For the Love of Jordan

الأربعاء 13 نيسان 2011

By Ali Hamati

I love Jordan, too!  More than you can believe! My only concern is that this expression of love should be a deeply rooted genuine love driven by a built-in patriotic belonging that desires the best for all, rather than just a reaction to what we may think is anti-patriotic.

With this expression of love to Jordan and the King, we should not be judges of others’ patriotism or nationalism.  Indeed, we should be very careful in examining the motives and drivers of some organized movements around us.  But in no way should we be Jordanians as a reaction.  We should be Jordanians because on the one hand we belong to this wonderful nation, and because we respect ourselves and others’ right to belong in their own way, on the other.

Belonging to the country has never been a spoiler to good relations among fellow countrymen nor has it been a divider. It becomes a common factor that brings people closer to each other instead of separating them.

In order not to accuse me of being naive, let me explain:

In my 56-year old experience, I have seen people, including myself, singing the chants and dancing to the drums of some gifted, charismatic leaders that have hidden agendas.  These leaders take advantage of the people’s innocence and good intentions and used them towards achieving their own ill wills and plans.  These leaders would abuse any demonstration, march or gathering to pass their own evil conspiracies.  The conspiracy theory again!  Let’s admit it, we have been born with it, we live it, and we feed on it without even being aware. Unfortunately, those who deny this fact are conspirators against themselves and their nature.  I love the conspiracy theory: it teaches me to be alert, careful and examiner of all intentions.  But it should not lead me to distrust everyone else.

In Jordan, we have big problems. We have big dilemmas and we have great solutions!

We need to belong. If we do not feel this sense of belonging we will become the destroyers of our own self image.  Look at Australians, they come from all over the world but they belong to Australia.  Take the U.S. for example, it is composed of all kinds of races, faiths and colours but they all commit to their Americanism.  Look at Jordan with its Arab, Kurd, Sharcasian, Chechnian and Armenian mosaic, the Moslem-Christian mix, they all belong to Jordan and are proud to be Jordanian.  However, when it comes to Palestinian-Jordanian identity, things look gloomy.  Why?  Is it because Jordanian from Palestinian origins do not assimilate or is it because east Jordanians fail to accommodate?  I wonder. Maybe it is both. But maybe it is a misreading on my behalf.

I believe in change. I ask for a change. I even command a change; a change that starts from my inner person, my inner feelings, my inner thinking and my inner being.  This is our country and this is our destiny. This is our present and this is our future.  If we are unable to pass the test of humanity and co-existence no change in the world can make a difference for us. We need to change our attitudes before we ask for the change of governments.  We need to exercise a conscientious change in our own thinking before we demonstrate to change the constitution. We are doomed to change our moral and ethical judgments before we turn to ask for technical and administrative changes.

We need to ask ourselves: Are we aware of the cost of changes we are willing or not willing to pay? Are we ready to undermine all what we have achieved together in this country for the sake of dreams and wishes that are still pre-mature?  If the answer is yes, the response should not be in the streets or public squares but in think tanks, forums and intellectual chambers.

Honestly speaking, I love what happened in Jordan! I love what took place on the Duwwar ed-Dakhiliyyeh! It was probably an “electrollectual” shock. It taught us we have the right to demonstrate.  We have the right to change and we have the right to free expression!  But it also taught us that we have the responsibility of not hijacking the whole society in what we think it is right.  We have the obligation not to provoke others’ sentiments and emotions and it taught us that we should not go to the streets before touring our own selves and intentions and questioning those wolves who are just ready to hijack our best motives. We have to be wise.

Finally, what happened in Duwwar ed-Dakhilieh was not in any way different from what used to take place in Amman between 1968 and 1970.  The only difference today is that our youth today are hopefully armed with education and technology, not with klachins and hand grenades.  Thank God!

  • “Finally, what happened in Duwwar ed-Dakhilieh was not in any way different from what used to take place in Amman between 1968 and 1970”
    how is that?? in 1970 clashes, the two sides were Jordanian Army and the Palestinian organization which involved in Palestinian revolution , two different agendas for different places, but we had at dwarr ed dakhlyeh event only Jordanians, most of them are from eastern originally, i don’t like when i have to talk about origins but lets take it as a fact, when the governmental reaction based in the origins or religion not on how law-covered is the action or demand,then we should think more about having a loyalty definition.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you, dear Mamoun! We should think more about having a loyalty definition, as you put it! How? No one in this world can trace his roots far past enough! Major families in kerak came from Hebron and major families from Nablus came from Salt. My family came from lebanon through Horan, Kufur jayez and settled in Madaba. You’ll be surprised, as others would, that my family arrived Madaba first in 1872, before some other Madabiyyeh families arrived there! My mother is of Palestinian origins but she was the one that taught me the love of Jordan and planted in me the loyalty to the country and regime. Exactly equally to the love of Palestine that my Jordanian father planted in me.

    Indeed, it is time we all talk about belonging. Eversince I was a kid, i heard this saying: el-Maal illi Mish fi baladak, la ilak wala li waladak! (the property/money that is not your country is neither yours or your children’s).

    Where is our country? Is it where our ancestors came from? Then my allegiance should go to Lebanon. No, my allegiance is for Jordan where I was born, raised and live. Another wisdom I learned from the elders: Mahall ma btirzag, Illzag!! (Wherever you make a living, stick to the place). The country or the nation to which we should belong is the country and nation to which we can contribute, to which we cann add and for which we can live.

    Don’t be offended, dear Mamoun, for the insinuation I made about the period between 1968 and 1970. It was meant to create a reaction and, thank God, it did.

    Who told you that the sad events in that year represented Palestinians (supposedly fighting for Palestine – one agenda) versus Jordanians fighting for … what? Jordan? another agenda!

    I do not know how old you are but I assume you were not aware of the whole truth! And this is exactly what I meant by “wolves trying to hijack our wills and future”.

    Demonstrations at that time were not for Palestine … believe me … I was there, a 15-year old boy full of energy, power, enthusiasm, nationalism and resolve. So were most of my friends, fellow-students and neighbors. Once the innocent people started with genuine feelings and hit the streets, all traders of patriotism, dealers of social drugs and war mongers took to the streets, too. We soon lost our goal and failed to identify ourselves or define our identity or message. We soon became victims of political competitors, militia rivals, and religious mentors. Al Jabha Al Shaa’biya, Al Jabha Al Democratiya, Fateh, Abu Nidal, Baathists, Communists, Socialists, to name only a few, all of them were abusing our emotions and committing all kinds of mental and emotional adultery against our innocence, with each side claiming to be the true saviours of the nation and sincere warriors of Palestine. We hardly missed any of them. They were daily in the streets of Amman. We hardly heard they killed any Israeli, their bullets formed clouds over our heads and homes.

    As for the political parties, don’t even ask. Tell me how much democracy did the Communist Soviet Union have and how many political parties and political freedoms existed in that system? However, the remnants of that party and system are in our streets today teaching us democracy!!!! What an irony.

    Tell me how much democracy and political freedom were there under the Baathists in Iraq or even our closer neighbour? But they are in the streets today to teach us democracy and political freedom!!! Who are they trying to fool? They will only fool themselves.

    Tell me, who under the theocratic regimes practice democracy and freedom of expression? Iran, Hizullah, Hamas or taliban??? And they are in our own streets, our own backyards, calling for democracy and constitutional changes!!!!!

    This is why, my dear Mamoun, I feel skeptical but not frustrated. I have a lot of questioning but I’m not desparate! I have a lot of faith in you, Mamoun, and in lots of our youth. I have fath that our youth today will not be bought, sold, or hijacked. I have faith in this country, and allow me to say it honestly: I have faith in this young King who has been calling for all the changes that we call for. The problem is that there is a lot of noise that deprive us from hearing his voice. I’m not a climber or hepocrate, nor am I a post seeker. I am just sharing my beliefs. By the way,

    do you believe, dear Mamoun, that those who gathered in Duwwar ed-dakhilieh against the government ask to be recognized as patriots, heros and nationalists … while those very people frame the other demonstrators as Baltajieh, Zu’uraan and Mutakhallifeen??? Just imagine the paradox!!! Never would I agree with the violent way the events witnessed nor would I condone illegal practices. Nevertheless, I have watched all available videos of the events and discovered this fact: the war of tug (throwing hurting and Infuriating words and expressions against others) could equally inflict damage and hurt as the throwing of stones!!!

    Finally, I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and apologize for using the English language … I have no Arabic keyboard at the moment, and even if I have it will take me ages to type my thoughts.

    Be blessed

    Ali Hamati

  • Totally agree my friend, and thanks for your explanation..
    even if i liked what you said so much “As for the political parties, don’t even ask. Tell me how much democracy did the Communist Soviet Union have and how many political parties and political freedoms existed in that system? However, the remnants of that party and system are in our streets today teaching us democracy!!!! What an irony.”
    I believe as u do that youth can make the difference.

    My regards

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Ma’moun!

      What happened in Zarga two days ago by the Salafists might explain what I meant by “wolves ready to hijack the achievements and aspirations of our youth!!! It also explains why we should be very wise in letting such wolves and their likes mount our shoulders for their own evil ends. Cheers. Ali Hamati

  • عامر الحمود

    Jordan is not Australia, not America
    Jordan and the Jordanians not born yesterday
    Kurds, Circassians, Chechens, Arman
    Sing the glory of Jordan nor deny Jordanian culture
    and they recognize of Jordan thanks

    not as ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.