Sweden and the Middle East Views Celebrates 2nd Birthday

In February 2013 I started Sweden and the Middle East Views site. Happy birthday to my site! I decided to celebrate it on Valentine’s Day for the message to come through.

What has happened with the site since? A lot. It has reached much more readers the last year and it’s been great to see some posts being so widely shared on social media.

And what has happened with the writer? A lot. Connecting with other people and the topics I write on through my site has been amazing, especially the ones on tolerance and intolerance. Connecting with so many inspiring people in this field, people who work to promote coexistence and reconciliation, has made me start to believe in the world again, that we have capacity to let go of fear and hatred, that we have the capacity to build trust and connect.

To celebrate the site’s second birthday, here’s a presentation to you of the five most popular posts during the last year:

1. My Failed Application to the Nazi Party Svenskarnas Parti


Nope, neither this time a racist party wanted to have me as a member. What better is, the small and scary Nazi party believed all my persistent, silly questions on a potential membership despite them being posted in their public Facebook groups. Maybe it scared off some potential voters. I changed the title of the post so it would be easier to find, so the numbers on shared times went down, but the post has been shared many times and broke my previous statistics record on the blog. After this blog post being widely shared I started to receive late night anonymous phone calls (that since stopped). Was it related? I have no idea. But it’s one of the blog posts I’m most satisfied with, because it pulled the pants down on this dangerous group few dared to approach.

2. Kurdish Mobilization for the Murdered Girl


The young Syrian-Kurdish refugee girl Dunya in Iraqi Kurdistan, who was murdered by her much older husband, whom she was in an arranged marriage with, took an unusual twist when the Kurdish society mobilized in protests against violence against women.

3. Hawzhin The Middle Eastern Feminist


It’s hard not to fall for the charismatic young woman Hawzhin Azeez, the manager of successful Facebook page The Middle Eastern Feminist and whose interview was very successful. Her reconciling approach obviously is appreciated – and needed – by many.

4. Tourism in Iraq – Another Country is Possible


The ambitious young Nawar Al Saadi, who was a PhD student in Tourism in Romania, started the Tourism in Iraq Facebook page, in order for people to see another side of Iraq. And people did, indeed.

5. How Do You Become an ISIS Terrorist?


I was on such an angry rant the night I wrote the post on how the US invasion of Iraq created the collapse of the once well functioning and developed Middle Eastern state, as I have seen it throughout the year in my different humanitarian missions. I had no idea it would be so appreciated, but hopefully some people reading it learned something new.

I love my site and for all of the readers out there, people who appreciate my site, but also the haters: much love to all of you on this Valentine’s Days Eve. Love is the strongest power of all.

Photo credit: craftsy.com. For the posts’ different photos, see original post

Sweden and the Middle East Views Receives Jeffster Awards


For the blog post “I Dream to See My Country Iraq Again, Receiving People from All Over the World“, Sweden and the Middle East Views received Jeffster awards from my fellow blogger Jeff Nguyen.

The blog post that wrote about the person behind Tourism in Iraq, Dr Nawar Al Saadi was widely shared on Facebook. It reached the ambassador of Iraq in Bucharest, Romania, who was so impressed by Nawar’s struggle to do something good for his home country, that he invited him over to the embassy to award for him for his achievements for Iraq.

Thank you for the award, Jeff!

Sweden and the Middle East Views Receives Community Heart Award


My fellow blogger Barbara, who has the blog Idealistic Rebel, has nominated me to the Community Heart Award. About the award the creator has said:

community is a social unit of any size that shares common values. Although embodied or face-to-face communities are usually small, larger or more extended communities such as a national community, international community and virtual community are also studied.

In human communities, intentbeliefresourcespreferencesneedsrisks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.

Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community has less geographical limitation, as people can now gather virtually in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location. Prior to the internet, virtual communities (like social or academic organizations) were far more limited by the constraints of available communication and transportation technologies.

One broad definition which incorporates all the different forms of community is “a group or network of persons who are connected (objectively) to each other by relatively durable social relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties, and who mutually define that relationship (subjectively) as important to their social identity and social practice”

Thank you so much dear Barbara. Even a blogger needs love sometimes.


Sweden and the Middle East Views Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary!

coolestbirthdaycake.net1 year ago, on February 26, Sweden and the Middle East Views started with no expectation on what might follow. My aim was to create more understanding of the Middle East in the West and to give you my point of view of things.

Despite my initial lack of proper plan I have had quite a few followers, and some of the posts have been widely shared on Facebook and other social media.

These are the blog posts that have been most popular throughout the first year of Sweden and the Middle East Views blog:

1. Xena the True Lebanese Feminist

Xena Amro

2. Arab Idol 2013

Arab Idol

3. Ruth Benyamin – The Real Miss Iraq 2013

4. Lava and the Swedish Beauty Saloon

Lava 2

Did you like my blog? Did you learn something new? Or did I piss you off? In what ever case: Welcome to another year of blogging at the Sweden and the Middle East Views.

– Jenny

Photocredits: Birthday cake: eventsstyle.com. Other photos see original blog post

Sweden and the Middle East Views Receives Blog of the Year Award!

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

Thank you fellow blogger Idealistic Rebel for this award! On her blog she explains her nominations like this:

My nominees all are bloggers who work hard at their craft, and try to make a difference in people’s lives.  They are kind enough to give me good feedback on my blogs and opinions — by which I do not mean only positive feedback which agrees with me, but feedback that is honest, true and thought-provoking even if we disagree.  I love to read all their blogs, and I hope you will to.

I’m happy someone likes my mission for a change!