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dear mayor of amman

October 19, 2009

you almost had me fooled. you, with your hashtags, blog posts, and marathons – making me think you were ready for dialogue.

re-branding amman was genius. a catchy website with fun logos and awesome colors; a mandate for “utilizing all means of communication”;  a centennial to rally the masses.

well, any advertiser will tell you – you can do all the rebranding and marketing tricks in the world, but unless you have a product to back it up, no one’s gonna buy it.

but somehow, i almost did. until i realized that what i was about to fall for wasn’t champaigne, but kool aid.

initially, you ignored your followers when they tried to bring local issues to your attention, but eventually when enough people made some noise, you got to responding. and i was impressed that you actually did something about the issues they were complaining about.

so, why in your efforts to embrace new forms of communication, have you abandoned the old ones? how could you think that because you cleaned up a few cans of coke, you were suddenly accountable to no one?

when a committee responsible for overseeing the municipality’s decisions has a series of questions, what delusional analysis allows you to think that an appropriate response is “this is what you get” (literal translation; the figurative one being “this is what you deserve”)?

the days of brushing a response under a rug and hoping a stern look will placate the masses are over. monologues, soliloquies, one act plays were a thing of shakespearean tragedies.

those concepts have been replaced with engagement, inclusiveness, wiki-fying a process. and for when the standards of leadership aren’t met, well, reality tv is here to stay.

you managed twitter, now let’s see if you can handle the wrath of youtube:


your petite nemesis

One Comment leave one →
  1. sysh permalink*
    October 20, 2009 5:12 pm

    brilliant post. it reminds me of some of the discussions that happened last year around the painting of East Amman buildings: the only sides that were painted were those that overlooked West Amman, so that people sitting on the terrace of books@cafe would have a pretty view to look at.

    This is one of a host of problems with the urban structure and design of Amman as a city, and I think it brings up a lot of issues of accountability, inequality, elitism.

    Maybe we should think about constructing a list of things the mayor of Amman should account for– if we circle it through the blogosophere, and perhaps (gasp) even try and get residents of East Amman involved (I guess this would require us to type in Arabic…hmmm!!) we could definitely try and make Amman, our city, truly reflective of its inhabitants.

    Great post petitenemisis 🙂

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