It’s Good To Interview The King: Jeffrey Goldberg and Abdullah of Jordan
It’s always tough to get a revealing personal interview with a political figure. It’s even rarer for that political figure to be a sitting head of state. But when you have a revealing interview with an absolute monarch that may be the hardest achievement of all.
In the April edition of Atlantic Monthly, Jeffrey Goldberg landed a major interview with King Abdullah of Jordan. The interview captured Abdullah’s struggle to try to convert his troubled Middle Eastern monarchy into a modern democratic state.
Goldberg does his best to capture the man and the monarch:
He seems in many ways to be a contradiction—an Arab king who happens to be a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, evangelizing for liberal, secular, democratic rule. But Abdullah, now nearly a decade and a half into his reign, is, in his own conception, a political and economic reformer. He says he understands that the Hashemite throne, and perhaps Jordan itself, will not survive the coming decades if he does not move his country briskly toward modernity.
It is a small miracle, of course, that he is still in power at all. He has survived the first wave of the Arab Spring revolutions, which have so far claimed the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, and will almost inevitably claim the Syrian president as well. But he has been roughed up in the process.
The article goes on to capture Abdullah’s personal feelings on topics as wide-ranging as the Muslim Brotherhood to various other heads of states from the region. It offers a window into the mind of one of the most important political figures in the Middle East. But was it really a candid interview where the subject let his guard down or was the Jordanian King simply using Goldberg as a conduit for his own purposes? Readers should be careful to remember that Abdullah isn’t talking to Jeffrey Goldberg simply to better inform subscribers to the Atlantic about Middle Eastern affairs. He has his own agenda.
So honest was Abdullah’s take and how much of it was simply a smokescreen? Only the King of Jordan knows the answer to this and he isn’t talking anymore.
Share this article
You might also like:
As a twentysomething woman, I’m always interested to see–when female friends get married–if they make the name change or keep their maiden name.
These days, that decision is usually announced by making it “Facebook official,” by simply changing the relationship status, or changing the last name along with it.
Using these data points, and women’s birth dates, Facebook analyzed what percentage of women from different age groups are taking their husbands’ last names, hyphenating their names or keeping their maiden names. The results were announced on the Facebook Data Science page this week.
Is the social blogging site Tumblr about to sell out?
Ad Week’s Mike Shields has the story that Tumblr has been having negotiations about being acquired by Yahoo.
As Shields reports, a deal could make sense for both companies:
“Yahoo is in serious talks with Tumblr to acquire the social blogging site, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. The deal is not done, but could reach as high as $1 billion, Adweek has learned. Allthingsd.com was first to report on the talks between the two companies.”
I’m a criminal for being a woman, a journalist and someone with the temerity to walk into a bar.
In a fascinating study of both Facebook and freedom, Amnesty International New Zealand launched “Trial by Facebook,” which examines your profile, scours your timeline and “interrogates” yourfriends to find out what you’d be punished for posting, all around the
world. The app came out several months ago, but it’s been making waves
online this week.
Using my own Facebook page as a guinea pig, I found myself convicted 161 times, in 73 countries, for 13 crimes. Literally dodging a bullet, the
contents of my profiles weren’t tawdry enough to get me beheaded or shot dead, but I would be killed by extremists 22 times, sexually assaulted 16 times, imprisoned 58 times and beaten 73 times–and that’s just the beginning of the terror.
Tatiana Aders of Social Media News has made my day. If you don’t quite get how to use Google Plus, help is here:
“Google Plus has some of the most robust posting & sharing capabilities of any social network. From rich snippets to photo editing to individual circles, there are so many features that can make your post stand out from the pack. Here are some highlights from a cheat sheet that I built to get the most out of Google Plus posts.”
Attention ladies of the night and other interested parties: LinkedIn is taking a harder stance against prostitution.
As Mashable noted this week, the job-networking site has altered the language of its user agreement to expressly prohibit people from promoting escort services or prostitution on its pages.