Drifting in life aimlessly

Moody without bounds, inconsistent, spreading beyond being thin!

Demographic transition and Arab Spring, does it mean anything for Jordan?

An article drew my attention in the 20th of July 2013 edition of New Scientist with the title ”YouthQuake”. The article describes a theory by Richard Cincotta concerning how demographic transitions and in specific the phenomenon known as the youth bulge can influence social upheavals and could cause sweeping transitions over multiple decades into a more democratic systems. The author has published an article in Foreign Policy in 2008 in which he predicted that Tunisia, Egypt and Libya will witness social upheavals leading to more democratic governments by 2020 based on the analysis of their demographic transitions. Interesting right!

Please read both articles through the links. For the reader’s own analysis, I leave the below picture in which I borrow the population pyramid of Jordan from an UN-ESCWA report….what do you think will we witness a change too?

Jordan in the Pew Templton Religious Futures Project

The Pew-Templton Global Religious Futures Project have published their Muslims Survey result a while ago. Despite the fact that the raw data set is not available for download from the site. Below are some interesting results from Jordan. You could take a look yourself and make your own charts using their data explorer tool. You can filter results for Jordan only. The data could be filtered further based on gender and age groups.

Unfortunately, the study does not provide information on the total sample size nor the geographic distribution of the sample within Jordan. From the charts below, it seems that the sample reflects male to female ratios in Jordan. I am not positive though on the age group part. Finally, the displayed results do not state the statistical error margins. Thus, please be careful as you attempt to interpret the results. To say the least, public official data on Jordan is very hard to come by, thus despite all shortcomings this is interesting to look at.

I have requested the original data set for Jordan via email from the Institute, I will update this post if they send it through.

So to start off, the immediate questions was “Do you believe in one God, Allah, and his prophet Mohammed?”, the chart below sums the responses:

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No surprise right? Drilling the data on gender and age groups yields the same. So, the response is consistent across all sub strata.

Yet, look at how Jordanian Muslims responded to the following: “Do you believe humans and other living things have evolved or that they have existed in their present form since the beginning of time?" ; i.e. a convoluted way to ask if you believe in evolution theory! Check how the responses where:

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Perplexing right! It is hard to draw conclusions as this disparity between a full belief in God, and accepting evolution is hard to reconcile! There is a good chance that there is some data collection error here or an ambiguous question! Otherwise, it is an interesting phenomenon!

So, what about morality and religious belief? Look at how Jordanians answered:

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On the matters of death penalty, check out how Jordanians seem to be more stringent on imposing the death penalty on those who leave religion compared to adultery:

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It is imperative though to note that the use of the word stoning in the second question could have introduced a bias.

Moving on, another question drew my attention: “Should women have the right to decide if they wear a veil?”, following are the responses:

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A good percentage thinks yes. Let us drill it down by age groups, following how the +35 age group responded:

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and the 18-34 age group:

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Nice! Older age groups are more conservative than the younger age group, kind of makes sense!

Based on the above, as Jordanians, we do seem to be coherent on the front of believing in God the Islamic way. We definitely may interpret our faith on various matters differently. Is this going to change in the next 10-20 years, the above say not. The population may shift its positions collectively on some issues like the veil, however, we wont see a major transformation.

Jordan’s Ranking in Failed States Index

The Fund For Peace organization in conjunction with Foreign Policy Magazine issued the 2013 Failed stated index. Downloaded the data and did some comparative charts for my country Jordan. The two graphs compare Jordan’s score compared to states who are better and worst placed in the index. The charts are based on the scoring categories of the index. I am not positive regarding the raw data on which the index was built and the scores per category calculated. It is up to the reader to deduce any conclusions.

This does not reflect my personal opinions, yet it sheds some lights on certain metrics regarding Jordan’s current challenges.

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life:

Today marks 30 years since Muhammad Ali’s last fight. (a fight, in which, he lost to Trevor Berbick)
Across five decades and through dozens of boxing bouts and portrait sessions, photographer Neil Leifer came closer than anyone ever has to capturing the essence of, arguably, the greatest athlete who ever lived. Leifer recently sat down with LIFE and selected his own favorite images of The Greatest of All Time.
(see more — Muhammad Ali: The Greatest Pictures)

To Dad, he just loved Ali so much, he told stories of watching the games live. I miss you dad.

life:

Today marks 30 years since Muhammad Ali’s last fight. (a fight, in which, he lost to Trevor Berbick)

Across five decades and through dozens of boxing bouts and portrait sessions, photographer Neil Leifer came closer than anyone ever has to capturing the essence of, arguably, the greatest athlete who ever lived. Leifer recently sat down with LIFE and selected his own favorite images of The Greatest of All Time.

(see moreMuhammad Ali: The Greatest Pictures)

To Dad, he just loved Ali so much, he told stories of watching the games live. I miss you dad.

chels:

Chaos and Geomagnetic Reversals  |  Christophe Gissinger 
Is this gorgeous or what? It’s the first place winner of Princeton’s Art of Science competition, an image of a model of the Earth’s polarity reversing. (I guess this happens every 500,000 years or so, when north swaps places with south…the things you learn working at a science magazine). Anyway, if you would like to give me a Christmas present, Tumblr, I’ll take this printed at about 8 feet by 8 feet.

Amazing!

chels:

Chaos and Geomagnetic Reversals  |  Christophe Gissinger

Is this gorgeous or what? It’s the first place winner of Princeton’s Art of Science competition, an image of a model of the Earth’s polarity reversing. (I guess this happens every 500,000 years or so, when north swaps places with south…the things you learn working at a science magazine). Anyway, if you would like to give me a Christmas present, Tumblr, I’ll take this printed at about 8 feet by 8 feet.

Amazing!

life:

On the historic day where John F. Kennedy was elected president, we take a look back at his Life Before Camelot.
Pictured: John F. Kennedy, the first American president born in the 20th century,  at age 10. Born into privilege, Kennedy moved that year from Brookline,  Mass., to a mansion in Riverdale, New York.

I love JFK.

life:

On the historic day where John F. Kennedy was elected president, we take a look back at his Life Before Camelot.

Pictured: John F. Kennedy, the first American president born in the 20th century, at age 10. Born into privilege, Kennedy moved that year from Brookline, Mass., to a mansion in Riverdale, New York.

I love JFK.

An alley in the old part of the city in Amman. Doesnt it feel causy?

An alley in the old part of the city in Amman. Doesnt it feel causy?