The Meedan Blog Archive

poetry, meaning, translation, and war in 250 words (or less)

While I have written things here and there on the web, there is something quite dramatic about one's first formal blog post. The circumstances of this post raise the stakes exponentially. You see, dear reader, this is the first post of the founder. This is the opportunity to stand before the world and announce the global importance of Meedan, perhaps share the story of a four year quest to change the way the Arabic speaking and English speaking worlds come to regard one another. However, that is marketing, not blogging.

Don't get me wrong, it is a really good story, and a story that deserves its day in the sun. (Suffice to say that we have been given a tremendous opportunity at Meedan to explore the frontier of global new media. Our interest is in designing a platform that encourages and enables language-crossing interactions.  Meedan is a tool for viewing the events that shape our world through the various lenses of Western and Arab media sources. Lest you think Meedan is just a media aggregator with translation services, I will mention that we have an incredibly talented group of journalists, technologists, and designers all of whom are intent on changing the way you (yes, 'you') procure, consume, remix, bookmark, decorate, and, generally, come to understand the global news of the day.)

I could also take the opportunity to address the top-of-mind question: 'What's your angle?' (If I were to do so, I would probably assert that our 'angle' is the project's primary asset. Our angle is that we don't have an angle. Now, if the angle is not an angle and is at the same time our primary asset, it follows that we count as an asset something that does not exist. I will merely point this out this conundrum and delve no further into the matter, though financial market collapse allusions are tempting.  Anyway, if I had to define our 'lack of an angle' I would do so thusly: we hope to share the insight common to all global citizens, the sense of shared humanity and good will that seems tangible sitting in a cafe in Cairo and sharing thick coffee a few words and wide smiles with a stranger who becomes a friend.  It's not a 'peace now' insight, or a 'stop the war' insight, rather, it is a 'we are all global citizens and if we give ourselves a chance to share some conversations and co-create a more informed, more conversational, and, yes, more creative narrative to describe the events that shape our world, maybe, just maybe, the byproduct of this will be a world in which wars, injustices, and disconnected, uninformed people are less likely to occur.)

But this is blogging, not marketing, so I will instead use this first post to report that the bathtub in this hotel room has a terrible, loud, drip, drip, drip. Sorry that I did not get around to writing the post. I will try again later to weave together thoughts on poetry, meaning-making, and translation. g'nite.