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Wednesday, June 30, 2010


While driving home from work yesterday my cell phone began speaking to me in the voice of HAL (from 2001: A Space Odyssey):  "I'm sorry Dave... I'm afraid I can't do that". Although it freaks Zahava out, I know this is simply the signal that I have a new SMS message.

I pulled over at the next turn out and called up the following message:

"Marhaba.  Smell the Jasmine and taste the olives.  JAWWAL welcomes you to Palestine.  For customer service please dial 111 (chargeable)."

That can't be good.  Or maybe it is. 

Posted by David Bogner on June 30, 2010 | Permalink


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LOL! My husband got the same message on his UK mobile (which he carries at all times for his work) when we were at a wedding in Hevron (at the Machpela) a couple of weeks ago. We were highly amused. It didn't appear on his Israeli mobile though. (Or perhaps it was the other way round...)

Posted by: annie | Jun 30, 2010 10:58:01 AM

Either way, it looks like the Arabs are jumping the gun a little bit.

Posted by: Bryan | Jun 30, 2010 2:55:58 PM

Smell the jasmine, taste the olives, but first...cover your ass...

Posted by: marsha, in United Jerusalem | Jun 30, 2010 5:53:24 PM

Interesting, and a coincidence here. The somewhat-maligned Tom Friedman had an op-ed piece in today's much-maligned NY Times concerning West Bank Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad's building of a services infrastructure, resulting in the Palestinian Services Exchange (The "Al Quds Index").

Based on Friedman's description, it appears to be the kind of internal structure-building that a lot of folks feel will be required. (I don't seem to be able to post a link, but trust me- even if you don't like Friedman, it's worthwhile to pull up and read).

A search on "JAWWAL" reveals another interesting tidbit. The company refused to cooperate with Hamas in Gaza. And a company profile reveals that the median age of company employees is 28. Meaning- possibly- that along with the web company G.ho.st (run by a team of Israelis and Palestinians), there are more and more younger Palestinians who are saying "enough" and slowly working away from a culture of victimhood towards one of maturing production.

So, "jumping the gun?" Yeah, but as long as it's only launching silly come-ons provoking sardonic chuckles rather than gunshots provoking return gunshots, it's a start. As David writes above; "That can't be a good thing. Or maybe it is..."

A final trivia tidbit- my search for "JAWWAL" included a Wikipedia entry about a 7th Century Jewish poet Jabal ibn Jawwal who wrote in Arabic. Don't know if that's where the company got its name. Doubtful, but one never knows...

Best to all.... Mike Spengler

Posted by: Mike Spengler | Jun 30, 2010 8:00:41 PM

smell the jasmine. smell it. smelllllllllll iiiiiiiit.

Posted by: jonathan becker | Jul 1, 2010 12:24:01 PM

smell the jasmine. smell it. smelllllllllll iiiiiiiit.

Posted by: jonathan becker | Jul 1, 2010 12:24:01 PM

Once, while traveling through bik'at haYarden, I got a message welcoming me to Jordan.

Posted by: D.C. | Jul 1, 2010 5:32:44 PM

haha I got the same message today! wtf

Posted by: dennis | Jul 29, 2010 12:52:46 PM

I received this message too when I crossed into Palestine (Bethlehem) from the Occupied Territories (just outside Jerusalem). I found it very peaceful and comforting. What's wrong with it?

Posted by: buntklicker.de | Jun 25, 2011 1:05:16 AM

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