Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Incoherence of The Incoherence

Disclaimer: This post reflects the sole opinions of the author, who's living in Amman, and can be found in the same house he's been living in since 1976, near Al Rasheed Police Station, in case someone would like him to have a cup of coffee with them.

I'm using the title of Averroes' book, as the title to this post due to the striking resemblance between the dialectic method of thought we've been using for the past 60 0dd years, in which we refer every collective achievement to a supreme entity called the Royal Court, to a point where it seems that some among us have reached a degree of devout faith that would have them swear by their unborn children, that like we are created for the sole purpose of God's worship, we're Jordanian for the sole purpose of service to, and by the grace of, the higher entity called the Royal Court.

I've been observing -not so silently- the circus Jordan has become in the past 10 years, from the sale of the people's collective properties to foreign investors, to the not so covert transformation the Jordanian Army has gone through from an army that fought and captured Jerusalem in 1948, to an army of mercenaries; a gun for hire in the Congo, Haiti and other God forsaken areas where poor members of the Armed Forces compete rabidly to be chosen among the select few who are sent to Cholera and HIV infested regions to guard diamond mines owned by ethnic-cleansing war criminals in the jungles of Africa and/or the Caribbean, to the childishly too enthusiastic calls for youth participation in the parliamentary elections through the X-Factor style campaign called "سمّعنا صوتك", which has gone with the wind after the disillusioned people -young and old- went ahead with their polished voices/votes and well kept ID cards with the electorate district stamped on them, and participated in their constitutional right in the building of the Democratic Jordan, which can be stripped off at will, as it is stated in our constitution; section 3, of Article 34.

I'm a kind of person who calls a spade a spade, I did when I was a representative of the government through posts on this very blog during the past 4 years, and now that I'm relieved -really relieved- from that moral burden, I shall be even more candid, and more straight to the point. We are a bunch of hypocrites, all of us, in varying degrees, including myself, and we would waive our collective rights at the sight, smell or sound of a hint of personal gain, it's the dogma of being Jordanian.

Jordan is not a nation-state, whether we like it or not, our existence is a mere coincidence of history, we're surviving as a proxy nation through foreign aid, much of which is embezzled, and our long-term survival has long been questioned, but we're contributing towards that end with our selfish and foolish policies, the ones that do not look beyond the noses of whomever decides them, as long as they secure instant personal financial or political gain, and where everything is open to negotiating, from public property to sovereignty.

I cannot make the comparison with Egypt or Iraq for example, as both -despite the dire state they're in- both in the political and economic meaning of the word, both are eaten with the rust of financial, political and social corruption, but both are Nations, they've existed for millennia and passed through the hands of all kinds of rulers; fair and folly, and have always risen from their own aches. Jordan isn't a nation -in the anthropological meaning of the term-, it is the southern part of the Levant; and its people is part of the genetic and social mosaic of that region; it was, and will go back to that geopolitical state, sooner or later, the Political entity of Jordan was created under the premise of being the spearhead to the liberation of Syria from the Ottomans in the early 1920s, that project was aborted right there and then, with the implementation of Sykes-Picot.

We're all Syrian; Historically, Ethnically and Culturally, and our Jordanianism is a source of pride. In my case; when my grandparents sought refuge from being massacred in Palestine, this land was their saviour and shelter, but my Jordan has become a one-stop shop, not the Jordan my forefathers, on both sides of my family across both banks of the Jordan lived, fought, and died in and for.

The people is the source of all authorities, it is so stipulated in the constitution's article 24, it's either that, or it's not anything, the people in Jordan is a source for funds, we're the helpless child on a beggar's shoulder with which charity and compassion is appealed, an audience, co-signers and/or garantuers to corruption, a group of extras without which, no overt or covert theft on the grandest scales would be possible, we're all guilty of conspiring against each other, and we're the first to be tried and executed, and the "few good men" always come out unscaved, chubbier, and more sun-kissed by the day.

The elite of the Jordanian society –which theoretically should be made of the middle class and should represent the engine of the social and economic movement of the society- has grown beyond that role both socially and economically- and has endeavoured into a marriage of money and power with the blessing of the powers that be. As this relationship matured through the past few years beyond any stoppable force, it became alien to its original roots of private interest-free public service; and with that unnatural evolution, it re-shaped itself into several interconnecting bubbles, more like the Olympic rings of private interests, each bubble works independently but will protect the existence of all the other bubbles, as any disturbance to one would disturb the rest, while those outside all these bubbles; and make up the backbone of the society, have no control over anything, so they just go about earning their daily bread, literally, because that's where their sole interest lies.

The most recent example of the above "Rapprochement" was the "payback" the government received through the record-setting vote of confidence from the parliament, which in fact was a cross section of the kind of relationship the legislative and executive authorities have, which defies even the imagination of one of the most sarcastic novelists of the 20th century; George Bernard Shaw, when he so eloquently noted that "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul".

Jordan is becoming a failed state, with the emergence of increasingly powerful parallel ruling families, we all think it, few dare say it, and the closing time is soon, unless God -or whomever is looking out for children, trees and animals- graces us with mercy, and we've all found it convenient to act in a Don Quixote style of schizophrenic madness and take it out on each other through wolves in sheep skin pointless perceptions called ethnic or tribal backgrounds, fighting amongst ourselves in vanity, conceit and foolish egotism, while in fact, we all -except the chosen few- are the losers.

God Save us All.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

تهنئة من الأعماق

أنيس وبدر والعائلة، توم سوير وصديقه هاااك والمجرم إنجنجو ، السيدة ملعقة والدكتور نعمان والأبناء شرشور وفرفور وزعبور والعم رحمون والأبناء سنان وبنان ولالا، الأصدقاء غرندايزر وفيغا وساسوكي، أبناء العم سندباد وعلي بابا والعم علاء الدين وياسمينة، سبع المدهش وعقيلته رومي الجميلة، واللاعب كمال نسيم واللاعب رياض واللاعب دبّوس يهنؤون الأخ والعم والصديق العزيز
حميدو شامل
بمناسبة فوزه في الإنتخابات النيابية بهدفين نظيفين ويتمنون له رحلة سعيدة وبالرفاه والبنين وإنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون، وبهذه المناسبة، يهدي كل من عدنان ولينا والطفل عبسي الأغنية التالية لجميع الفائزين وحظاً أوفر للذين لم يحالفهم الحظ في السحوبات القادمة

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Some cities have an aura of warmth; an ancient prayer that echos against their walls as time passes, possessing you as it repossesses its reign over your sense of being, as you become an extra in their big show of eternal pre-existence.

I just got back from Beirut, or Beyrouth as she's known to her offspring, and despite my overt confession of the superiority of Amman to all other cities, despite her intellectual drought and barren lineage, Beirut takes over you, with her ancient post modern charm and subtle madness. There was a fresh juice vendor outside where I stayed in Hamra, with his humble cart and incredible resemblance to Iraq's Tariq Aziz, and for the few mornings I was there, he got me used to a cool cup of fresh orange juice, and despite our short lived acquaintance; I got a sense of his noble poverty, one of pride, without prejudice.

Cities have souls, and they remain young and playful like two lovers exchanging glances across a room full of strangers, even if their faces show signs of aging; Beirut has a mysterious charm, one I don't long for, but whenever I experience, I miss, like a love I've not yet experienced but know of its hypnotic effect.

Monday, 15 March 2010

The Mental Trips of Sinbad

Human experience is like an ancient work of mosaic; small pieces of colored rock, which on their own have no value whatsoever other than their colorful identity, but when they're conjoined to one another, they create a lasting work of art called our lives. The small pieces of rock come to life with their simple representation of human trace, a bloodstain of a one time existence, an assertion of being.

Sometimes, the simplest, most obvious realization of existence comes through a mirror; an actual one or one which reflects within the human mind, and sometimes, we need to see our own reflection to truly believe that we're right there, and that despite our dissolve and submergence in our oceans of perceived realities, we really do leave a trace of our humanity behind, a heartbeat of sorts that echoes like a reflection off a mirror within our chests and beyond to tell us we're alive, the most important part in this process is to hear your own echo, and see your own reflection, before seeking to be heard and seen.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Deus Vult

In July of the year 1187, the holy city of Jerusalem was on the eve of its recapture from the crusaders, ending an 88 year occupation of the city, and heralding the collapse of foreign occupation of the Levant, and Jerusalem in particular, for the following 700 years.

I've been reading about the siege of Jerusalem by Saladin, prior to its liberation in October of 1187, and among what I came across, was the chronicle of a crusader squire (arms bearer) called Ernoul, in which he describes the scene in the last days of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, as it lay besieged by Saladin, days before the battle for it began, resulting in its subsequent surrender and liberation.

In the chronicle, Ernoul declared that "…Our Lord did not deign to hear the prayers or noise that was made in the city. For the stench of adultery, of disgusting extravagance and of sin against nature would not let their prayers rise to God."

Eight hundred and twenty three years later, and as history tends to repeat itself in words as in actions, Jerusalem is occupied again, and Ernoul's account of the reasons for crusader defeat and downfall, seems to be fit to repeat, as he speaks in French, from beyond his grave -wherever that may be- describing the reasons for his one time conquerors' defeat and downfall.

إِنَّ اللهَ لا يُغَيِّـرُ مَا بِقَومٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّـرُوا مَا بِـِأنفُسِهم وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللهُ بِقَومٍ سُوءًا فَلا مَرَدَّ لَهُ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ

"Allah changeth not the condition of a folk until they (first) change that which is in their hearts; and if Allah willeth misfortune for a folk there is none that can repel it, nor have they a defender beside Him"