Tuesday, 9 August 2011

When South Becomes the New North

I, for one; do not care what the official Jordanian position towards what's happening in Syria is, if -that is- there was indeed an official -or an unofficial- Jordanian position to begin with, for all the diplomatic etiquette, and all the elegance and eloquence in political communiqués become void of their meaning when five minutes across the Jordanian northern border, people's human dignity is being abused for the sake of one man's -cosa nostra style- narcissistic ego.

I won't go into the known facts of inter-familial ties between Jordan and Syria, nor will I remind you that the flag of Jordan was -at one point- the flag of the Kingdom of Syria, neither will I stress the unbreakable Jordanian historic sociological and cultural belonging to the Leventine identity more than its economic yearning towards the Gulf. But if I were to practice my talents in crystal-ball gazing and my world renowned supernatural powers in prediction and astrology, I would predict a firm Jordanian position towards Syria in the next few days, one that stresses the "importance of safeguarding the human dignity of the Syrian people, and their inherent human right of free expression void from the threat of physical harm, pointing out the sanctity of human life". A position that boasts with idealism and chivalry, as All our official positions are. We will, of course; add actions to words and seal this noble position by recalling our ambassador from Damascus for consultations.

You might be sly in thinking that this -better late than never- eventual expression of our deep inner feelings of humanity comes to you courtesy of our GCC membership hopes, or the unprecedented Saudi, Kuwaiti, and UAE financial aid to Jordan in the past and coming week or so, not to mention the official Syrian announcement of a drug smuggling bust on the Syrian-Jordanian border today, but you'd be wrong; in fact, it all comes down to our piousness and ever so clear consciousness, you see.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Má Vlast

What is Jordan's most recent assertion of existence? probably a shocking question to some, but I've been thinking about variations of this question for a while. This year, we celebrated the 43rd anniversary of the battle of Karamah of 1968; and despite the unfair historical hijacking of the first Arab victory post the 1967 war, it remains the fundamental proof of Jordan's ability to survive. Some would also include the September 1970 events, and they might be correct, but Karamah endures as the first straight forward Israeli defeat.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Jordan had a Message, one of insistence to succeed as a model of a modern Arab nation built from the ground up, one reflective of the diversity of the Arab nation both ethnically and religiously, a civilized model of Arab renaissance in the 20th century, this was fortified with the constitution of 1952 and the parliamentary elections of 1956, the 1st and last purely democratic exercise in Jordanian history, despite the subsequent regionally inspired political turmoil in 1957. The social and economic development in the 1960s and 1970s was another assertion of existence, so was the life and death of notable Jordanian politicians like Hazza' Al Majali and Wasfi Al Tal, although I would argue that our best example of the will and power to succeed was embodied in King Hussein himself, hence, the example could be extended to his own life, until his passing in 1999.

Jordan's enduring stable political identity's marking of its 90th anniversary this year is one worthy of note, and there's much to say about the virtues of the Jordanian model of government. But the political, economic and social map has changed massively since the passing of King Hussein, the fact remains; that Jordan's one time idealistic -bearer of arm/bearer of olive branch- image has vanished from the collective Jordanian psyche during the past decade or so, and was replaced by the materialistic image of singular capital gain through plural capital loss. Which brings to mind Ibn Khaldun's theory on The Rise and Fall of Nations, when, in the fifth phase of a nation's life, it suffers from the symptoms of old age, including national dementia, where the one-time single unit made of multiple compositions is fragmented into many, replacing collective national pride with factionalism, tribalism, and individualism, diminishing the capacity of diversity as the engine of the political unit. A negative socio-political evolution where decadence and decay hits the nation and sedentary luxuries over-ride the basic duties of government in safeguarding justice and equality among all citizens, regardless of their economic stature.

The mere recurring use of the word Reform, refers to infested deterioration, the only problem is that even if you get a facelift, or a botox injection, or any other cosmetic treatment called "Reform", you'd most likely still suffer from chronic age-related arthritis, increasing loss of hearing, and probably, at one point, Alzheimer's disease, despite the baby -blemish free- skin. Your best bet lies in your regular mental and physical exercise, in other words, the clear and constant engagement of all the proverbial colors of the social and political spectrum in the assessment of the national priorities, void from unquestionable hierarchical patronage, dismissal, or pastoral dictation.