Sunday, February 24, 2008

What's up with me?

As some of my friends have noticed, I have not been blogging for a while. While I have always said that this blog is not about me, it is sometimes impossible segregate my blogging from my private life. The passing of my dear father recently is an example of this, as it has has put me into a passive and introspective mood.

My father was an important and inspirational part of my life. He was a person who was never afraid to stake out controversial positions, in public or private matters. More importantly, no matter how outrageous some of his ideas initially seemed, in the end he would almost always convince those around him of what he thought. Needless to say, growing up with an intelligent and strong willed father like mine required the development some level of stubbornness, just to be able to preserve one's unique personality.

My father didn't like the idea of blogging anonymously. More recently, he has been encouraging me to write under my own name in a "real" media outlet. In fact, I have written occasionally in some newspapers (in Arabic), but blogging kind of focuses a person to write more regularly (until now). He would say, why waste your time writing that blog? Nobody knows who you are! At that point, I would retreat to my now well developed stubbornness.

But after his sudden passing, many premises in my life became open to re-examination. The least of these was whether I should continue blogging. How much of what I have been doing has been rebelliousness as opposed to good judgment?

Anyway, I am getting closer to the position that I am doing fine the way I am, although I am still not sure about whether I want to continue to blog, anonymously or not. I may abandon this one and start a new one later using my real name. I am not sure if I would write the same way if people know who I am.

Any insight?


At 1:03 PM, Blogger Abu Daoud said...

In the Christian calendar it is right now "sawm al 3iid al kbiir" or in English, Lent. It is the 40 days before Easter and it is a time to reflect on the frailty of our mortality and our weakness and sins.

Anyway, I leave you with these words from King Solomon (Suleiman):

1 A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.

2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.

3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.

4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Tallouza said...

Hello Khalaf....I am very sorry to hear about the passing of your father. I hope you find the strength and the patience to deal with his loss and what must be a very hard time. Your father seems like a wonderful man. Allah yirhamoh. Your posts had integrity and pursuit of truth written all over them. Therefore, the question of revealing your identity is secondary given that there is no apparent agenda in what you write. Keep the wonderful work up. I even blogged looking for you. You see how important it is for all of us to have you continue:-) Welcome back!

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khalaf- I'm sorry for your loss. May Allah have mercy on your father and give you patience to deal with his passing.
You were definitely missed these past few weeks.
On the issue of blogging and anonymity, I have been pondering the exact same questions. I feel like I might be wasting my time blogging anonymously and could make a bigger impact if I use my name. I haven't reached a conclusion yet, but I hope we will both reach a wise one. Until then, please don't stop blogging :)

At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Khalaf, I am SO very sorry for the loss of such an important, strategic and influential person to you. One always loves a father, but a father of this calibre is also a mentor and brother. I have felt an orphan since losing my own father, the loss does inspire introspection.

May the God of all comfort hold you close, bring peace and wisdom.

Your words in this blog are powerful, your angles are sharp and cut to the quick. You are a necessary voice, don't think this is a waste of time. But if this is God telling you to blog under your name, you need to obey Him.

You have been missed. Many topics come up and I wish you were there for commentary and insight.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

Alla yer7amo o yej3al el janneh ma2waa. I don't know what to say..Blogging now seems silly next to what you have been through, but keep on going, you are an excellent person.

I can't imagine the blogsphere without your blog..But ultimatly it is your call, not ours..

Best wishes for you and your family..

At 3:59 PM, Blogger 7aki Fadi said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. May your fathers soul rest in peace.

Wether you choose to go public or not I really hope you do choose to keep writing. Your perspective is always different and you have a lot of intersting things to say.

But at the end of the day you choose what's best for you and your family.

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences.

You ought to make the decision that feels the most "natural" to you at this stage, and remember, once you reveal your name many things will change and you can't take that step back.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

il ba2ieh bi 7yatak, allah yir7amoh.
It depends on what you seek. Once fully revealed or identified you would know what to do.

As for me, I wish that you would continue. I check your blog daily.

At 5:30 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

My condolences for your loss, Khalaf. I do understand your qualms about anonymity, but I don't think it matters whether you are anonymous or not. Sometimes, an idea is more important than a name.
How often does history pass on stories, legends, proverbs, ideas, and art with attributed to "unknown" but which still become a part of our culture as humans.

At 6:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Khalaf, I'm sorry about your loss. May your father's soul rest in peace.

I think you should keep blogging anonymously as long as your interest is just to put your thoughts and ideas out there. Like you said, blogging anonymously so far has focused you to write more regularly. You might lose that if you decide to blog with your real name.

If you decide to blog with your real name, I suggest you do it on a new blog, that you keep it separate from this one, and make sure not to establish a link between the two, so that you can always have this old blog to fall back on if you didn't like the new way of doing it.

At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about your loss. El 3omor ilak.

I'll certainly miss your insight if you decide to stop writing. On the other hand, this may force me to pay more attention to the writings of columnists of the Jordanian papers. It does not take a brain giant to realize that the majority of columns in the Jordanian press are disappointing to read. I sure hope you tackle issues in the written press with similar approach and tone used in your bloggings.

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Thank you all for your kind words. I truly appreciate the feelings behind them.

May God bless you all.

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very bad news to hear about. I am so sorry for your loss but all I can say is that your father must be proud of you to be able to raise such a knowledgeable and smart son.
As for blogging, I feel that you write in a very relaxed and direct way as anonymous, and I am not certain whether you can feel the same by declaring your identity. Despite all the hype about freedom of expression I do not advise you to declare your name and write in politics and even social issue the way you currently do unless you are economically independent from "pressures" that can be exerted upon you in your career.
You may go back and ask yourself why you started this blog at first place. I am certain you feel the echo of the sound of your late father saying that you may be wasting your time by not associating your writings to your name, but you may need to discover the cost of revealing your identity.
I suggest you may experiment what Hamzeh N mentioned. Have your own blog with a name and keep this one for the issues that you feel cannot write without paying a price whether economic, political or social.
I am certain you will take the right decision that will not make you think about it deep in the night!

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Nas said...

Allah yer7amo, my deepest condolences khalaf.

you've been dearly missed!

At 10:26 AM, Blogger No_Angel said...

I offer you my deepest condolences, 2alla yir7amo

At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences, Khalaf, but I hope you don't blog using your real name. The refreshing honesty of your posts, as well as the courageous tone of your blog are one of the few bright spots in an extremely bad Jordanian blogging firmament. Blog anonymously, and blog well. Here's to more posts.

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about your father. He seams a typically descend Jordanian man.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Thank you all. You have helped me put some things in perspective. It is at times like this that I regret not knowing you all personally.

At 4:30 AM, Blogger FadiMalian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Salam Khalaf,
El-Baqieh bi7ayatak ya Khalaf. Inna lillah wa inna elaihe raji'on.

Sorry to hear about your father. My condolences to you and your family.

You were missed greatly during these weeks.

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to hear about your dad. inshalla may allah grant him janaat ul firdoz. and may you keep his name proud.
Haseena (South Africa)

At 1:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to express my deepest sympathies for your loss.
I respect your late father's beliefs about blogging with your real name. Do it as long as you don't think it would bias your freedom of writing. Personally, I don't think our government is really at ease with your points of view and that they could go far to stop people like you from writing.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Oksana said...

Dear Khalaf,

I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your father...Especially if he was an inspiration to you. May God grant you strength to go through such tough times...

And do blog. Just as others mentioned, your writing is a challenge to our own minds.

Ukrainian, living in Jordan

P.S. Blog anonimously. Safer. Though I will definitely be sad of losing an opportunity to get to know you! All my respect to you.

At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your father loss. My condolences to you and your family.

I could understand how hard it might be on you to loose your father. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

And I hope to hear from you with your blogs as usual soon.

Best regards,

At 3:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My deepest sympathy for the passing of your father.


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