, you just behead someone.
To startx, you just riot.

Junis!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817135)

How's coding these days? Still on your Commodore?

Destroy All Muslims (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817148)

Islam is the Enemy

Nuke them now. We will have to nuke them someday anyway. Might as well get it over with, the sooner the better.

Death to these primitive, tribal, backward moon worshiping, rock worshiping, pedophile fools.

Re:Destroy All Muslims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817186)

Not the time nor the place

Re:Destroy All Muslims (1)

asternick (532121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817393)

Islam may be problematic, but Muslims are NOT the enemy. Even if you do not respect Islam (for something founded and justified) it is irrational to blame everyone who grows up in an Islamic culture, or label them as enemies. There are plenty of Muslims who are skeptical about religious literalism. We're much better off treating them as friends, and let them come to their own conclusions, as much as we can.

Re:Destroy All Muslims (0, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817506)

Help the moderate muslims. Both of them!

Re:Destroy All Muslims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817453)

ignorant

Arabic hacker food (5, Interesting)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817149)

Pizza and some caffeinated beverage with an occasional foray into sushi are typical geek food in the west - what is finding it's way down the typical arabic chair dwellers gullet?

Straight Outta Casablanca (4, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817150)

You have solid credits for several "Arab versions" of modern software. The Mideast, was where many technologies, like writing, urban living, astronomy and symbolic math were invented or mastered. What new uses of the Internet and open SW do you see originating in Mideastern hands? Which brand new apps are people in your world using in a way more familiar in the Mideast, which could make the jump to global popularity the way so much Western tech already has?

Re:Straight Outta Casablanca (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817651)

writing, urban living, astronomy, symbolic math...

in case you're wondering. greece is not in the middle east. nor is egypt.

Re:Straight Outta Casablanca (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817808)

Since you're wrong, Anonymous ignoramus Coward, you should learn that Greece adopted those techniques from neighbors to the East and South. And that Egypt is certainly in the Middle East [google.com] . You probably think that Greece was part of "European Civilization", not Mediterranean Civilization.

Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817156)

Are women in IT allowed to drive to work? For that matter, are they even allowed out of their houses without a male escort?

-Eric

Re:Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817316)

You are misinformed my friend
The Arab world consists of around 21 countries.
The only one of them in which women are not allowed to drive is Saudi Arabia. And even in Saudi Arabia, that is probably not true anymore (not %100 sure though).

Re:Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817595)

You are misinformed my friend. The Arab world consists of around 21 countries. The only one of them in which women are not allowed to drive is Saudi Arabia. And even in Saudi Arabia, that is probably not true anymore (not %100 sure though).

Let's not forget that until recently, Afghanistan was being run by the (mostly foreigner-managed) Taliban, who would pubicly murder women for working at all, never mind how they commuted. Women who went uncovered by a burka, or who dared to teach their daughters to read and write ended up dead. Playing music: illegal. Kite flying: illegal. Etc.

It's worth remembering why Afghanistan is no longer centrally run by people who think like that (post 9/11 invasion, in case no one has been taking notes). But to suggest that the cultural urge to carry on like that is only found in Saudi Arabia is completely wrong. There are plenty of provincial areas in Pakistan, for example, where total subjugation of women is common... to the point of "honor" killings of daughters, by fathers, when those daughters have been raped by someone else (who usually goes free). The point is: there are lumps and bumps, culturally, throughout the middle east - and driving habits are way down the list of things that prevent women from thriving in IT in many areas.

Re:Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817649)

Afghanistan and Pakistan are not Arab countries.

Re:Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (1)

SilicaiMan (856076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817656)

Let's not forget that until recently, Afghanistan was being run by the (mostly foreigner-managed) Taliban, who would pubicly murder women for working at all, never mind how they commuted.

Afghanistan is NOT an Arabic country.

Re:Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817864)

Afghanistan is NOT an Arabic country.

Exactly. But it was mostly Arabs that were funding, and to a large extent running, the Taliban. They were a very out-of-town crowd, to be sure. And to the extent that they've moved south a bit into Pakistan, they're still an influence, and still very Arab.

Re:Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817422)

Some ignorant once told me that women in the Arab World are not allowed to work in IT,...I believe this takes care of the driving part

Re:Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (1)

kadathseeker (937789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817503)

Depends on the country. Oman and the UAE are extremely progressive countries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UAE [wikipedia.org] and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oman [wikipedia.org]

Some fit the stereotype perfectly though.

Re:Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817788)

Not to mention that famous Iraqi blogger Riverbend [blogspot.com] used to be an IT gal before the invasion. Of course, here's what happened afterwards [blogspot.com] . (Sun. Aug 24, 2003)

Re:Are women in Arab IT allowed to drive to work? (1)

SilicaiMan (856076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817623)

Are women in IT allowed to drive to work?

The only Arabic country where women aren't allowed to drive is Saudi Arabia, and currently there is a big movement to abolish this unnecessary restriction. Most other Arabic countries are very open. I have seen topless women (Russians mostly) sunbathing on Dubai's beaches. But, other cities in the UAE are much more conservative, although not as closed-minded as the Saudis.

You can't really generalize one stereotype over all Arabs. It's like saying that all Americans are overweight.

The effect of technology on the region (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817171)

Do you think that the increase in technological development in the Middle East will soothe or heighten the already-existing political and social fault lines that plague that region of the world?

Or is it a mixed blessing (it gives freedom to Iranian dissident bloggers but also enableds al qaeda to communicate more effectively)

Arabic? (1)

XMilkProject (935232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817172)

How do you blog in Arabic? Aren't there several more characters in written arabic than there are on a normal keyboard?

Do you have some cool Arabic keyboard? Is it dvorak?

Re:Arabic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817331)

The Arabic language has only 28 characters and 4 accent marks that act like vowels. Since capitization is also implicit with better rules than english, that would actually make typing a little easier. I would be more freaked by always reading from right to left all the time.

Re:Arabic? (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817513)

Just do a search for "Arabic Keyboard". There are actually several layouts, but they're mostly similar. Some of the positioning comes from matching the morse-code for an Arabic letter and its Latin letter equivalent.

The number of letters is not an issue, since there are no capital letters in Arabic. Plus, there's only 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet, plus a few odd symbols.

http://www.zeitun-eg.org/keyb.htm [zeitun-eg.org] gives a good example of a common layout.

A serious question (1)

CockMonster (886033) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817173)

What has your ethnic origin have to do with computer software?

Re:A serious question (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817191)

Nothing at all. It's just another lame attempt by Slashdot to stay relevent way past its "due date".

Re:A serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817324)

Embrace diversity!...

Embraaace iiiit! Except when they're white.

Do most people in Jordan own a PC with an ISP? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817175)

If they do, do they mostly use dial-up, DSL or cable modems for their internet access?

Re:Do most people in Jordan own a PC with an ISP? (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817673)

CIA Factbook entry on Jordan [cia.gov]
Less than 10% of the population was on the internet in 2003. POTS service was available to just over 10%, I suspect broadband isn't really popular over there.

I don't know if you're living in the Middle East.. (4, Interesting)

Pollux (102520) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817177)

But the question that really jumps out in my mind to ask is this:

After living in Egypt for a year, the biggest frustration I can recall with computers is how unreliable the power was. Due to the spikes and surges, the school I taught at would normally go through about 5 power supplies a month (for a building with about 200 computers). Any serious business who wants to protect their computer from an unwanted surge has at minimum a voltage regulator, and at maximum a UPS. Our school paid a company in Europe to host their website, as most Egyptian businesses did.

Is there any power infrastructure advancements that are being made to better support the growing rise of computer use in the middle east?

Re:I don't know if you're living in the Middle Eas (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817586)

Is there any power infrastructure advancements that are being made to better support the growing rise of computer use in the middle east?
Such as selectively breeding donkeys to have more stamina?

Secular technology (1)

singingjim (957822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817183)

Does the Islamic clergy meddle with technology concerns in the arabic world and limit the types of things that these technologies can be used for? Are you limited by beliefs or fear of reprisal for possibly having females working with or learning these new technologies?

Cartoons and website defacement (2, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817192)

So, what's your opinion on the arabic kids who are defacing websites [yahoo.com] in protest to the Mohammed cartoons?

Re:Cartoons and website defacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817675)

As interesting as perspective on the day's 'hot button topic' may be, perhaps a more comprehensive question might be a better use of this opportunity.

Writing... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817203)

What's with the funny writing? Don't you want good old Americans to be able to read your stuff? We only want to help...

Impact on lifestyles (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817209)

I know that here, many people are spending an inordinate amount of time on the computer, to the point where it has negatively impacted their time spent with people in social settings (iow - people are becoming less social). Blogging is yet another time sink, on top of the web, email, etc.

Do you foresee the same negative long-term effects in the middle east as we've experienced?

Stereotypes and those who would further them... (5, Interesting)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817217)

Ok, Two-parter here...

1)As an Arab in today's world, how do you deal with those in the Western world who further the stereotype of "Arabs As Radicals"?

2) In addition how do you, as a forward-thinking Arab, address the issue of those in the Middle Eastern world that would seek to further the radical elements of Islam for thier own purposes, regardless of the consequences or the stereotypes this may create in the West? In other words, how does one function as a concientious objector in Middle Eastern Society?

Re:Stereotypes and those who would further them... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817350)

I like these questions. The problem with main stream media is that it only interviews people who will incite the viewers (ie: Gets ratings). How does someone in a similar situation (educated, middle income, technology worker) to many of the readers here feel about the Middle East social-political climate and the general sterio types between the Arabs and Westerners?

-Rick

A note on stereotypes. (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817591)

Okey, I just want to comment on this stereotype thing you said, I have always thought that any stereotyping is wrong. But, if I have learned one thing from my 2 years in UK is that the stereotypes are there *because* of some reason.

Let me explain, I am from Mexico, and I have lived here (UK) for almost 2 years. It has been very interesting and I have had contact with a lot of different kind of people (different contries and races).

I do not know if the stereotype of "arab as radical" is true but, all the middle east or middle east descending persons I have met (in Mexico or UK) are some kind of really "thick" or hard people (sorry if I can not make myself clear). They are quite obstinated and closed.

Now, it may be wrong to generalize upon that, but I think there *is* a patternt. I have also seen a pattern in people from USA, they tend to be dumb, or uncultured, of course I have met several intelligent people (after all, they were in postgraduate levels) but overall they felt a bit dumb.

Then we have the french, haha, I have no predisposition against anyone but, Frenchs are so funny, they are so proud of themseleves and they get angry so fast. Again, I have seen this with at least 2 different French persons.

Now, I want to be fair here, as I said at the beggining I am from Mexico, and I am *sure* there are stereotypes of us as well, maybe one is that we are thieves or lazy, the thing is that it was not made for free.

As a side note, another stereotype I thing middle east (Iranians and Arabs at least) people have is how FUCKING HARD they work, at least where I live (and I think in almost all UK) all the stores close at 5:00. It is only stores run by middle east people that open from 9 am to 9 pm at least, all the week.

I mean, these people really know how to work, and they surely deserve to get a lot, I (as a Mexican presumabley) can not see how can they cope with working 12 hours a day nonstop for 5 years to save money.

Oh yes, I just reminded a mexican stereotype, Mexican usually shoot other mexicans, while you see Japanese people trying to help Japannese, the "£$@! USA government used this "mexican feature" and made a program where an Illegal inmigrator could obtain legal status if he denounced 10 Illegal inmigrators.

That does not surprises me (USA government sucks) what I found outrageous is that Mexicans where indeed turning their relatives to the inmigration police...

So, as you can see, stereotypes have something of truth, there are positive and negative stereoyptes, of course, when it is a positive stereotype nobody cares to whine, but when it is negative we always jump saying "it is wrong to generalize".

As for the real article. Man, I think slashdot editors just made one of the most Trollish posts I have ever read. My question will only be:

How is the interest in Open Source over your country/region? is the government interested in using it? (as, like some countries they see Microsoft as USA company, OS may be a solution) I think it is difficult to ask somethign specific as most of us do not have the slightest knowledge on how things are there, I mean, are schools similar to schools in USA? (classrooms, teachers, school levels as bascic/junior high/high/University), if they are, in which level does the average person has their first contact with computers?

What is the average of people that have a day to day use of a computer over there? is it more than the 50%?,

Re:A note on stereotypes. (1)

HebrewToYou (644998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817873)

An entire post on stereotypes...

...and not one mention of the two bags of gold I keep around my neck.

For shame, Slashdot. For shame.

Re:Stereotypes and those who would further them... (1)

slashdotnickname (882178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817727)

1)As an Arab in today's world, how do you deal with those in the Western world who further the stereotype of "Arabs As Radicals"?

It's Westeners who are furthering the radicals stereotype?!

Maybe you should take off you rose colored glasses and look at the thousands of people that have been violently protesting cartoons to the point where lives have been lost and building burned... or the countless suicide bombings in that region that are cheered and looked at proudly by a large percentage of the population... or the large violent protests that erupt when a mosque is blown up. The examples can go on and on...

These are not just small isolated occurances blown up by the Western media. It's not a stereotype when the almost daily events clearly show that a large part of the Muslim world is pretty radical in philosophy and actions.

Re:Stereotypes and those who would further them... (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817931)

Perhaps you should re-read my question again...

THOSE in the Western world. As in SOME people, NOT ALL.

Your second comment regarding the cartoon related violence is what prompted the follow-up question. How does one function as a concientious objector to this type of violence when it takes place inside one's own culture, or as part of a subculture to your own culture?

Islamic backlash (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817226)

Do you think that Islamic exposure to the Internet, and the information age is causing culture shock in the Middle East. Surely it must be, it is causing a culture shock in the US even. How do they handle it? How are they reactiong? Do you think it's causing a backlash that relates to terrorisim?

Stereotypes (2, Interesting)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817246)

Isam Bayazidi is about as far from the current U.S. media stereotype of an Arab as you can get.

The article itself, in this case, is very leading regarding an opinion of treatment of Arabs by the US media.

My question is, what do you feel that the stereotypes reinforced by major media outlets are? Certainly they reported that there were Arabic hijackers on 9/11, that Al Quaida has attacked the US many times, and has reported acts such as beheadings and suicide bombings. Unfortunately, the fact is that these events all happened.

Do you believe that there is an undercurrent of racism and bigotry in the media's portrayal or Arabs? Do you believe that the image of the Arab has been charicatured by the US?

As a follow-up. How do you feel that recent world events, such as the riots in Paris, riots over Danish comics, and even the actions of terrorist organizations or Arabic origin have influenced this view, by relation to media portrayal.

Do you see this adversely affecting your career, or have major business outlets mostly overlooked this?

Re:Stereotypes (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817481)

Do you believe that there is an undercurrent of racism and bigotry in the Arab media's portrayal or Americans? Do you believe that the image of the American has been charicatured by Arab governments?

Re:Stereotypes (1)

ThinWhiteDuke (464916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817694)

How should he know?

He does not live in the US. He's not exposed to the US media. How can someone judge media bias/undercurrent if he's not immersed in it?

Re:Stereotypes (1)

whytakemine (901083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817905)

Do you believe that there is an undercurrent of racism and bigotry in the media's portrayal or Arabs?

Of course there is. I've never heard anyone talk about the radical cleric James Dobson or the radical cleric Pat Robertson, but it seems like every Muslim priest is referred to that way. Don't you think describing someone as a radical cleric creates instant negative connotations?

Look at the sheer number of people who believe being an Arab equates to being a terrorist, or how many times you hear inane comments like, "They hate us because we're free." Those ideas perpetuate because people aren't being presented with a complete picture. Isn't that what the news media is supposed to do?

Dilbert (2, Interesting)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817255)

I'm going to guess that office and IT environments around the globe probably share more in common than their superficial differences (language, decor, degree of automation etc...) suggest. Indeed, petty politics and general insanity are going to raise their heads regardless of your office's time zone. As such, how well does Dilbert [dilbert.com] , the quintessential North American corporate satire, translate into Arabic? Do you see your office in these cartoons? If not, is there an Arabic version that does a better job?

window on the world... (1)

rilister (316428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817270)

well, looking at the questions so far, I don't know if one guy's opinion is a realistic way of finding out what's going on in the Arab world, but it's sure going to be a fascinating (and possibly scary) window on what the perceptions of the average western geek.

Re:window on the world... (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817369)

I was just about to say the same thing...

I find it almost embarrassing reading what people are posting here.

Re:window on the world... (1)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817401)

Did you deliberately use the name of the restaurant on top the world trade center (window on the world) in your post? Just curious.

Re:window on the world... (1)

rilister (316428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817925)

I had no idea at all. Unfortuntate co-incidence.

Credible Sources for Arab Bloggers (4, Interesting)

tabdelgawad (590061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817299)

As a founder of an Arabic (Jordanian) blogging community, what do you perceive to be the source of news most popular/trusted by Arab bloggers? Is it local, Arab (AlJazeera, etc), European (BBC, TV5, etc), or American (NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, etc)? Is the Arab blogging community a large echo chamber for the latest and greatest western conspiracy theories, or is there genuine diversity of sources and opinions?

On this vein.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817906)

Do bloggers over there write about stuff written in the blogs of political slant with influence to see western mindsets?

(For example, websites like freerepublic.com .. anncoulter.com .. michealsavage.com .. michellemalkin .. moveon.org democraticunderground ..etc).

Seems like this would be an important thing to do. I'm asking cause it'd be interesting to know responses reactions to what is said on there. IE, are they false/true.

Exportation of Technology (2, Interesting)

DaedalusLogic (449896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817343)

A lot of people in the states are familiar with anti-export warnings on encryption technology:

Are their any technologies that the government of Jordan specifically mandates not be exported outside of its borders?

OR

How common is it that encryption technology that the U.S. Government asks not be used overseas is actually implemented "against their will"?

Red Hat Certified Engineer (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817351)

Red Hat Certified Engineer - is that the Linux version of the MSCE?

For a while I was starting to believe in some certifications again, but then I ran into an CISSP who needed to be told what magic things a firewall does to that new-fangled technology called TCP.

Serious Question (1)

RagingChipmunk (646664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817370)

When writing code, do you find the pre-requisite of english a hinderance to writing solutions to problems? European spoken-language is part of the design of nearly any modern programming language - ie <BODY>, "FOR/NEXT", <xsl:value-of>, "SELECT * FROM"... which then requires at least a little understanding of English in order to make sense of what the keywords are suggesting.

Yes fellow SlashdotWeenies, I know that when executed/compiled these 'words' are symbolized and purely arbitrary - but, arbitrary as they are, an arabic webpage from al-jezzera.com still has english HTML tags.

So the question, open to anyone who doesnt speak english as their native-tongue, is: Does the english-oriented structure of programming languages present a hinderance to how you would conceptualize a problem and how you would write code to solve that problem?

Re:Serious Question (1)

danath333 (932231) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817715)

*BUMP* This is a really good question that has deeper connotations about how we use languages natural or otherwise.

My Question (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817403)

Do you happen to know Junis [slashdot.org] ?

Arabic-translated open source software (1)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817407)

I know that a number of people work on doing translation work for various languages -- as a whole, what is the state of Arabic-translated open source software? Is it possible for someone to work on a Linux desktop fully within Arabic, or is it necessary to use English?

How does this support compare with that under Windows?

winmodems (1)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817419)

I am not sure how the infrastructure is in Jordan. Assuming that dial up (and thus winmodems) is very popular among Jordanian cyber people, what are your thoughts about the state of support for soft modems in Linux and its effects on Linux popularity in Jordan?

Thanks.

Re:winmodems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817654)

There is DSL in Jordan. It costs a little more than it costs here in the U.S. (about $60/month)
but the difference is that $60/month is a lot more than what most people can afford over there.
So very few people have it.

MS Dominance (Arabic Edition) (2, Interesting)

sheepcentral (914661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817428)

In the Arabic world has Microsoft got the same dominance with standard computer users, for example in England (at least the South) almost everyone (who uses the internet) uses MSN Messenger to chat, not much Yahoo, AIM, Jabber, IRC etc? Not just MSN Messenger, Office and IE etc.

Religion (1)

sinfree (859988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817439)

How does religion influence technology development in the Arab world?

Slashdotters are mostly dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817455)

With all these questions like how do you blog in Arabic. Sheesh people. How do you think Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Hebrew people type? There are input methods for almost every language on the planet. I've got my machine set up for English/Japanese, in both Linux/Windows, it's a breeze.

It deeply saddens me that the general questions been thrown about here are of such a trivial small minded view. It seems that most the stupid comments are coming from people in the USA, are you truly so ignorant or are you just being trolls? Please this behavior does not do the world any good, nor does it give your country a good name.

As for questions:

I would like to know to what extent blogging/chat in censored in the middle-east, and what restrictions they impose on encryption tools such as ssh and how this effects online activities.

Internet connectivity? (1)

L3on (610722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817473)

How is your internet connection? What types of connections are available to people in your area? Are there wireless access points in the city in which you live and if so are they set up by an ISP, are they free? Are there datacenters in Jordan and if so how stable is thier connection and what kind of bandwidth do they have? I really know little about the Middle East but I can't imagine there is miles of fiber running across it like North America or Europe.

may her hooves be blessed (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817478)

Isam Bayazidi is about as far from the current U.S. media stereotype of an Arab as you can get.
Does he think that women who don't wear tents and ninja masks are whores, and in consequence should be killed by having rocks lobbed at them?

Re:may her hooves be blessed (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817534)

Unlikely, since it looks like he lives in Jordan, which is much more "liberal" about women than, say, Iran.

Re:may her hooves be blessed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817600)

Idiots who think all arabs are fanatic, wife-beating, suicide machines probably think that a giant white bunny comes with a box of Trix. Ignorant fool of a took. Perhaps if you weren't raised in the middle of Kansas you'd have a bit of cultural exposure.

What are some of the main miscnceptions (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817494)

about the Middle East that you've seen in Western Media that you wish could be cleared up?

Editor for LaTeX with nice Arabic language support (1)

Conley Index (957833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817524)

Using (NT)Emacs and AUCTeX for Math stuff, I have not gotten this to work for Arabic language input. (I recommeded LaTeX to some Islamic Sciences student after something got screwed up in OpenOffice.org, again. For German or English texts it was nice...)

What I need: an editor with LaTeX-commands integration that supports UTF-8 with right-to-left Arabic input. Currently I need it on Windows, but I prefer an open source solutions that will work on *nix, too. (Or a *nix program that will compile on Windows.)

Mo'toons (4, Interesting)

redelm (54142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817571)

I'm deeply concerned about the Arab/Islamic reactions to the Danish cartoons depicting The Prophet Mohammed.

I accept the cartoons are blasphemy and deeply offensive. Yet I hear no acknowledgment that freedom-of-expression is religiously venerated in the West. Worse, official (pandering?) reaction (sanctions) holds large unrelated groups responsible rather than the tiny right-wing newspaper that did the wrong. The many must pay for the misdeeds of the few. This implies responsibility for their own extremists!

I know media everywhere is seriously distorted. In the West, fear sells ink, photons and electrons. I wanted to understand the feeling on the ground. What are the people feeling?

Re:Mo'toons (1)

rgelb1 (472797) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817616)

What? The newspaper did nothing wrong. It is the inherent right of anyone in the west to publish anything they want.

Re:Mo'toons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817733)

Indeed it is.

But isn't it odd that they never seem to have cartoons of Christ
fucking a goat's nose? Now that's what I'd call freedom of
speech.

Two sides... (1)

CupBeEmpty (720791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817599)

As an American I find my relation to the Middle East almost exclusively filtered through the lens of "spreading Democracy." I am also a Religious Studies major so I find myself fascinated by Muslim theocracies and their relation to modern technology. Increased access to the Internet and availability of technology must be an enormous influence for modernization and liberalization in otherwise oppressive countries. However, you see countries like Iran becoming more technologically saavy even while they promote a culture that could be considered archaic. As someone who could shed some light on the interplay. Do you see technology and information access to be more a force for positive change or more of a force for finding new ways to oppress at least in the context of the Middle East?

Western and Eastern online culture (1)

dermusikman (540176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817655)

The real world cultural differences between the Arab and western worlds are clear. What majors differences would you note between the two cultures online?

Arabic Podcasting (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817666)

In addition to blogs, podcasting's blooming as an outlet for many groups and interests. Are there any you would recommend (in Arabic or English) for folks in the West to hear what folks in the Middle East are thinking, without media spin?

right to left cmdline, piping and redirection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817692)

piping and redirection can be very confusing with a normal left-to-right command line. Is the Arabic command line worse? How do you know if your cat'ing into a file, or from a file?

l- sl #
/ fr- mr #

Games (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14817693)

Do Arab kids play Western computer games, particularly ones where you play a (US) soldier shooting loads of (Arab) terrorist bad guys? Or do you have games there where the roles are reversed (ie. Arab freedom fighters killing invading Western armies)?

democracy and MidEast (Arab) culture (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817714)

Isam? You're not a MySQL admin, by any chance?

(Sorry, sorry, couldn't resist.)

Serious question: from your point of view, what do you think it would take for MidEast nations to embrace democracy, in one form or another, rather than the monarchal and dictatorial systems which are currently popular? For instance, your home nation of Jordan is a monarchy, though a relatively benign one. Do you see any impetus for that to change? If not, why not? As a correllary, do you think it's important that MidEast nations embrace democracy (since my question implies that it is)? Why or why not?

Question: (1)

notanotheridiot (828950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817771)

It strikes me that most of the people here don't realise that Jordan is a relatively modern westernized country when compared to, say, Georgia or Kazakhstan, and doesn't have anything like the civil disobedience problems of Iraq or Afghanistan. Look it up on the CIA World Factbook [cia.gov] . Although I'm sure Isam will comment on this, it seems unlikely that the state of Technological and Economic infrastructure is anything like as bad as some people would like to make out. Again - according to the CIA factbook Jordan has: microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; considerable use of mobile cellular systems; Internet service is available Anyway, on to my Question: As a student in the UK studying computer Science I try to keep abreast of what other people are learning atound the world. What is the state of CompSci (as we like to call it) education in Jordan - is it freely available for everyone to a high (ie. equivelant to a good European/US university) level? Come to think of it, in a more general sense: how does the Jordanian University System compare to universities in Europe and the States? Finally, i would be interested to know: Did you study in Jordan, or abroad?

Re:Question: sorry about line breaks (1)

notanotheridiot (828950) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817829)

sorry, forgot about line breaks:
It strikes me that most of the people here don't realise that Jordan is a relatively modern westernized country when compared to, say, Georgia or Kazakhstan, and doesn't have anything like the civil disobedience problems of Iraq or Afghanistan. Look it up on the CIA World Factbook [cia.gov] .

Although I'm sure Isam will comment on this, it seems unlikely that the state of Technological and Economic infrastructure is anything like as bad as some people would like to make out. Again - according to the CIA factbook: microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; considerable use of mobile cellular systems; Internet service is available

Anyway, on to my Question: As a student in the UK studying computer Science I try to keep abreast of what other people are learning atound the world. What is the state of CompSci (as we like to call it) education in Jordan - is it freely available for everyone to a high (ie. equivelant to a good European/US university) level?

Come to think of it, in a more general sense: how does the Jordanian University System compare to universities in Europe and the States?

Finally, I would be interested to know: Did you study in Jordan, or abroad?

Open Source, and (1)

sameeer (946332) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817773)

We know a open-source in a lot of countries is regarded as a method to fight US-based companies like Microsoft, etc. How much is this view shared in the Middle East, and has this opinion encouraged Open Source in this region?

Also, in your personal experience, what kind of discrimination do Arabics face on online developer communities? Has this been a deterrent for more Arabics to enter open-source development?

Thank You

Remove religion from the equation and (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817795)

what are you really fighting over?

Arab and Israeli collaboration (1)

Eugene Webby (891781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817854)

Israel has an active open-source and linux community, do the two groups colloborate? And if so, have any friendships been made? Without getting too political, can open source gap coltural and political differences?

How can I get a pen-pal in Iraq? (1)

rdmiller3 (29465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817855)

I don't know what the situation is in Iraq, for the locals, but I'd like to establish some contact.

I can correspond in Esperanto and/or English. I'm sorry, but I don't know their native language.

Do ordinary people in Iraq have access to the Internet? If not, is there some way of finding someone in Iraq who would like to correspond by mail with a "USonian" who is genuinely interested in their viewpoint?

I can't help but think that if we only had more interpersonal relationships between the US and Iraq that the possibilities for cooperation and understanding would be so much better.

Rick

"I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it."
-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Come on guys... (1)

Josh teh Jenius (940261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14817859)

1) I am not so thrilled with the number of stereotypes and racist jabs I'm reading on this thread. C'mon Slashdot: I thought you people were smarter than this. 2) Honest question(s) for Isam Bayazidi: long-term (20+ years) do you think the Internet will serve to a) promote a moderate view of Islam, b) promote a radical view or c) both? If you had to guess, how to the "numbers look" when it comes to the Islamic web right now? I would guess 99-1 (at least) in favor of moderate, am I way off?
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