Explosions are occurring in different parts of the world, some bring nuclear disaster while others bring democracy and justice. Explosions, ignited by natural disasters or by natural heroes, all changing the course of this world. Today I stand, a proud Arab. I am proud of what Arabs have accomplished, starting with Tunis, overthrowing Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the various standings for rights in Bahrain, Yemen, Oman etc. I am proud to have witnessed an Arab revolution in my lifetime, Arabs standing for their rights, an Arab victory.
I am proud, yet still anguished by my own country. I am profoundly furious that we still need to ask for political reform over and over again while we get fed bullshit. We change PMs like we change underwear and we still get nowhere. His majesty King Abdullah II, in his 12 year reign, has done this 8 times. Today we stand, a pressured bystander to the ongoing changing regiemes and wonder, will we be next? Dozens have marched vowing loyalty to our beloved King. It is not the kindgom we want overthrown, we’re just fighting for our constitutional right.
To avoid being thrown in jail, I’ll avoid my long list of comparison between ’52 and ’99.
Social media has brought our attention to what matters, the voice of the people. An online platform that has branched into every part of our life, has become a powerful weapon that has brought justice to many, awareness to the world. We are no longer living in the shadows, each one of us has become a candle in the darkness. With respect to the Jordanian social media sphere, we’ve witnessed the hashtags #ReformJo and #WhatJoWants trending locally as people express what it is we want out of this reform, but is anybody listening?
I will try not to be pessimistic, but I shall be nothing but honest. Let’s take a few desired reforms into consideration.
1. “#ReformJo means there is no difference between a Jordanian & a Palestinian.”
The reality has been and always will be, that racial segregation is not something that our country can or even wants to get rid of. E.g. Refugees live in camps, away from the general population: something that will not change. Jordan’s football “Classico”, Al Faisaly vs. Al Wehdat will almost always end in bloodshed and struggle, no matter who wins, because that’s how it is. Racial segregation, although not apparent on the surface, still exists as strongly as it does between Negros and Whites in the US. It will not change because people have long been indoctrinated with a sense of segregation, whether it’s racially, religiously or otherwise. The majority will always teach their children that you are better than person X because you have more money, have a “better” religion or are a true citizen of this country, unlike person Y.
2. “#ReformJo means I will not litter my streets.”
“Sha3ebna ma bimshe ila bil dareb.” is a statement that is unfortunately, unvarnished. If you get a 30JD ticket for parking on a bridge, chances are you won’t park there again. Let’s take a fellow arab country, to make a slight comparison. In Dubai, simply throwing a cigarette butt out of your car window gets you fined 100JDs. Enforcing more strict rules on littering is what is needed, not a cleaning campaign nor otherwise. You enforce it on shops that tend to throw their garbage out on the streets in bags that are leaking with oil and grease. You enforce every neighborhood have a proper garbage disposal area, architecturally integrated into every street, not a rusted old tin can placed in the middle of the alley. The only way our streets will ever be clean is by slapping the wrist of those who blunder.
3. “#ReformJo means there is no segregation based on which tribe you’re from.”
Again, details and examples go beyond the political correctness of this post, but this is something you cannot change. You want to change the beliefs of a tribe that amounts to one sixth of our entire population?
Many more examples exists, but the point of this post is not to criticize each and every desired reform.
We live in a country with no natural resources at all, the only thing that we have is ourselves, the first thing we should reform should be our own selves. I can sit here all day and speak of how beautiful our country is, how beautiful Jordan is, but that would not bring about change. I have made a pact with myself, I have started an initiative myself (details of that will be brought about in future posts), I have decided to take things into my own hands. I will not sit aimlessly, watching as we’re fed lies about change and reform when all I see is different asses on the same old seats.
I blog for Jordan, because I love Jordan. I blog for Jordan, because I want to see a better Jordan. I blog for Jordan, because I aspire to be that change. We’re taught to be the change we want to see in the world and we’re blabbering about reform when we’re not reformed ourselves. It all starts with us.