REUTERS PHOTO – A man looks at Jerusalem city through binoculars on the Syagha-Madaba city mountains, 30km southwest of the capital Amman, October 23, 2009, during a trip organized by the Jordanians Engineers Association. The “Return Journey to Al-Aqsa” trip, in which engineers and their families gathered at the heights of Syagha to look down at the city of Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa mosque, is to show solidarity with Palestinians involved in clashes with Israeli police at the al-Aqsa mosque in September.
I often wonder if the reason professional associations and unions in Jordan remain highly politicized is because the state has done a wonderful job at suppressing civil society in the political sense. Then again, allowing political groups to flourish in order to dilute the political powers of associations would be a lose-lose situation for the state. It’s just easier to keep everything suppressed.