WEF Curtain Opener

الجمعة 18 أيار 2007

It seems Jordan has become fully immersed in the conference business. Every month there’s at least one conference and more than half the time they’re a waste of time. From the ground level, most people look at conferences with a cynical view because they feel that they don’t accomplish anything; and most people are right. Between the long winded speeches and the special industry guest stars, very little actually gets done in the room. But let’s be honest here; a conference is all about what’s said outside the room rather than in the room. They’re about the conversations that take place over coffee and pastries. Those are the interesting conversations; the ones no one but the players are privy too.

This weekend some of the most important people in the world will be having such conversations by the shores of the Dead Sea, which has recently become the permanent home of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East. I’m lucky enough to get by the 100 security checkpoints between Amman and the salty sea, and will spend this May weekend running around with a tape recorder and a laptop trying my best to eavesdrop.

Most people, especially Jordanians, have no idea what goes on at the WEF until a newspaper or magazine writes a round up of the highlights. That being said, I thought it might be a good idea to use the power of the Internet to do some live blogging. Anyone reading will get a feel of what it’s like to be here. If it gets boring, you’ll hear about it. If the food is bad, you’ll hear about it. If Bill Gates shows up in drag, you’ll definitely hear about it. Not in media language, not in newspeak, but in the first person.

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions, feel free to share them.