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dear teenybopper politicians (an analysis of Twitter and Personality Politics)

February 21, 2010

politicians are ridiculing themselves, committing transgressions that have gone unnoticed. ironic considering this is happening online where there is a predisposition to save, spread, and smear.

i wonder if anyone else has even noticed this or if it’s just me. admittedly, i spend too much time searching through twitter accounts – assessing personalities based on who they follow, what they say and most importantly how they say it. i do this when it comes to friends, brands and politicians.

i enjoy seeing a plethora of personalities engaging online, but what appalls me is when it’s done wrong. and wrong is when people don’t hold themselves up to the same standards online than they would offline.

offline there was a media frenzy when george bush winked at queen elizabeth; gawkers ridiculed burlesconi when he was caught humping a parking attendant; and bush was back in the headlines when he gave merkel a neck rub during a g8 meeting.

yet online, no one blinked when the jordan’s minister of foreign affairs was winking at his constituents, when he talked off message, or when he chased after a pop-star. yes, nasser judeh, i am judging you.

if you were speaking at a press conference and showed an overabundance of excitement and spoke in high pitched tones, you would no doubt lose credibility. so why do the majority of your tweets end in exclamation marks?

if you had a 20 second soundbite on cnn, would you waste it talking about falafel sandwiches, your picture with david miliband, or your fondness of the saints? i pray to every political scientists’ god that the answer is no.

and if your picture were to appear on the cover of newsweek, would you take pride in a shot of you winking at a 20-something year old blogger? are we so far gone from the days of mark twain where language was used to convey thoughts that you now have to resort to cheesy and unstatemen like  smiles and winks when conversing in type?

then in your attempt to be selective in who you follow: shakira, demi more, and dolly parton. is that the direction that jordan’s foreign policy is heading towards? perhaps that’s your attempt to humanize your position a bit more? more likely it’s just bad taste in b rate celebrities complimenting your failed attempt at increasing your popularity through a failed social media foray.

@nasserjudeh you have diluted your brand. please get it together or get offline. it’s embarrassing to see one of jordan’s most high profile ministers communicating like a teenybopper.

69 Comments leave one →
  1. Jordanian permalink
    February 21, 2010 3:44 pm


    All officials use the same typing signs when delivering a message! @DMiliband as an example! Bahraini FM who also uses the same method in conveying a message…question is why pick on Judeh?

    • petitenemesis permalink*
      February 22, 2010 8:19 am

      you rightedly point out examples of other officials making the same horrendous mistakes and i think it’s appalling. one day i’ll get around to listing the social media hall of shame, but for now joudeh happened to be the example that caught my attention. that’s the thing about being a high profile politician, you’re a symbol.

  2. February 21, 2010 4:33 pm

    Fully understand what you mean, but why do we expect people in high positions to not be like us and want to talk about a sports team or shawerma, that’s the problem with us we think they come from another planet where humans don’t sin or make mistakes and don’t have normal brains and feelings like us.. It’s twitter not his official politics page..masheeha..

    • Jordanian permalink
      February 21, 2010 5:58 pm

      Exactly! Plus having fun and being fun is not a sin! I like the FM, he is a good representation of Jordan, has done tremendously well in all occasions!

      To judge someone on the fact that he uses smileys is beyond ridiculous!….What is wrong with Jordan is not Judeh it’s people like our good author here… and oh yes just so I do not forget :P!! :))) ;))))))))))))))))))

      • petitenemesis permalink*
        February 22, 2010 8:21 am

        i have no personal issues with joudeh. this isn’t an analysis of what he has or hasn’t accomplished. i judge him based on the poor use of his rhetoric. you find it ridiculous that i have expectations of politicians; i find it ridiculous that he is using smily faces to convey official statements through a twitter account labeled as that of the minister of foreign affairs.

    • petitenemesis permalink*
      February 22, 2010 8:23 am

      i do not expect politicians to not make mistakes, but i do expect them to at least try to do things right. if he wants to tweet about these personal things then his account should not be flaunting his title. his accounts lists him as “jordan’s minister of foreign affairs”, which means he is representing the country through this channel. excuse my disappointment at seeing my country represented through subpar standards.

      • sysh permalink*
        February 22, 2010 9:34 am

        I think you hit the nail on the head. Personal twitter accounts are fine, but when he’s mixing politics with tweeting, there are definitely standards he needs to uphold as a politician. He’s also not an elected official, so there are certain degrees of accountability that one must hold onto. But mixing personal with politics is slightly disrespectful to his constituency, and its a blurry line but when we’re talking about peace processes, etc, there is a certain degree of solemnity to be maintained.

      • February 24, 2010 1:47 am

        all what mr joude has bean trying hard to do……is a v poor imitation of h.r.h.prince hassan bin talal……in his speaches and press confrences……..v poor try.wt are his credentials to be fm of jordan? a rifaie in law….? good luck for dolly parton…….she could do a better job…with nj……….

    • Batool permalink
      February 26, 2010 10:59 am

      What the hell is this topic about, what transgressions r u talkin about?!
      judah still a humanbeing has the same feelings and expressions we have, and as a politician he is a great one, no one can deny he is a very good spoken person when it’s an official or political conferences or speeches, my judge to him is based on his accopmlishments, and his way in playing an essential role in represinting jordan and its people, he has a fabulous personality as a human as a politicians, he is a respected man, and we r proud of him..
      what a big deal a big mistake he has done when he 🙂 😉 😀 ! express smiles !
      or talking about falafel sandwiches, or friends over account, or website like this.. !!

      Really how cheap ur goal is when u announced such a silly SCOOP, to increase visiters to ur blog,
      ATTENTION SEEKER next time try to find appreciated topic, our humanity concerned about..

  3. Salma ElTaweel permalink
    February 21, 2010 6:30 pm

    I agree with you guys! Officials have lives beyond their office hours!

    • petitenemesis permalink*
      February 22, 2010 8:23 am

      politicians are and should be held to a higher standard than your average mo. when a person decides to occupy a certain office, he or she is representing something so much bigger than personal choice. with the title and power comes responsibility to represent that office.

  4. arabmanic permalink
    February 22, 2010 6:34 am

    hahahaha Im not sure what nasser joudeh looks like, bas the only thing i can imagine is this bellied balding arab guy, probably someones father, who picks his nose as he rides a lame power trip tweeting with shakira online hahahaha and talking about his fondness of falafel hahaha really?? and then off line acting all 3arabee and sipping on turkish coffee as his bad breath and yellow teeth make you cringe when he says words like climbing with a b hahaha.. get real. he’s the foreign minister not the winner of star academy hehe, I agree with the article, he needs to get a life, off line, and then we can discuss his persona on line.. isnt he setting out statements on the dealing of arms weapons?? hehe maybe the saints are his board of confidants hahahaha …and of course he can live a free life doing what he pleases but the guys gotta get his act together.. if he’s gonna represent, then do it with style and class, no need for people to see the twitter that he really is.. hehe what a funny loser.

    • Leilah Al Qot permalink
      February 22, 2010 8:30 am

      FIY, the man is very good looking, well spoken, well read, well mannered and he is one of the best in his profession. He is both a good administrator, admired by all the people that he knows and he occupied high ranking posts ever since the 90’s, as well as a great diplomat who has done beautifully on the international stage. And I haven’t seen him messaging Shakira, but i know that HRM Queen Rania follows Shakira, Cindy Crawford and many other US celebs; so it is not wrong to do that! And Shakira’s page is all about international issues and humanitarian causes; I would judge him if he didn’t follow her. The fact that she is a singer doesn’t disqualify her from being a major influence in the issues!:)
      He is young and smart man and realizes the importance of this social network! There is nothing wrong with what he does. And about using his name, I would only judge him if he didn’t, it would be immature if he did!
      The fact that you haven’t seen him and do not know anything about him disqualifies you from submitting an opinion.
      Being the foreign minister doesn’t mean he should wear Kshra! We don’t have that in smileys if we did he would, probably, use it where need be! Stop the silliness for goodness’ sake!

  5. Max Demian permalink
    February 22, 2010 9:09 am

    Interesting comments. I would say that since the man has posted his official title he is automatically ‘tweeting’ on behalf of governmental apparatus, and that is a tricky matter. Take away the boasting 4 words and it becomes, dare I say, kosher.

    The train of thought resulting from this thread leads me to posit the following hypothesis, which I would like to direct towards Dee and Jordanian: if the King were to ‘tweet’ in the same fashion, using his official title, would it be as acceptable to you? Interesting to know.

    • Jordanian permalink
      February 22, 2010 10:00 am

      This hypothesis is way off base. He is not the King! If HMK decided to tweet he would do it the same way HMQ is currently! When you look at the trend of officials on twitter, you’ll find he isn’t doing anything that is out of the ordinary! Plus twitter is in itself a new social network that is a combination of personal and official! It is his page not the foreign ministry’s! As you can see with UK FCO Miliband has his own page in which he writes about football sends coded jokes to his friends and answers to issues of politics, but the FCO is the official page of the government, and so it conducts itself accordingly!
      The problem with us Jordanians, being an underdeveloped society, we still place much importance on the person and not the institute! I would have thought you would have criticized the government for not having official twitter pages to cope with the fast growing media mechanism, instead of judging a person who currently is the FM, for giving out information in the manner most comfortable to him. You talk about transparency and when you get you judge!
      I agree with Leilah Al Qot!

      • Max Demian permalink
        February 22, 2010 10:15 am

        Referencing Miliband as a method to counter is not really getting you anywhere. The ‘he does it, therefore its right’ mechanism is not doing much to reinforce your argument (?). However, you do highlight my point when you, perhaps inadvertently said: “It is his page not the foreign ministry’s!” This is the point I believe PN is trying to convey here. Since it is his personal page, he should perhaps remove his title from the sidebar on the right hand side of the page, lest it be confused with the official apparatus.

        At this juncture, I would like to thank you for pointing out that “[h]e is not the King!” I kind of knew that before you said it, but thanks for reinforcing that anyway…you still haven’t tackled that analogy at all. Tell me how different they are? They both occupy high ranks in the government and fall under the same umbrella of public scrutiny.

        I really do get your point Jordanian, and I think its a very sound one. Officials should have private lives, social media interactions, and the works, but it gets murky when they attach their official titles to their personal pages because it defeats the purpose of having a ‘personal’ page.

        Finally, if your criteria for how ‘transparent’ a country is resides in empty rhetoric akin to the ‘Had a falafel sandwich at the best falafel joint & what do I see? a picture of me & my great friend David Miliband devouring falafel there!’ tweet, then I think you should reconsider the definition of the concept.

  6. Jordanian permalink
    February 22, 2010 10:52 am

    I think you overlooked the point I was trying to make! When you seek to analyze a comparison it has to be that of equals! He is not the King but he is more likely to be compared to his peers! His peers have the same attitude on twitter! Forget Miliband take Khalifah! Same thing. He has NasserJudeh for his screen name the Bio is not important! It is a small description you can chose to delete it! If he had written @JordanFM than and only than you have the right to attack him if however he continues being this casual. But he identifies himself with his name! Example Hillary Clinton, has @statesecretary and @statedep and @Hilary in 1st two she has secretary of state in BIO! Gibbs however, recently on twitter uses @PressSec which means he chose to be identified as the press secretary.

    Get my point? As for the transparency ! You need to acknowledge that what he, Mayor Amman , Khalid Irani are doing is in fact keeping the public informed on their every move on the professional level and getting engaged with the public on a personal and that is a plus! The fact that he chose to write about falafel is CUTE and sweet, but it is more than just that! It is reinforcing a new attitude towards Jordan and life in Amman! he has followers form all over the world this a touristic casual promotion that only someone who does not know Jordan would appreciate and i know that first hand!
    Would i expect the King do tweet the way he does? His wife is! And we love her! She talks about her personal life kids playing daddy getting heavy duties done in the house! What do you think about that? And no he and the king do not have a similar status! That just goes to show how mixed up concepts are in Jordan! The King is the symbol of Jordan, Judeh is an employee. But please consider that the King is also unconventional in his mannerism and attitude! He does not tweet, so i can not answer to how would i feel if he did what Judeh does, but whatever he does will be fine if he write @abdullahii but not as @King!

    My question is that are you guys concerned about the image of Jordan or the image of Judeh? Or is it just that this is too new and modern to accept right away? If the answer is the former, rest assured nothing is being smeared by mentioning falafel! Mentioning it is just a casual harmless thing that you should not lose sleep over.

    Lighten up! Life is not that rigid!

    • Jordanian permalink
      February 22, 2010 10:54 am

      Correction @statesecretary and @Hilary and @statedep in 1st two she has secretary of state in BIO!

  7. Max Demian permalink
    February 22, 2010 11:24 am

    Oh well, I suppose we’ll have to settle for the fluff that is agreeing to disagree here. I believe the minister of foreign affairs should be held to a higher standard, as he is the foremost figure representing Jordanians in the face of the international community. I don’t believe he should be doing so in the diction of a jester. You believe our office (not minister) of foreign affairs has to come off as ‘CUTE’ and ‘sweet’, I don’t (I do however believe that the man who sits in that office can choose to come off as whomever he wants to be) . You believe our King is the symbol of Jordan, I believe he is our leader and political shaper. I admire the King so much for his wit and rhetoric, not to mention many of the policies he has enacted. But more importantly, I believe the King holds himself to a higher standard than the general populous, which is why I do not think we’ll ever see him communicating with us using 😉 and !!!!!. Finally, you believe Nasser is an employee, I believe he is a civil servant.

    I very much enjoyed our discourse, my only regret is not making my point clearer regarding the ‘all the kids are doing it’ justification. You assumed your point would come across better when you substituted Miliband with Hillary.

    • Jordanian permalink
      February 22, 2010 11:52 am

      What I meant to say is that twitter is a different mode of communication. It is new and very effective as you, am sure, can recognize and so setting rules over how to conduct yourself when before your PC is a bit of a challenge, maybe you are right, but maybe you’re not! Whatever it is, for sure, it is not a crime against national image or security to have ministers using 🙂 and !!!! 😉 ! LOL! I do not mean that i want him to come off as CUTE and SWEET! I was simply pointing to the fact that he came off as such, to me! And there is nothing wrong with having a light hearted official in office!
      I wont get into the who said what about the King or the Minister, I will simply point out to the fact that the standards you are referring to are not that set and done! When I say life is not rigid, I mean there are no rules to identify wrongs and rights in this arena! The really wrong things you need to be concerned about is wrong that is concealed! And again I tell you the King just might use twitter, he is an unconventional King so you never know! And it’s not a crime to use smileys it is a crime to steal, lie, misuse office etc…. That you need to focus on, not the most trivial of matters that have to do with basically personal TASTE!
      “As for the other kids are doing it thing” this too is CUTE! However, I meant o point out that if it’s a conventional wrong to conduct yourself in this manner than you would not have it so spread amongst officials! It was a big NO NO in Jordan just a few years ago for men to wear red! We have social requirements that are sometimes unnecessary only catering to one’s public image as a real man, or a real lady. This objection to officials using smileys in twitter is another kind of that social expectations! Need to break out of the superficial appearances and delve into content. An official is required to uphold the law and that is it! Nothing in the law says you can not use :)) when you type on twitter;)

  8. Slobidom permalink
    February 22, 2010 2:26 pm

    Here is a little something to put everything in perspective: It is always better to benchmark prior to forming and expressing an opinion on the article. H.E. Khaled Irani, former Minister of Environment, and current Minister of Energy, is a very active Tweeter. Go through his tweets and compare and contrast with those of H.E. Mr. Joudeh.

    It is about relevance. I choose to follow a minister because I am interested in posts relevant to his position. If I’m interested in falafel, I’ll follow Hashem El Balad; if I I’m interested in the Saints, I’ll follow Reggie Bush; If I want to learn about climate change, clean energy, and what my country is doing in this regard, I’ll follow H.E. Mr. Irani. However, if I’m interested in learning more about Jordan’s foreign policy, do I follow H.E. Mr. Joudeh?

  9. February 22, 2010 4:26 pm

    @ Max Demian and @petitenemesis

    The king is not tweeting so i’m not going to talk about that, but the queen tweets, she posts pictures of her sons, she talks about where she is and what she’s doing which is NOT always queen/royal family related.

    About nasser judeh, like the rest of us he wrote his occupation/major/whatever it is that you do in life in general, But is that all there is to you? So if your bio says math student for instance are you supposed to be only tweeting about math?? or will you be tweeting in the name of mathematicians or your university or whatever?? Sorry but saying that him saying what he does then talking about other things is wrong is dumb. When he used smilies he was talking to a PERSON not il sha3eb, and i recall the person himself didn’t think much of is sa7? 🙂 The user name is his name, the name he got when his mother gave birth to him, and that does not mean in any way what so ever that he is speaking in the name of anyone but himself, one of his interests (since it’s his job ya3ni) is politics, so the majority of his tweets are of relation to that, but it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t go back home to a wife and kids with problems and daily life issues and can not write down his preference of food.

    If i was you i’d be happy he even takes the time to communicate with us along with the mayor because they both reply to people unlike your shakira. They do not have to do this, it’s his personal choice and he enjoys it, if you were an official/politician/whatever do you have to take yourself off of all social media websites just because of your job? We expect them to be good at their job yes, I do, but what i don’t expect is for him to do anything differently with his own life, because uhhh it’s his own life :).

    • sysh permalink*
      February 22, 2010 4:46 pm

      I don’t think what you are saying is something anyone here disagrees with. The larger debate is actually: how much should political figures mix the personal with the political? Queen Rania is not an ‘elected’ political official but more of a royal authority, so while she has duties, she does not have a direct constituency and so the lines are different. With the Forieng Minister, he has a very important job, he needs to be accountable, and he needs to take his job very seriously. it’s much different than being a math student.

      Having said that, I do see where you are coming from. but like I said, the debate should be framed more along the lines of “should politicians mix their private lives with their politics?”. In fact, this is very similar to a debate that is happening at the moment in the UK, where the prime minister Gordon Brown’s recent appearance on TV in a very personal interview sparked debate about the limits of personal information in the political sphere. Personally, I am wary about personality politics, and think when social media is used by politicians or high level public officials, it needs to be done so with responsibility. That means, if Nasser Juddeh wants to post, he should do so as ‘Nasser’ rather than highlighting his official role as foreign minister. He can then set up two distinct accounts, one personal and one political.

      Mixing personal issues with political ones is just not a good idea. Politicians should be held accountable for their policies, NOT their personalities. But when you mix the two, you then create a situation where politicians are judged on their personal actions as mjuch as their political ones (see the US, as a case in point of how NOT to conduct politics).

      like i said, i dont think there’s a right or wrong answer here, but it’s interesting that we’re discussing it and I think petitenemesis is quite good at putting down her point of view, and the debate follows 🙂

      • Jordanian permalink
        February 22, 2010 5:14 pm

        but that is your view! And if I can see and read right most of the comments agree with our point of view so maybe you should reconsider if not just leave the man alone, I am glad that we have public figures like him. Accessible, open and ready to engage!

        for the rest of your last post I refer you to my previous one! 🙂

      • February 22, 2010 5:25 pm

        Again, would you want have 2 accounts to log into this and then log out and log into that everytime you want to tweet about something? If you don’t think his tweets are that of a politician don’t follow him, i never saw him going around telling people to follow him, neither is he following random ppl just so they follow him back. We want out freedom, of speech, of everything, but we ask those who MIGHT give it to us to shut up? sorry bas leh ya3ni? Maybe a more important subject is to voice out our opinions in the politicians who are not doing their job right, not a good one who manages his twitter account a bit differently than how we want him to.

      • sysh permalink*
        February 22, 2010 5:48 pm

        Come on Dee, seriously here. Let’s not confuse ‘speech’ with ‘freedom of speech’. Just because someone has a twitter account and tweets about falafel, does not make it a ‘free speech’ society, my dear friend!!!!

  10. February 22, 2010 6:00 pm

    :S :S where did i say tweeting about falafel meant freedom of speech??!!!

    I said we want our freedom of speech but want to control what others say (regardless if it was too dumb or too serious or too offending …etc ). You want to tell this specific politician (since he’s the subject here) to stick to politics in his account but you want the freedom to talk (the new online publications law everyone is confused about for instance), unless you don’t want freedom of speech, then this would be another story.

  11. Max Demian permalink
    February 22, 2010 7:02 pm

    I don’t think anyone is trying to ‘control freedom of speech’. In fact, what we’re doing here is a form of that. At the pinnacle of FoS is the open forum of discussion where opinions are tossed around. At the end of the day, H.E can say whatever he wants, in whatever fashion he so chooses, we are here to comment on it, rather than censor it. Funny, seems like you and some of your contemporaries are not too familiar with concepts like freedom of speech and transparency, yet you use the word ‘dumb’ with reckless abandon…Good luck with those exams, 3ogbal il diblom.

    • Jordanian permalink
      February 22, 2010 7:31 pm

      If you chose to give it out, you need to be able to take it. Lets be clear here, Jordan is not a country of law and will be long till we actually see that! What we have is people like FM, Mayor of Amman and Queen Rania and of course the King who are trying to stir the mentality of transparency into society! I say that there are no rules governing what you can and cannot say on twitter! That you are trying to create yourself against everyone’s will! I do not know the man I know if him, what he is, as a professional, is one who respects rules and regulations makes decisions democratically makes it his business to deal with employees individually! On the personal level … I also know of it but really does not interest me one bit! His taste and word choice is his, as long as he does not break any laws and rules no one has the right to put him on trial! Falafel is fine by me as long as he is a fair boss and a good representation of Jordan where it counts!
      Transparency, and free speech are two concepts that are novel to us as a society and yes many do not fully grasp it, it is a legal system which guarantees flow of into to public and allow opposition to be heard and interfere in the decision making process. However, it is also very attached to culture and education, and that we do not have in Jordan. What these officials are actually doing is injecting the minds of youth with this notion. So they put themselves out there for you to, basically, “PICK ON” enough until you get used to the fact that officials are a sentence away! You say that people do not grasp concept of transparency and free speech, fine you freedom ends where mine begins, apply that to what you are doing and compare and contrast who really has the better understanding!
      But you still haven’t answer the question : why pick him out of everybody else why single him out, if you fail to answer that as you had in previous posts this will look like a sad call for attention!

      I would love to read something about real issues the government is responsible for. Not smileys and falafel and god knows what else that had really offended you so much to write an ARTICLE! It is a round yellow circle with eyes and knows to express emotional states, don’t waste your talent with this. Bigger issues to be tackled write about that!

      My head hurts ! So I am off for good this time! 🙂

  12. February 22, 2010 7:27 pm

    @MAX yes i agree and i am commenting as well, don’t mean to attack anyone if you got it like that, i personally think it’s dumb and this cycle of i say what i think and you do too is never-ending. Maybe the choice of words was wrong but the post itself was a bit offending in the first place by saying he’s an embarrassment.

    Didn’t get what you mean by exams and diblom, either i’m too dumb :p or you’re not talking to me lol. Would love to go for the first one btw.

  13. dina permalink
    February 23, 2010 8:47 pm

    i dont think its wrong , i mean its only their job as politicians but its who they are and it does not mean that they are not humans just like us and they r free to live normaly also her majesty queen rania has an account on both twitter and facebook

    • JoandProud permalink
      February 24, 2010 7:51 am

      They are not average citizens. They are politicians and that means they should act like it. Have a Twitter account, yes, bas do it correctly. And the argument that just because the Queen does it does not make it right. She’s got a few things to learn on Twitter as well.

  14. jo_girl permalink
    February 23, 2010 8:56 pm

    hey peoples ,, i think its ok to have a twitter account !!!!!!!!!

    • JoandProud permalink
      February 24, 2010 7:46 am

      The point isn’t if it’s OK to have a Twitter account, but what type of things should be said on it and HOW the F.M speaks. He is a government representative. What he says is an indication of the government’s policy. That is the point.

  15. AMAL permalink
    February 24, 2010 10:03 am


  16. Azzam permalink
    February 25, 2010 9:22 am

    Get a life man……Don’t you see the kind of tweets other officials do? the man is a human being and simply had a sandwich… Besides I follow his tweets and more often than not they are work related and updates us on his work…I do actually like the fact that he does it with a bit of a casual tone…with all the simling faces and exclamation marks!!!!!:-):-) afterall don’t we all do that…..Seriously borther…get a life!

  17. voltaire permalink
    February 25, 2010 9:25 am

    Dear petitenemesis,

    I disagree with you…….a few jokes and comments about the personal life of some officials is healthy and nice…

  18. salman permalink
    February 25, 2010 10:42 am

    I know minister Judeh , although his profile says FM but he never said this was the official account of the MOFA. Robert Gibbs for example says this is the official tweet account of WH press secretary. AND..damned if you do or dont!!!
    whats wrong with saying he had a falafel sandwich when the FM of bahrain said he had biryani and bread in New Delhi?? Let the man eat his falafel for god’s sake. he did nothing wrong and I hope he continues to tweet about “what I am doing now” which is the essence of twitter.

    • george of the jungle permalink
      February 25, 2010 12:53 pm

      looks like u have a personal issue with Judeh. I guess publice officials are ot allowed to eat sandwiches or biryani. how about we do a vote on whehter Jordanian public offcials are allowed to eat sandwiches and tweet about it. I am wiling to oranize the vote….

  19. February 25, 2010 4:06 pm

    I think this is a great debate. I feel we as Jordanians have truly started to embrace the essence of this era…Communication. We continuously demand our officials be more approachable, transparent and to simply talk to us. Whether its as trendy as Twitter, or just plain old public engagement, I think its great and should be encouraged.

    Yes it probably took someone as visionary as Nasser Judeh, someone who is no novice to media and communications to realize the importance of these types of mediums. I sincerely wish more public officials were doing it. I love that he talks about Falafel, more than that, I love that he took the British Foreign Minister to a Falafel shop thatdemonstrates tradition and heritage instead of a pretentious restaurant. That is symbolic of what he is trying to do on Twitter, bridging the gap between tradition and hip.

    I think he is a genious, you know why? Because instead of limiting his interactions to newspapers and other politicians, he has managed to reach out and attract a younger demographic and is followed by hundreds of twenty year olds, whom otherwise would have stayed out of touch with what we as Jordan are doing on the diplomatic front. He does it by mixing political message with humour.

    I think balance is key. Out of every 10 tweets, 4 are personal. Which is perfect. Because we need to humanise our officials too. That way they become relevant.

    As a Jordanian, I am extremely proud that we have a Foreign Minister with the background, qualifications, eloquence, charisma and most of all the vision of Judeh.

    I love that we have a visionary queen who is reaching out, and several other officials and businessmen who have realized the same need for interaction….. and communication!

    • petitenemesis permalink*
      February 27, 2010 8:33 am

      rl, i couldn’t agree more with you on the importance of using these tools to engage people. i truly believe that in order to capture the opinions and energy of young people (who constitute the majority of the population in the middle east, as well as globally) public figures need to go to them where they are collecting.

      social networking platforms are the perfect place to engage them. however, i think there are right and wrong ways of “engaging”. proper grammar should be used as well as statemen like rhetoric.

      people like nasser joudeh can do so much more with the platform. right now his use of twitter does not seem visionary at all. he is using a tool and making it seem like a strategy. there’s a big difference between the two.

  20. imadd permalink
    February 26, 2010 12:34 am

    Dear minister ,
    i think if you have a little time i can suggest writting to for example china ( future super power in economy)to welcome any economy relation , i,m sure if you work hard on this it is going to be great ,
    with deep respect

  21. Jacques Cousteau permalink
    February 26, 2010 9:03 am

    The Berlusconi video is a spoof from a tv show. So get your facts straight.

    Further it is refreshing to see our FM is hip and tweets.

    Go find a worthy cause instead of wasting your energy on this diatribe.

    • petitenemesis permalink*
      February 27, 2010 8:18 am

      thanks for the correction – i wasn’t aware that the berlusconi clip is a spoof. still, my opinion that politicians should hold themselves to the same standards offline and on stands.

  22. ibram permalink
    February 26, 2010 9:08 am

    Sir, most our officials are young or herritage position from father grandfather to cheldren to son to son etc… so they start there carreir without experiance no connrction with public people suddenly they go to thetop they never played with normal poor kids suddenly they go up after school to posision of manger they jump over 5000 employees or jump over millions

  23. amr permalink
    February 26, 2010 11:39 am

    We dont need your comment on our poltics

    • sysh permalink*
      February 26, 2010 3:44 pm

      and whose politics is this exactly that you speak of? surely petitenemesis is free to express his or her opinion?

  24. February 26, 2010 12:26 pm

    As a Jordanian, I am proud that we have a Foreign Minister Like Mr. Judeh. Those who know or Read What MR. Judeh do or did to our Country will Know that he is one of the best Politics ever in Jordan.

  25. ahmad al khatib permalink
    February 26, 2010 3:46 pm

    I think that who ever it is that wrote this article feels obviously inferior to the minister, the mayor and other very capable jordanian officials. This silly person seems to have a chip on his shoulder and has nothing better to write about so he is wasting our time and yours wrting about a falafel sandwich…..I guess, according to this guy. govert official should not go to movies, parks , restaurants or be seen in public unless it is for official govet business. I am so glad that most Jordanians do not share this backward and in most cases retarded view that you have….I am a jordanian who does not know the minister, mayor or thise who are more imporotant like HM the quess, but I can tell you that I am proud that they are up to date with the rest of the world and have the time and ability to write personal and work related things on twitter. So stop hiding behind your fake name and if you have something to say about anyone, you should have the courage to say it openly.

    • petitenemesis permalink*
      February 27, 2010 8:26 am

      hi ahmad. thanks for stopping by and sharing your poignant analysis. unfortunately, you’re slightly off – see i don’t feel inferior or superior to either of those men. i simply expect more from my leadership. when i feel that they’re falling below the standards, i feel it’s my duty (as it is every other citizen’s) to point this out.

      this post has nothing to do with officials having private lives; it’s about them using their communication tools to further their mandates. falafel is not a mandate.

      furthermore, just because officials (locally and globally) are online, does not make them up-to-date. being there isn’t the same as doing it right.

      too bad you missed that.

      • February 27, 2010 9:19 am

        “Being there isn’t the same as doing it right”?? Right or wrong according to whose rules? Yours? Can you please introduce us to yourself, and what makes you the communications expert?

        You have every right to write your opinion like any blogger….. as does the FM to tweet about a significant trip by himself and the British FM to the oldest part of Amman to meet with ordinary Jordanians over a traditional Falafel.

        However, please do not suggest that you are the one who determines what is acceptable and what isn’t….and PLEASE, don’t try to dictate it to us.

  26. Tim permalink*
    February 27, 2010 2:21 pm

    Is this a joke? Why this hysterical reaction to quite sensible criticism from the author? Like seriously guys. I guess she hit a nerve. Great to the debate this article has caused tho! Surely thats something to be excited about! 🙂

  27. voltaire permalink
    February 28, 2010 10:02 am

    I just want to understand something here because I am now worried about who I “follow” on twitter. Is “following” someone on twitter (which is what twitter is all abou), considered “chasing” after them? when someone uses a smile with a semi colon instead of a colon does that mean winking in an unbecoming way? So when the President of the US walks into Congress and winks at everyone there does this mean he is demeaning them all? and when an official uses an exclamation mark at the end of a tweet does it mean that the level of the rhetoric has deteriorated to an unprecedented low? I am just confused because you are talking about one of the most articulate officials in Jordan and you are “judging” him because he used an exclamnation mark! wow.
    Convince me that you dont have a personal issue with the guy and making it seem like a public issue. I think the responses you got probably brought home the fact that you barked up the wrong tree my friend!
    Express your opinion but at least try
    to make some sense. I have just gone through all the officials and pop stars I am following (sorry chasing after 😉 and every single one of them tweets about where they eat and what they are doing and the cities they visiting and and and. these guys are all a shame to their societies??? FM of bahrain in his profile calls himself a diplomat, world traveler and “bon vivant”
    who also happens to be FM and his tweets are really nice particularly when he talks about the countries he visits!! Are you on twitter? Who do you follow exactly? And if you are on twitter or facebook lets go in and see your contributions there. But I warn you if we find one exclamation mark or smiley face, then the consensus here should be that you are a hypocrite and have no right to judge anyone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  28. Bozo permalink
    March 1, 2010 6:09 am

    Guys we fell in the trap!! This “person” has posted seven zero responses to three of response to two of them..for some odd reason gets a record fourteen responses to the sixth and get shocked that someone is actually reading light bulb comes on.. She picks on a public figure..and real desperado 😉 puts out a paid ad on facebook to suck people to read her post…because she knows the guy she singled out is popular and draws the crowds and lo and behold she get 54 posts!!! ..

    Let’s admit it guys..good marketing!! But hopefully now that he or she (they know us but we don’t know them…always an advantage to the masked person) has done that we will be spared this nonsense!!! 😉 😉

  29. Hot Curry permalink
    March 1, 2010 9:13 am

    You are correct Bozo…..looks like our friend petite nemesis or sorry ” PETTYnemesis” ‘s problem that she (I beleive from her style that se is a she) never had a falafel sandwich! she s trying to sound jordanian but she strike me as someone who does not understand locl culture and can’t relae to the people! probably one of those living abroad thinkig that she can look down on u jordanians living here but still being treated as inferior whereshe lives. well guess what honey…we are all proud of what we have done here and of our country, leadership and public officials. You stay in your little cocoon and think u can judge us……but in the end, deep down know that if expose you will be the one being judged:-)

    • sysh permalink*
      March 1, 2010 10:39 am

      you know what i find deeply troubling about all of this? Your approach to disagreeing with her. It works on this complete character assasination, and if anything, you have completely proven her point about the dangers of mixing the personal with the political.

      If I am honest, I was standing on the fence about this entire argument: I wasn’t sure whether petitenemisis had a point or whether I disagreed with her argument (that politicians should differntiate between the personal and their jobs).

      You disagree with petitenemisis– fine, you have every right to. You want to attack her argument, fine, go ahead, and it’s great if you do. But to go on to attacking her as an individual, and conducting a complete character assasination on her because she held this one problem is deeply troubling. If anything, it proves her point corect: Nasser Judeh’s usage of Twitter as a platrm for engaging in personality politics means us Arabs are still unable to distinguish freedom of speech and democracy from populist, character and personality-driven politics.

      To be honest, your response to this has really depressed me…

  30. Hot Curry permalink
    March 1, 2010 11:31 am

    Dear Sysh,

    I agree with you 100%. that is the point I was trying to make….isnt that exactly what petitenemisis did to the FM , the mayor and others? basically, character assasination and simply becuase of a falafel sandwich….I tell you, i do NOT know the mayor , FM or any other any jordanian minister…( i only know one former minister!) but really why pick on these two…which is why i am convinced that she is after thesetwo officials for personal reasons> i encourage petitenemisis to read ur comment and learn that she should not personalize and judge people just for the sake of saying something….we all know the type

    • JoandProud permalink
      March 1, 2010 12:29 pm

      Character assassination means trying to tarnish someone’s reputation. This article does not seek to damage their reputations, it is merely an analysis of what they are doing in their roles as public figures.

    • sysh permalink*
      March 1, 2010 12:48 pm

      Actually I don’t think what she has done is character assassination. Just because she took an example of one politician (who let me remind you, is supposed to be publically accountable to his constituents, i.e. petitenemesis, among all of you) and stated a viewpoint that she doesnt think a high level politiciian, in this case the Minister of Foreign Affairs, should mix personal tweets with work ones. In fact, in many jobs you could get fired fopr doing this, as it can hold your company in respnibility for what you type in your personal life. Petitenemesis was just highlighting the problem with this. What you did was character assassination as, instead of taking her on that point she made, you made direct attacks against her post count and comment count (neither of which are relevant to this aprticular discussion) and accused her of using him as a way to attract views (because why? Does she get paid for this? Probably not as there are no ades on this site).

      So in effect, and in conclusion: what petitenemesis did was not character assasination, but rather an example of what democratic ideals and freedom of speech should be. What you did on the other hand, character assasination and attacking her for holding views you disagree with.

      • Hot Curry permalink
        March 1, 2010 1:24 pm

        I totally disagree with you and with petitnemesis…but then again..this is freedom of speech which i guess should allw me to disagree with you..unless your unerstanding of freedom of speech is for all of us to have to accept her comments as freedom of speech and ours as ” character assasination”! i also disagree that someone having a perosnal twitter account that has is job in the profile is liable for personal messages…what world do you live in ? the account is not the ministry’s account….

  31. 36DD permalink
    March 1, 2010 4:55 pm

    “petitenemesis wants to know what color bra you’re wearing:” This is on petitenemesis’ wall on facebook… I am really impressed, is this what she considers decent, professional and non cheesy topics? asking Jordanian women what color bras they are wearing is , in her view, considered good taste while the mayor and minister using smileys and winks are considered bad taste and unprofessional and should make them liable to their constituents? Well, i tell you as a woman, I am offended but i am sure my guys friends find this topic more interesting. For all those who are interested in decent discussions about boobs here’s the link:err…whateverz (ewz) petitenemesis wants to know what color bra you’re wearing:

  32. arabmanic permalink
    March 2, 2010 6:57 am

    sorry i was reading a reply I got and would like to just make one point to layla – just because the Queen does it, doesnt make it right. HRH might follow shakira also, but that simply means that her PR team are really slacking. This is not an entertainment PR agency this is a country. What leader has the patience to follow singers on twitter? And since you seem to know whats on HRH’s twitter list I suggest you really get connected and say something..

  33. Hot Curry permalink
    March 2, 2010 7:41 am

    Sych I think you and pettynemesis are the same person because you defend him or her using the same language. And its your right to defend but ours to defend a person we hold in high esteem too, whether prince or pauper, public individual or private citizen. The responses i read and his standing in our society and internationally are almost universally unchallenged. Thats still does not mean we should let this pettynemesis to get away with her cheap, and very failed, attempt at tarnishing his image. You say that because people disagreed with her its “character assassination”? You obviously didnt read carefully what she or you or whoever wrote. In a a free society where there is rule of law she would be sued for slander and defamation. But then again pettynemesis obviously knows it (the change of the title of the post all of a sudden proves my point), and thats why she hides behind anonymity. Here are a few examples of what could qualify as character assassination or even a more serious offence. “politicians are ridiculing themselves” They are? by using an exclamation mark?!!!
    “Winking at his constituents” Whats wrong with that? And have you never winked at someone or maybe you had noone wink at you and therin lies
    the problem?? !!!!! “or when he chased after a pop-star” Now thats
    pretty serious here. What did he do? do we take it that twitter rules are that public figures in politics are not allowed to follow public figures in the arts or in entertainment?? Guys do you agree that “chasing after” implies that this pettynemesis is implying that he is doing something wrong and could mean that is accusing him of something not true? This is not an opinion. This is an accusation! And a false one at that. well like I said she can get away because she is hiding!
    “Cheesy and unstatemen like smiles winking at a 20-something year old blogger” Cheesy and unstatesmanlike are her or his opinion and thats their right but again accusing him of winking at a twenty-something year old blogger is pretty serious! Who is this 20-something year old blogger? and is he or she offended by the wink (which if its is the one you posted up here is hardly a wink since it comes after two or three
    smileys) and if its @tarawnah you must be joking. its a guy! And I went back to the orginal exchange and it was a pretty serious topic they were talking about. “shakira, demi more, and dolly parton. is that the direction that jordan’s foreign policy”. Now we get into where she really went offlaw not off message. By following shakira and demi moore as a person he is negatively impacting Foreign policy and failing to do his job? ” it’s just bad taste in b rate celebrities complimenting your failed attempt at increasing your popularity through a failed social media foray” Well this where i might agree slightly with pettynemsis! I love Demi but cant stand dolly parton! but if I follow them am I chasing after them? if so fine I will join the millions!!!!!!!!! But speaking of accusing him of using bad rhetoric and “judging” him on that, pettynemsis you have to tell the difference between ‘compliment’
    and ‘complement’. I think you meant the latter not the former in the context you used, yes I am judging you and your poor English which you use to “judge” people on theirs!!! 🙂 🙂 And the piece de resistence (french pettynemesis) “failed attempt increasing” his popularity? are you for real. you had an average of zero to one responses to your posts and we have just helped u bring that average up after you posted an ad on facebook asking for attention and used a public official to try to spew forth your complexes!!! thats after your tried with the Mayor and failed. Get a life petty..

  34. Hot Curry permalink
    March 2, 2010 8:46 am

    After I sent the last comment, i realzed that this whole article is silly and us taking the time to respond is even sillier…….I never checked this site out before and i was old by a friend that I should and I did….I am not impressed with the level and quality of what is written here so I am leaving and hopefully never coming back here….good news for petitenemesis I suppose.

    • sysh permalink*
      March 2, 2010 12:31 pm

      Hot Curry, instead of getting your knickers in such a twist over all of this, why don’t you write a counter argument to what petitenemesis says, and send it to us at We can then feature it as a post on its own!

  35. Jordanian permalink
    March 2, 2010 9:48 am

    The 20 year old blogger she means is @tarawneh! I thought it was a he and 3o something year old! But she is saying that he is winking at a man! Hmmmmmmm what is she really accusing him of? !! Interesting!

    I can not believe you guys are still discussing this subject! It is unworthy of your time and effort. If she had an idea that can be swayed the yes this would not be a waste of effort, but truth is she does not believe it, it is an excuse to go after a well respected man, or get his attention! Maybe she would have liked it if it were her that he was winking at! 🙂 A jealousy worthy of an ex girlfriend you would think… not a writer! HAHA! Just kidding…

    But seriously …. don’t waste your time discussing smileys…. we have election law , economic situation, AlAqsa to worry about…not some adolescent crush on the FM!

  36. hot curry permalink
    March 2, 2010 5:02 pm

    sysh…might take you up on that…but the topic has to be a little more interesting and definitely deeper.

  37. boobeez permalink
    March 28, 2010 7:59 am

    Talk about controversy!
    You are a little nemesis aren’t u. who would have thought that such an article would stem ‘such’ outrage by the Jordanians. (I say Jordanians because i’ve noticed that it was mainly some Jordanians that took like ‘serious’ offence… not like comment offence, but like crazy I’m going to stalk your profile and try to make you look pathetic because I hate you so much offence).

    It wasn’t an offensive article man.

    maybe because I am not Jordanian I didn’t take it so personally and saw the article as just a mere personal opinion on what should or shouldn’t be relayed by a public figure… how this turned into an attack I do not understand.
    Petitnemeses hasn’t ‘attacked’ the Jordanian people ‘at all’ so the fact that there has been such an outrage over this by the Jordanians baffles me. Pooooooooft- Im shocked!
    Sorry, I know I joined this one a little late… and it seems that a general consensus of agree to disagree hasn’t fixed as a final conclusion… it became more like: go jump off a bridge if you disagree. You cannot deny that there’s something a little crazy about that.

    Again, as mentioned earlier…the initial subject isn’t actually what has intrigued me… it’s these insane personal and emotional reactions and literal ‘accusations’ of attention seeking and shunning that have gotten me reading… its madness.

    Firstly, petit nemesis, I have to applaud you for bringing this topic light because it’s obviously hit a nerve.
    My question is, why has it hit a nerve?
    What is it about this particular blog that makes writers like Jordanian, Leilah el Qot, Bozo, 36DD, Hot Curry , ahmad al khatib, amr, batool…and so so many more ‘so’ angry? Can’t possibly be ‘just’ because they like this guy…
    Comments like: “We dont need your comment on our poltics” and direct abuse like: “A jealousy worthy of an ex girlfriend you would think… not a writer” … I mean, come on.
    There were a lot harsher comments, I just can’t be bothered to go re-read everything to pull it all out…

    Seriously, the subject itself is not one that would even strike me as something to create animosity amongst people but looking through the backlog of this particular thread I can’t help but notice that there is something very wrong in some of the reactions.
    Some even claiming to never come back to ewz ever again because “I am not impressed with the level and quality of what is written here so I am leaving and hopefully never coming back here”… IT’S A BLOG for christs sake!

    Max Damian, always wrote with eloquence. sysh generally always truly played mediator…and even JoandProud was trying to ease some tension but the vast majority was like gang rape and even turned into bullying at some point.
    I’m actually quite scared to just write this in a fear of being attacked myself if i’m honest…
    Just to be clear, I am not attacking Jordanian people- I love Jordanian people. My partner is Jordanian and I’m even going there in 3 weeks … BEAUTIFUL country and lovely lovely people…
    I do not claim to know much about anything and am ‘definitely’ not someone who has any rights to judge or speak on behalf of anyone… but I can most definitely point out that majority of the reactions on here have made me very curious and all i’d like to say to all those who got so angry by what petitnemesis wrote, I suggest you get curious about your reactions too.

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