Jordan’s Disappointed Youth

Lina’s post got me thinking these past few days about an issue that has been brewing in my mind for a while now. There is something interesting about a population (Jordan) of which over half is considered “youth”. Of course the term “youth” spans the age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds, so obviously not every young Jordanian is in the same boat. There are some common ground problems we face across the board, but specifically-speaking, there are many problems that are context-specific.

There is a group in our population that few people talk about and whom I find fairly interesting. Generally speaking, they are private-schooled, and western-educated, aspiring-intellectuals and fairly skilled. They are not necessarily the sons and daughters of influential people, in fact, I believe most of them are not. Their numbers have undoubtedly been growing and the way I know this, or have come to believe this, is based on the fact that many of them, if not most of them, have one major thing in common: they have all come back to Jordan.

They come back because they feel they can make a difference, or, they have some inner-passion (which the more cynical might call: youthful-delusions) to come back and “build their country”. They come back because they feel their 20-something years are better utilized here, in Jordan, where they feel they can make a difference.

Again, let me emphasize the point for those who may feel the need to stray: this is not about an elitist segment of society, in fact many are fairly middle-class (if such a thing exists in Jordan). Moreover, the focus is not just on their socioeconomic backgrounds or their education, but rather their passion, their desires and their goals. For there are many who belong to the same segment that could care less about “helping Jordan” and have their own personal ambitions to tend to. What I am talking about here is a group of like-minded people, and emphasis on the word “minded”.

What is even more unique about this group is something that I’ve noticed only quite recently: many of them, are disappointed.

Upon coming back they look for government positions where they feel they can make the most impact. They have that spirit of entering a public institutions, rolling up their sleeves, and doing actual work; actual change. And none of that happens. They discover the odds against them are simply overwhelming. They’re underutilized and given medial jobs to do. A display of ambition is a threat and so they’re placed on the back burner. If they do find a proper position with proper work, where their skills can be fully utilized, they’re usually kept so busy, so distracted, that they forget that they’re not doing what they want to be doing. What they need to be doing.

And so a large group of like-minded, passionate people – who, mind you, have in fact been able to change nations as history and the international experience has shown us time and again; these people are wasted. Not only wasted, but broken. They become so disappointed and disenfranchised with the whole system that they no longer have the will nor the passion to do anything about anything.

They are not only political, by the way.

Many are young entrepreneurs.

They come back to Jordan with great ideas; ideas that could’ve worked anywhere else in the world and probably been revolutionary in another context, yet, for some reason, they want to implement it in their own backyard. What they face is massive resistance. Beuracracy. Regulations. And a whole mechanism that is set up just to see them fail. There is that cliche of there being a will where there is a way. In Jordan, it doesn’t work. The roadblocks are so concrete that they are designed to keep you out and you can’t beat that system. When you have a new and bold idea, when you’re not just opening a supermarket, you really need leadership; you need decision-makers and policy-makers willing to take a chance on a group of young people. You even need the older generation of successful business-persons willing to take a chance on young people.

And that never happens.

If it’s not mainstream; if it’s different; if it hasn’t been done and tried a million times, then it’s not worth it.

In some cases, I have seen the idea stolen outright from a young person and implemented by a larger fish. Because business is business.

So an idea is wasted. Change is wasted. A generation is wasted.

And yet, we’re told this country cares about it’s youth.

It’s one of the reasons why anyone who’s anyone in this country, tends to be over 40.

How many times have you heard of someone successful in Jordan that is under 30? How many names can you name; and do they roll off your tongue as readily as the elites? Compare that to say, the US, where so many of the people at the forefront of change – be it business, political, technology or otherwise – are 20-something year olds.

Barack Obama, whose speeches are seen as some of the most inspiring since the Kennedy-era, has a chief speech-writer that is 26 years old.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founded Google when they were still in college.

As was Mark Zuckerberg: creator of the revolutionary social-networking site, Facebook.

As were the zillion other examples.

All young.

All successful.

All due to personal ambition meeting a receptive environment.

All success stories.

So where are ours?


  • Very timely and interesting post, Nas. It would be interesting to see a study of those who lived abroad and came back by choice. El 3atal , of course, is in that same position. I know a number of others who have citizenship in the US or Canada, who spent their early careers there, and then felt the call of home. Perhaps one day I’ll manage an article about them…

  • In any environment, large or small, whether at home, work or in a country ” If it’s not mainstream; if it’s different; if it hasn’t been done and tried a million times, ” then its challenging, it takes allot of effort, allot of advocacy to reach what you want! That’s why when you do it, you are a great successful achiever… and that success taste much better coz you are not just an innovator… you also had enough persistence, passion, and ambition to seek it through its rocky path.. It’s certainly sad, that human nature in general isn’t receptive to change easily..
    I may disagree with the “came back”! many of those entrepreneurs were born here, lived here… and are also disappointed!
    Something else worth mentioning, that many exceptional Youth, who were raised and taught here , who are gifted in one form or another, whether its art, IT, engineering, or any other major. Didn’t have enough support to keep them in the country… they were adopted by other foreign companies ( and also foreign governments!) for their intelligence and outstanding skills or abilities.. and I can easily name friends of mine who had much better opportunities outside, while suffered without finding one company in Jordan to appreciate what they had… and they had to leave the country seeking life time opportunities that they couldn’t find inside the country they wanted to live in for the rest of their lives.. they wished they could give what the have of talents for it….
    Maybe we need to take the lead and do a youth lead initiative to develop a strong policy paper, that has all our recommendations, on what are the factors that can possibly change and make Jordan a better place for all of us to stay in… who are the stakeholders we need their support in this … to makes our sense of belonging for this wonderful country grow more… to help us give what we have and want to give to our beloved country…
    was this long! ?:p

  • I personally had 2 attempts at my 20-25 phase and were both turned down by either governmental bodies or lack of business support as in banking finance or sponsorship. I am not really sure how new my ideas were but for sure was not there at the market back then.

    Empowering retail business is key to our economy. Complex taxes and fees do not attract ideas to evolve and limits buyers capacity to spend. In addition, why would you need an approval for everything (judgmental level) that you do not only have to do steps 1 to 4 but you have to be approved as well! With a complex structure, bribery, inefficiency, corrupted hires or approvals have means to flourish.

    Legal system is a main issue, where you might not have some clear definitions or exact cover or framework.

    Business maturity to fund research or sponsor a bold idea that falls within a certain corporate objective (if the corporate had goals other than making money in the first place).

    Classic finance schemes offered by banks or directed funds (Irada, Ejada, USAID,…) more free finance is required where ideas and good planning are considered good enough.

    NGOs and ability to organize in benefit groups where people can preassure for their own ambitions in elections and so on.

  • Once corruption, twisted bureaucracy, and public positions as honorary ones become the standard for doing “business” you can’t expect change. You can’t expect change or ask for hope when you feel like you are shooting a live episode of Yaser Athmeh’s Maraya everytime you enter a public institution. You shouldn’t expect change when you have an educational system built upon the rule of: Garbage in, garbage out; a system that in its core is racist and applauds for those who just want to hang a poster in their father’s living room.

    I personally used to be confused; I hear messages but I see actions that are exactly the opposite. Luckily to me the picture is now clearer than ever. For any change effort to be successful, initiating a strong message is instrumental in forming the first impressions of how serious the leadership is about change(First impression are proven to hold). I have been waiting for this strong message, I hope we will see it soon, because honestly the situation in jordan is sucking the last drops of hope left in anyone.

    By the way, the only advice I got while in jordan not long ago is: Never come back.

  • i wish i can find the comment i left you when you said that ur coming back home to do that and what you replied to me…. it was exactly that, while you were adopting the ideologically optimistic approach at the time.

    speaking of my self, i had 2 attempts so far one that i was involved closely in while the other i was in the back row of it. they both involved the same ministry, the first had out right aggressive reaction and no support, while the second has been basically adopted by certain individuals that had higher leverage.

    so yeah … same story different face. and since I’m in the dedicate a song phase … i dedicate “santogold – you’ll find a way”

  • mommabean: you should call it “the call of home”

    mapless: persistence is a great thing, and in jordan, when it’s used in the context you just put it in, it sounds incredibly cliche. because as most people who have tried, and are still persisting to this day, will tell you, it takes a lot more than just persistence. if you play a video game and you keep failing to get to the next level, then yes, it requires persistence. but in jordan, much of the game is rigged for failure and you can’t beat the system.

    and heck, forget about beating the system. why should we even have to?

    if the public sphere is so eager to “support the youth” why aren’t these things made easier, or at the very least, a leveled playing field that is fair and just. why must even the simple things become an uphill battle?

    Ahmad: your personal experiences seem interesting and obviously you point to some of the problems that affected what it is you wanted to accomplish, all of which continue to exist to this day.

    Mohanned: hmm, while i agree with some of what you said, the “never come back” slogan hasn’t helped either. there is powers in numbers. but human sacrifices are in short supply these days, and for all the obvious reasons.

    bambam: your experiences, like ahmad, seem pretty interesting. it’s strange because i’ve seen many people in my age group who sit down with a new and unique idea and the first thing they think of is “we need someone big to help us do this”, because they succumb to the fact that implementing anything new, especially if its lucrative, will need someone “big”. Otherwise the idea will be stolen and implemented by other big fish, or it’ll be rejected forthright and dubbed “childlike”, i.e., missing some absurd prerequsite for seniroity and 30 years of experience in the field. Oh, and of course there’s always the “bring a foreign company with a well-known name to do it” option.

    p.s. i think i remember your comment and those of others, along the same lines. i think, if im not mistaken, that i did take an intentional optimistic approach at the time. i was aware of the problems i would be facing (although not to this extent obviously) but was still willing to take that risk, and for now, i still am.

  • The never come back issue have to be addressed by both side: The disappointed youth and the leadership, but the party with more power holds bigger responsibility if the intentions are sincere. And in our country numbers means nothing with regards to power, well, maybe except for money 😉

  • As a 45 year old activist I believe it is getting better!

    When I came home from USA aspiring to create a children& youth political theatre movement I was faced with structures that stifled my creativity and my sense of freedom…

    I worked for 20 years in educational communities structuring and co authoring expressive curricula & theater creations only to find out that beyond the slogans there is a PR driven culture … PR is so destructive in the absence of real change …people here think if they say it then it is happening ! but transformative actions are psychosocial they take time and an authentic level of civic engagement!
    So I left it all to be an independent consultant and theatre maker focusing on change and the integrity of the creative process… my Armenian drama teacher Margo Malatjilian said once” It s easier to bring two mountains together than to bring two professionals to work together in Amman!

    Black Iris exists…
    Young activists are egoless and hopefully will be able to mobilize more because they work in teams …the bloging world and indeed the communication world is connecting clusters of like minded people in creative and powerful ways….

    Young activists are able to reach out and have access to so much more….
    They own the future and will be there sooner than you think

    There is a rise of a youthful creative class…unique free and very independent…

    So black Iris I call upon your beautiful spirit and mind to create a blog to host the young leaders ‘ dreams …host their passions and eagerness for change …voice their missions .. you will be embraced with sincere supporters

    Remember optimism is the only act of resistance …
    you created your voice …and now you make space for all the young voices who want to make it happen for JORDAN

  • The disappointment is contagious. You’ll be surprised by how many Jordanians (like me) keep complaining about the crippling beauracracy in Jordan when in they fact they had little experience working there. I’ve heard so many stories about Jordanians who were highly appreciated at their work in the US or Europe who sacrficied a lot to return to Jordan and were very disappointed when they were not appreciated for coming back or when a poorly qualified person took a higher position because of their last name.
    When such person gets disappointed, everyone who knows him/her gets disappointed and discouraged from returning. I’ve always promised myself to return to Jordan and at times looked down upon those who didn’t want to go back. I’m almost done now and I feel scared from returning to Jordan without at least building up a backup plan for me here in the US in case things didn’t go well in Jordan.

  • About bureaucracy, I think we in Jordan tend to overcomplicate things and not realize the need to make things easy and simple.

    Take for example the case of parking underground at Al-Baraka Mall. I did that two days ago when I went to the movie theater there. When I left the mall, I didn’t pay to a guy sitting in a kiosk or at a vending machine. Instead, I had to give my ticket to a guy who ran to an office on the side, where other employees were sitting, he printed a receipt and came back to the car and gave it to me, and then I had to wait for his friend to open the gate so I can leave.

    Why did it have to be this complicated? Why can’t we in Jordan even get something a problem so simple and that has been figured out and solved millions of times before?

    I think this example says something about why things are difficult in Jordan, especially for people who come back, and who have seen and got used to doing things the right and easy way in places like the US, Canada or Europe.

  • I think the key is to go into something like this without high expectations, but with the intent to enjoy the experience of the journey. Collectively, if each person does a little bit, they actually do make a difference. But if they return to Jordan with the optimism and expectation that suddenly everyone is going to appreciate them like they do in say the US, then I think they’re bound to be disappointed. But I also have to say that in the US, after a while working in corporate America, you start to feel like a robot. Just another number. Everyone is disposable. The movie Office Space really captures that misery. What I’m saying is that there is that sense of monotony in any work environment. What is exciting for people going back to Jordan is the expectation that they are going to live back at home, the place where they grew up, where you can be a big fish in a little pond. Where all your childhood friends live. You can feel alive socially like nowhere else in the world. But it gets old quickly, and that plays a role in the disappointment. And it doesn’t help when you’re surrounded by people smoking and complaining. And that becomes contagious, like someone said above. And that sense of disappointment, because of the high expectations when coming back, kicks in. I think it’s all about who you surround yourself with and how high you set your expectations when you go back. I know a few people who are very happy and excited to be making a difference. Their optimistic energy radiates. I do fully believe it’s up to the optimism of the 20 somethings and 30 somethings that will make that world of difference in Jordan, where today the majority of the older generation walks around with a frown, where still too many people are driven by their ego.

  • “When such person gets disappointed, everyone who knows him/her gets disappointed and discouraged from returning. I’ve always promised myself to return to Jordan and at times looked down upon those who didn’t want to go back. I’m almost done now and I feel scared from returning to Jordan without at least building up a backup plan for me here in the US in case things didn’t go well in Jordan.”

    these words are getting me emotional.. tears.. tears.. tears..
    As painful as it is.. i have to admit that my brother went through a life-time disappointment in Jordan, and as a result isn’t thinking about coming home any time soon!

  • I think that when you go abroad, or step foot in another country, whether for business study or even for a visit, you embrace a new culture, and that by itself is very empowering. So when you get back, you shouldn’t let your dreams, thoughts or aspirations take hold of you. You should be able to listen, and step down and let others lead you. You can change things even if you were bossed about, and you can lead the way even when you’re a follower.
    The key is to persevere and hold on to your ideas, and remember how empowering it is to see and experience other cultures, political and economical systems, especially those of first world-countries.
    I think it is very common for people coming back to their homes to struggle in fitting at first, because being away is a life changing experience most of the time, Even history can tell that- when Voltaire went back to France after his exile in England for a number of years, he came in with radical thoughts and ideas, that he learned from the British, that the French themselves couldn’t be put up with and forced him to leave again!

    Youth can’t just go back and change everything, change is not a single act; it’s a process- a long long one I think.

  • I didn’t see any of the commentators above talk about what they are willing to give their country, all they are interested in is what the country is going to offer to them upon their return. In the US the doctors set aside time to treat the underprivileged for free on their own without any pressure from the government or anything like that, the lawyers also set aside time to defend the poor pro bono without charging them a Penney for their services, and these are the highest paid professions in the United States. I think that our preoccupation with trying to accumulate wealth as fast as possible allowing us to afford purchasing that villa or that Hummer in Abdoun is blinding our thinking toward building a better future for Jordan. When one returns to Jordan one shouldn’t look beyond the status of his own immediate family. While it is true that one has a little more education and tasted a little more freedom that he will find in Jordan, but that should have no bearing on his home coming or the life style that he will pursue upon his return. Over expectations and under estimations are both wrong and should not be kept in mind when one decided to make that giant leap and return to his birth place. If you over expect you will be disappointed and if you under estimate you will also be very disappointed as well. Change is taking place in Jordan but it is very slow, it is possible that those that are in their late twenties or late thirties reap the fruits of change in another twenty or thirty more years which is very late in their life, but that is the way it is, it takes a whole generation to come and go before you can experience a genuine change. If you want to live in Jordan the same way you were living in USA or CANADA, then take it from me you better off not going back at all because you will be very disappointed. By contrast, if you want to go back and live like every other Jordanian in Jordan living including your family, friends, and relative, then I say good luck you will enjoy your stay. There is a price to be paid for everything, there are sacrifices that need to be made, the level of your tolerance needs to be adjusted, the level of your patience need to be broadened, you must not be judgmental even over the most trivial matters since there is a reason for everything. If you are willing to put up with all of the foregoing then welcome aboard otherwise stay where you at until you decide to have new attitude. My be my reply doesn’t directly address the content of the post which is the disappointed status of the youth upon their return, notwithstanding I feel that it has some relevancy for those that are planning on returning in the near future.

  • wow…many interesting comments from interesting people so far. Just to pick on some of what’s been said.

    Samar: thank you kindly for the comment. I have to agree that things are different as you noted, from 1985. Things have improved, yes. But still. We are at this tipping point in our history where the majority is considered “youth”, and where our leadership’s vision is to have a youth-led, youth-driven paradigm, and that vision is not being translated on the ground. The obstacles they face make the non-Jordan option a lot more easier to take. And they are, as Hamzeh pointed out, sometimes silly obstacles, which in all honesty drive me mad the most. They get in the way of progress.

    I will take you up on your challenge, and hopefully you’ll see me getting something like that started fairly soon inshallah!

    Hareega: Yes, what you say is absolutely true – we are told horror stories and sent warning after warning. Most of the time we try and ignore these things, as I did, and that is perhaps a testament to a person’s resolve or belief in…i don’t know…change? hope?

    Amin Matalqa: you’re right about that! i think a lot of it does have to do with expectations. i think what anyone with an activist, political or entrepreneurial spirit might tell you, expectations are always set high, and that makes the fall even more disastrous (or enjoyable, if you’re a masochist).

    SN: hmmm. I agree with you to some extent. But I don’t see anyone bringing to the table something that is radical or wanting to flip the system upside down over night. Many, such as myself, understand the lengthy process, but even that process is dependent on bursts of change. You get success stories in those bursts and they are rare. And heck, if we don’t let our dreams and aspirations take hold of us while we’re still young, then what’s the use in any of this? We should all just give up now and succumb to the given realities.

    Hatem: your comment does have some relevancy but let me say this: while i agree that an act of sacrifice does usually require a sacrifice to be made, young people here are not asking for the keys to kingdom. There is a certain environment here that is not conducive to change, especially youth-led and youth-driven change. It feels that obstacles, both human and technical, are designed specifically to marginalize and keep young people out of the process.

    Yes, things are changing. Yes, things are different than they were a decade ago. Yes, it does take a while to see that change. My problem is with the potential.

    In this lengthy process there is potential lost.

    The Jordanian state is viewing the economic boom of the Gulf as a window of opportunity for investment.

    The way Jordanian youth are viewed should be the exact. same. way. There is a window. You bank on that potential and you’ll see results and ideas flourishing in ways we can’t even imagine today. Otherwise, we’re just the first line of Ginsberg’s poem, “Howl”.

    Yeah, it’s hard. Yes, it requires a sacrifice. But it should be just a little bit easier. Not even a lot.

    Just a little.

  • first time i post here, in fact i only learnt of this blog today so good work Nas 🙂 so my first (quick) comment is a downer 🙂 typical jordanian style! (we took cynicism to a whole different level if it was an olympic sport jordan will win the medal 9 years in a row)! haha so you ask where are ours? hmmm well take away the thousands in abdoun circle blocking the street to cheer for their star academy idol (quwdar or somethin like dat), and a few thousands stoning the graduation of taffeylah university the other day, then u have the charming crowds of wehdat v faisaly, and the reckless drivers in pimped up korean cars, and winning arguments by shooting! (certain 3rd circle incident), or those selling their votes for 300dinars, or worse voting for the less qualified relative,,,so lump all that + thousands abroad crossing their calendars and fingers for the day the US/Canada/UK passport or visa arrives, and a couple others waiting for the dream job in Dubai and 2 months into dubai swears he will never go back home (and mostly stay true to their word), so after all that what do you have left to build much with? brain drain is soft words to describe this, this is simply brain Hemmorage….now the first reaction to reading this is “oh its not so bleak”, but the thing is, IT IS! u look around and u see low productivity, low incomes, always looking for the shortest and most traditional path to richness (Corruption or marrying into corruption), cynicism as i said (new project = it will fail tomorrow, new shop or restaurent = it will close soon!, new government initiative = someone is skimming off it, new anything = worst everything!)….

    i know people say but if we all think like this, how will the situation change? i say not only it wont change, it CANNOT change, for things to change means toppling every existing standing thing we have in this society, redrawing every bit of the DNA, and so many powerful elements of the society are happy and beneficiaries of the current DNA they will make every effort to make what is already a difficult task (change) an impossible one…..

    peace and i will be an avid reader of ur blog inshalla 🙂

    P.S. so after all this circus in the media we are seeing, will the Casino scandal be buried as well? or that one is a rumour too?

  • and i forgot to add the most successful people under 30 in jordan are those who opened bars :p or are DJs in bars!…

  • As Samar said, we have the black Iris today. How old are you? How old is Lina?

    There are many other examples for young people who are really ambitious and achieving their dreams. Things have really been changing lately in Jordan. We have a lot of potential and a lot of prospect.

  • Great Subject.

    Well here is a little story that to me is a perfect example on how our patriarchal (and at times Matriarchal) society gives very little to the “new” ideas of youth. The rusty machine does not want new and revamped parts, even though it ordered them from the start.

    A few years ago I was in negotiations with an institution with regards to the salary that I would accept to work there.

    After the meeting, a typical family lunch with Mom and Dad.
    General bullet point news of the day is exchanged by all of us until of course I mentioned what I was doing that day.

    Dad (bless him!) suddenly cries out with pride: “No No NO! YOU SHOULD NOT accept anything less than X amount!”

    I immediately made it clear that I have just graduated with my masters and in fact would need further experience to even have the audacity to ask for such a figure, also knowing very well that they would most deffinately use that reason and my young age to not deem me qualified enough to get that amount per month.
    Of course he protested my argument, mentioning my achievements and that I was a scholarship junkie throughout the years of my education and therefore “more qualified” naturally for a higher position.

    Lunch ended. Coffee all round. End of Story.

    Or is it!

    Next day….
    Same lunch table, same atmosphere (left overs from yesterday’s stew) and the family news bulletin commences (BBC beeps please!)

    Dad: “We had a new engineer interviewed today at the consultancy”

    Me: “Good credentials?”

    Dad: “very good! MBA and all from an Ivy League Uni.”

    Me: “Nice! He must be costing you a fortune to hire!”

    Dad: “Not really. Lacks experience….Our offer is more than adequate for a new starter.”

    Me: “So what does he get?”

    Dad: “No more than Y amount per month. That is what the going rate is”

    Now you must know that the X that my dear father demanded I charge, is 10 times more than the Y amount he was going to offer that guy whose family forked out a fortune to educate and train abroad.

    I laughed in his face! It was only the next day after our talk about my negotiations!
    Here is a guy that is as qualified (possibly more than me!) and Dad does not consider him as some other father’s kid who may also manage where I am negotiating!

    The point I understood was:

    The older generation still holds the power over the newer generation. Does not allow them to overachieve due to the fact that they think that we are “Lacking experience” in life.

    Many socioeconomic factors begin to show themselves:

    Many of the young generation is still dependent on their families for material support. Be it a flat to get married in, or a car to drive daily to work and back. Sometimes even a suppliment over their income and paying some of their bills.

    In that they also control personal life decisions that a 20 something or even a 30 something member of society should be able to make themselves. They hold the power to deprive that member of society from the freedom from material constraints.

    Father says “I don’t like your Girlfriend”

    Son ” I like her! Why can I not marry her?”

    Father ” Because I know best”

    Son “Is this not my decision”

    Father “Fine! Marry her! But you go and live somewhere else. I am not agreeing to this marriage so you don’t get the flat or the car we bought you! You think you’re old enough to make such a decision? FINE! Then take full control of all other material aspects of your life!”

    Son succumbs in many cases. Father wins. Son miserable. Until of course they are part of the aging mechanism in society themselves and like father-like son, they do the same to the coming generation.

    It is a cycle. Unfortunately rarely is it in our Youth’s hands to break it.

    Patriarchs Relenquishing control is the biggest gift youth would be given in this country in my opinion.

    Parents think they are doing the best to protect the future. In that they are totally innocent. However, the future NEEDS to be different, otherwise we cannot in all honesty call it “The Future”.

    God bless this country.

  • Let’s stop parrotting old ideas and theoretical scenarios and talk real life.

    Great ideas need money to realize, Jordan does not have the lending system and concepts of business credit lines that are widely used in the U.S.

    In the U.S., if you would like to turn your cookies into a business endeavor you go down the road and ask for a business credit line of $50,000 at your top 5 banks and compare interest rates and go rent some space and lay out your cookies and sell away. Tax and labor department steps omitted for simplicity.

    In Jordan, you have to magically inherit money and own land somewhere to have some sort of capital. The customer base is built out of tradition, not innovation.

    I am one of those privately-schooled, middle-class, creative 21 year olds with a college degree and a full-time job in the U.S. Working in the corporate world until I’m ready to launch my online business.

    Jordan is my family visit stop once a year. Jordan loses people like me to these “more receptive” environments. Why don’t we come back? You don’t WANT us back!

  • Amer – you’re right. Today, the system available to you here either encourages you to screw it, or spits you out. Yes.

    BUT, if there was a local system which allowed you to tap into the 50K for the cookie biz, would that make you look/think/consider/try?

    What would it take, right now? What are the four things on your wish list?

  • Amer: I agree with what you said, however when it comes to financing ideas and projects, new methods are slowly evolving. some in the private sector are taking the initiative as are institutions like the queen rania center for entrepreneurship. from micro venture capital to even a slow change in the local banks’ lending policies. more can be done, i agree.

    however, as i pointed out, the main problem isn’t necessarily the funding. it’s the political will-power or lack thereof. when the government says it wants to support the youth, entrepreneurship and the ideas economy, it doesn’t really look like they’re giving it all they’ve got.

Your Two Piasters: