Thursday, 12 March 2009

My -that- Jordan

My way of celebrating Jordan hasn't changed much since I posted about it on the first Blog about Jordan Day last year, but this year, I'm wondering why Jordan seems to age much faster than it should, as signs of early dementia are creeping into the collective psyche.

See Jordan, isn't a cabinet position, and loyalty to Jordan, shouldn't be measured by how many government positions are held by a clan, a city, or a cardinal direction. Jordan isn't a farm, not a principality, it's not a bank or an ATM machine, not a supermarket, not a postcard, it's not a hotel, and it certainly isn't a never ending chain of intellectual experiments, I'll leave the corresponding examples to each category to your board game leisurely pleasure.

I'm still seeing those children celebrating the opening of new shiny schools on the edge of the desert with state of the art internet connections and brand new computers, but with no running water in their own homes; and yet, their minds and hearts only belong to that desert, and her secrets. I still see the little girl in a small village combing her hair into pigtails and walking to school every day, and in her sleep dreams of living in the distant utopia called Amman; and in the morning, lilies bloom in her path as it's blessed with her daily pilgrimage, and her eyes brighten up at the sight of the flag waving over her school. I still see people in transit, their belonging is subject to the fashionable -yet failed- rules of the market, and despite their apparent -elaborate- physical existence, those are invisible to Jordan, as it is to them, despite their same elaborate physical existence on its soil.

My Jordan isn't that of hesitance or denial, it's not the hollow skeleton of modernity or pragmatism, it's one that knows the value of belonging: to its past, to its present, and to its future. And those -contrary to the modern interpretations of old theories- aren't subject to special prices or two for one offers, as nature teaches us that the highest of all trees, is that with the deepest roots, and roots; go in every direction, without looking in a compass.

As it's a celebration of Jordan, I bring you a rare recording of a musical play made in 1977 about the Jordan I know, it's called Birjas; the play and lyrics are by Haider Mahmoud, and the music is by the Lebanese composer Zaki Nasif, with the incorporation of Jordanian folkloric songs and tunes, some of you might recognize a piece among them, or maybe more, Enjoy.


  1. Thank you very much for sharing the tunes with us. I vividly remember the second song (الحب عنّا طيب وأخضر).

    Jordan, unfortunately, is being gobbled up by those unsure of its future. I only hope that we can have concrete assurances.

  2. I read your post thrice and I could not keep my eyes off the photo.

    The Jordan you belong to is the Earth we all seek to be part of. Not one person I have met, hypocrite or otherwise, does not wish for things to be the way you have described... that "things were different".

    Perhaps there is a little irony here, the Jordan you seek is one that the present people abhor. You belong to a Jordan of the future, and people overlook that the future starts today.

    Unfortunately, humans, nowadays anyway, are more inclined to seek the easy way out, or through life. Ideals will bring no fruit. I, for one, have it tough because I refuse to conform to "social norms". There is no incentive with immediate effect for people to favor community instead of self, to have pride or honor or dreams instead of connections, ma3aref, and the school of ass-kissing and globalization (in its negative connotation), and whatever is "practical" irrespective of side effects, both long term and short, on the individual and society as a whole. "Al jaar abl el daar" is a rarely used proverb I only get to hear from my grandmother.

    But she belongs to the age of windmills and corn.

  3. Loved this. Thanks so much.

    Made me want to don my Don Quixote costume, or that of Dulcinea. I want that future that seems so "around the corner" but also out of reach.

  4. Mab: you're welcome, I agree, but unfortunately those gobbling it up are being helped by alot of "sa7eejeh"

    KJ, your grandmother is the type of person I was talking about, the people who know the smell of freshly ploughed land, and her blessings.

    Ummfarouq, you're welcome, we're all fighting windmills, Don Quixote might have seemed crazy but sometimes it takes someone crazy to unmask the perceived "sanity" of deceit

  5. what a gorgeous photo!
    Your post makes me think of the little boys and girls selling rocks in Petra. They're degraded by so many by passers that it aches my heart. I'm sure if they had any better chances they wouldn't be where they are. Too much inequality, too many people focusing upward we seem to more and more lack to discover the basis of our todays and the nows that will build on to our future.