Thursday, 10 May 2012

Technology Troubles

   Aisha pushed her chair away and stood, stretching. She leaned on the back of my seat. ‘This is really good, Paul. People are going to love this.’
   I grinned. ‘Thanks. I hope so.’
   ‘Zahlan’s concerned it’s all on dead trees. You know that, right?’
   I nodded. ‘Yes. He made it abundantly clear. He wants an online version as well as what he calls “more interactivity” but that wasn’t really part of the plan. We did discuss that carefully with Mr Shukri when we signed the deal.’
   Aisha sat back down, this time sideways with her legs crossed towards me and taking sips of coffee, her red nails rich against the white and gold porcelain. ‘Yes, but Shukri’s old school. He wouldn’t know the Internet if it came round and bit him on the ass. I think your Robin sort of took advantage of it. But Shukri’s gone now. Zahlan’s in charge and he’s shaking things up. He’s very good you know, Paul.’
Olives, Page 24
When Olives - a violent romance was first written back in 2004, the Internet in the Middle East was less than ten years old and there was little sense in having a website for a contract published magazine. Of course, time changed that and Jordan has been at the very forefront of the region's online development - Jordan's got the most competitive telecoms sector in the region and punches well above its weight when it comes to software development, fostering startups and generally creating intellectual property.

It would be inconceivable to have such a project today without a website, yet there are still 'Shukris' in the woodwork, old skool types who would let a sneaky beast like Robin sign up a magazine contract with no online element.

And so Paul has to, as the Minister puts it, 'go the extra mile' and produce an online asset from his magazine to smooth the waters with new boy on the block Abdullah Zahlan.

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