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!

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