Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?

In the past few weeks we’ve seen protesters in Jordan of all sorts and kinds converging on the streets of the country, specifically Amman, every Friday. There is a growing “oppositional” voice in the country for sure, and their calls are diverse and assorted. Aside from these protests, many are enthused when it comes to the public discourse of recent times, and the usual sentence that seems to be starting off many a conversation these days goes something like: “so what do you think is going to happen here?”. The question is always about what comes next? Will things calm down or will the so-called “opposition” grow in numbers and volume? The “opposition” is no longer clear to me as it was a while back. It is no longer made up of just the Islamists or just the leftists. It has evolved to include anyone and everyone with a critical voice, and that has become a significant constituency of citizens. Thus it is utterly difficult for me to even label this constituency as mere “opposition”.

But in this evolution we seem to have hit a road bump. Assumptions have been made that anyone who is critical of the status quo is to be considered disloyal and this assumption has been solidified by another emerging group, predominantly tribal (according to their street banners), who are offering nothing but declarations of support and loyalty for the King. The emergence of this group has created a diverging road where the population is slowly being split down the middle between those who declare their loyalty to the King and those who are critical of the country’s situation and are therefore, by nature of the first group’s existence, considered disloyal.

How has this manifested on the ground? Many of us have already seen it. From pro-King demonstrations or rallies, to banners hanging in the public sphere declaring allegiances, and, even worse, events celebrating the King’s birthday over a month since it has past. Talk about a belated birthday, eh? The existence of the loyalty group is, to me, much more concerning and threatening to the state than those who own a critical voice. The latter is, for the most part, concerned with improving the country one way or another, maybe not the way others would like to see, and maybe not the way the upper echelons of power would like to see, but still, this is their underlying goal. However, the former, these so-called loyalists seem to be bent on doing nothing but creating disturbing contrasts.

With that, there are a few things to note:

1) It goes without saying, but those who are raising critical voices are NOT and should NOT be considered as being disloyal to the country. To me, this is a call by one group of people to silence another, to have them fear for their sense of citizenship, to cast them out as being not of this country because they are labeled as disloyal to it. Any group that seeks to impose such a contrast on the entire country should be spoken out against by the people, by the government and by the country’s leadership.

2) These so-called public demonstrations of loyalty are disturbing. They are growing numerous and unabated, but more importantly they are enforced on the public sphere. As far as I know, it is illegal to put up the King’s photo without official permissions, which leads me to believe that all of these banners, posters, and even the personal cars that are now putting up the King’s photo with declarations of loyalty from a specific tribe, are all breaking laws, or, are being permitted by the state. Either people are getting permission to hang up these photos, or the fact that they are breaking a law is being overlooked.

This group of “loyalists” is made up of either two sub-components: one that is perhaps genuinely loyal to the monarchy and has traditionally considered its own identity to be subject and/or intertwined with that sense of loyalty, and one that is making public displays of what I consider to be “fake” loyalty, in an effort to curry favor or brown-nose.

Now, to what extent the state has realized that this evolution will have disastrous consequences on a population that is still struggling to deal with the national identity question, and the extent to which this evolution (which I dare say is really a devolution) will create massive polarization that one might even compare it to what unfolded in the late 1960’s and early 70’s – a dark age of civil discontent in the Kingdom – is beyond me.

We seem to all be busy ignoring this emergence and quietly “accepting” it as normally as we once accepted photos of King Abdullah hoisting a sniper gun plastered on the back windows of cars – another disturbing act but one of no real political consequences unlike what we are facing today, with the regional context in mind. But while we ignore this phenomenon, it is growing rapidly in my eyes, and without being properly countered it will look to polarize the social landscape like never before. It will set one group of people against another, it will tear at the seams of an already fragile social fabric, and it will have a much longer lasting impact than anything else happening on the ground today.

The state needs to be one step ahead of this issue before it spirals out of control. It is a moment requiring genuine leadership and only the King himself can fulfill that role. It will require him to go out and say, in no uncertain terms, that these acts of so-called loyalty, while obviously permissible in a democratic sphere, are acts he does not favor. It will require him to say that every Jordanian should be considered a loyal Jordanian. It will require him to say that offering constructive criticism is an indication of a good citizen who cares about the future of his or her country. It will require him to say that those looking to invest their sense of loyalty must demonstrate their loyalty to the country and not to a monarch.

And that is what genuine loyalty looks like.


  • Brilliant. I was about to write a similar post (no where near as politically insightful of course), but you took the words right out of my head. Loyalty is about constructive criticism. It’s about caring.
    Thanks Nas.

  • I think it has always been a covert government policy to keep a divide between jordanians based on origins. The level by which this divide is stressed depends on political atmosphere. This policy is manifested today by the banners from”tribes” to give the impression that the demands for change is “palestinian” not “true” Jordanian demands.This is a classic devide and conquer policy if ever there was one. These banners only represent the person who put it there not the entire tribe who are suffering just like the rest of jordanians if not more so. On a personal note, if you ever saw a banner from the Momanis, rest assured, it dosen’t represent 99% of us.
    My worry is that this careless disregard to the fabric of jordanian society may get aout of hand with dire consequences for all,especially those who are allowing it to go on.
    I say enough is enough with this charade that make us look stupid, backward and is fooling no one indeed.

  • Right on Nas, great analysis indeed.

    Isn’t it sad that the King has even to interfere in our discourse of loyalty or lack of??
    what kind of democracy we are looking for?

  • Great stuff.

    This overcompensation in pledging allegiance is also being reflected on the web, and that behavior is no different than those street banners really. #ilovejordan and this need to continuously declare country and king love on Twitter and Facebook reflects a lot of insecurity IMHO. Why is everyone trying so hard? What are they trying to prove, and to whom? Are they more loyal because they have a flag for an avatar, or because they retweet cheesy rhetoric?

  • Very nice! This article really put into context a lot of things going on in the country. The problem is in my opinion distinguishing between being a good citizen and being loyal to the king. The question that arises herte is an important one, do you have to love the king to be loyal to your country? The anser to that is absolutely NO!! But then again if everyone shared that answer that would make this article out of context and it is definately not.

  • You have nailed it. This excessive show of allegiance to the Hashemites strikes me as narrow minded and fake on so many levels. The emergence of so called “loyalists” and sudden classification of those who demand for constructive change and betterment of a country as “ant-loyalists” and worse yet, don’t know what they’re talking about, is extremely disturbing. WE are all loyal to our country. And because of this we want its betterment, actually demand for its betterment.

    What’s happening in the Middle East as a whole is an important awakening. Did you know that as a region we are one of the most unproductive. All the Arab states together, with their combined population of 350 million, produce less in economic terms than Italy’s 60 million people. It’s confounding, especially since the Arab world isn’t poor. Neither is Jordan in terms of its human resources – but those are so badly taken advantage of! No region in the world has treated its resources, and half of its labour force (women) so negligently and disdainfully!! We need to change. We cannot remain in the dark ages forever. And can’t keep on harping that we are not ready. When is anyone ever ready for anything?! It takes a single step in the right direction, and the will to face all the good and bad the journey brings. I for one am fully behind constructive change. We need to start rebuilding our country block by block.

    Sorry for the ramble!

  • I mostly agree, you spoke half of my mind man :] but as we call for vanishing blind patriotism we should also vanish blind opposition, both are harming our country! .. I’ll be writing something relevant soon.
    Note: One thing to amend, I know people who got ticketed for the Big Flags or Huge King Photos on cars back windows. The law has been applied to ticket anything that blocks driver sight.. anything! One of the interesting notes written on that tickets as I’ve heard: “a suitable image in unsuitable location” :] So I guess we are moving forward on that aspect, yet on a slow rate.

  • The king speaks for reform more than the so-called “loyalists” speak for him. Their actions reflect more disrespect than loyalty for him. They are not defending him as much as they are using him as a shield against change.

  • I agree with you about the pathetic state of those “loyalty” rituals that we are having. They cause more damage than benefits to the monarchy. Whoever designing them should be sidelined immediately and leave the task to a smarter process that respects people’s intelliegence. On the otehr hand it is essential to have respect for all opinions. In the past few weeks I have noticed the emergence of the concept of ‘constitutional monarchy” as a strategic objective for many components of the opposition groups. Some of them actually call for “back to the constitution of 1952” as a first step in reform. Many people, including myself will object to that for the simple reason that we still do not have the institutinal setup for a constitutional monarchy which are strong and effective political parties with clear political, economic and social solutions. If the King says tomorrow that he wants move to constitutional monarchy and to elect the government there is no party that can take the responsibility. Would we like to end up with Hammam Said or Abdel Hadi Majali as a PM?
    Any strategic planner would tell you that we should move in sequential steps and I see constitutional monarchy without strong parties as a step to the inknown.

  • Neither, but I will accept them becoming PM’s until the next elections when surely the people will develop better parties and plans. What comes first the chicken or the egg, freedom of Media/speech and a parliamentary government or strong and effective political parties. You answer me ?

  • It´s been a long while since I´ve been following this site but never felt like commenting before. I´m a foreigner living in Jordan so I sometimes feel shy to express my point of view on Jordan issues as I clearly understand that many things are outside my comprehension. However, I would like to express my opinion here if you don´t mind.
    My impression after chatting to many people and listening to different point of views is that fear is a big issue in Jordan. The question is not so much if people want or no reforms as nearly every cab driver in Jordan will complain about his life status and non-ending shifts, every mom about the cost of tomatoes in Ramadan, everyone in general about the fact that wasta and family name are in many cases more important than intelligence or justice. Everyone assumes that there is no plain democracy in Jordan, that government figure is week and that Palestinian/Jordanian identity is still an issue to resolve. In general, I don´t see many Jordanians (or Palestinian-Jordanians) feeling very proud of their country or talking good about their fellows..However, many many times, the speaker will express his fear that political changes (and these changes cover a big spectrum and are never very clearly defined) will bring something worse to the region. What do people really want to say with this isn´t also very clear… it´s a catastrophist statement that expresses fear and that brings ghosts to people, collaborating to paralyze social demands…this idea very often mentioned that Arab people and Jordan people are not ready for democracy (idea that i have heard at home in a way or another) is shockingly supported by many Jordanians and fear is the only basis on which an opinion like this can be stated.
    In my opinion, this artificial polarization of pro-King or anti-King collaborates to create more fear. It´ll be nice that patriotism and proudness were universal values for Jordanians citizens, that love for your country would be expressed through proudness about its people and not through symbols or patriotic songs

  • I know so many active and well – educated people originating from large tribes in eastern Jordan who are for reforms and a strong Jordan, which will be able to stand against the threat of the zionist state that is currently, and quite easily stealing our water (and I mean our badly needed Jordanian water), not to mention other things.

    As for the so-called loyalists, they are a croud of semi-analphabets driven by people who want to cause trouble and diversion, and they are afraid of change because they are helpless and have little to offer. And if we listen to such people, Jordan will really become hopeless..

  • الحل يكمن في تغير النظام عن بكرة أبيه وغير ذالك تسصبح لعبة ما ألها فكاهة، الرسل من موسى الي عيسى والى محمد قد دهبوا مع التاريخ وبدون رجعة ما بالك عن مولوك أتوا علينا من قبل الغرب المستعمر الغربي، التغير قادم أن شئتم أم أبيتم لا محالة

  • Jehad Momani,

    You say “I think it has always been a covert government policy to keep a divide between jordanians based on origins. The level by which this divide is stressed depends on political atmosphere. This policy is manifested today by the banners from”tribes” to give the impression that the demands for change is “palestinian” not “true” Jordanian demands.”

    Wasn’t it Napoleon who said something along the line a one Arab warrior is a formidable enemy but give me two of them and I will easily find a way to turn them against each other? it was always puzzling for me to hear Palestinian Jordanians, majority of whom were born and raised here in Jordan, still express slightly disparaging opinion of fellow Palestinian Jordanians from other towns and villages in Palestine than their parents/grandparents came from, like, let’s say, people from Jerusalem versus Nablus or Hebron and vice versa. Or city dwellers versus fellahin. And, of course, the divide between Jordanian East- and West bankers. But even if we’ll put Palestinian Jordanians aside there is always South versus North Jordanians friction(would be interesting to hear what #14 jamal has to say about that) not to mention periodical flash points between Jordanian Jordanians and Chechen/Circassian Jordanians. It would be quite funny if it wasn’t really tragic that all that happens on a relatively tiny piece of land…

  • بس يا ريت يبطل يحكوا الفلسطينيين انهم ضد الوطن البديل لانه هاد اللي قاعد بصير وبلاش الاسطوانة المشروخة انهم ما بيرضوا بديل عن فلسطين لانه هالحكي ما عاد حدا بيشتريه بكفي ابتزاز لعواطف الناس

  • jamal,

    You know you do generalize and exaggerate. Why wouldn’t you pause for a moment and think about such historical fact as that King Abdullah I, the current king of Jordan great-grandfather, used to give Jordanian Jordanians pieces of land as a punishment? Yes, that’s right, as a punishment and not as much as a generous gift because at the time to have a piece of land involved to make something out of it because an owner had to pay taxes on the land he owned and Jordanian Jordanians being a predominantly a Bedouin society weren’t that fond of working the land to be able to generate income to pay the tax. King Abdullah I knew that and used it accordingly. Should we jump to conclusion it shows how much ‘attached’ Jordanian Jordanians were to their land/country or should we rather take into consideration broader historical picture and be intelligent in our assumptions?

  • يا ستي مبروك عليك الاردن خديها من شمالها لجنوبها لانه هاظ اللي رح يصير اللي بدها اياه اسرائيل وطن بديل يعني وطن بديل بس انا بتمنى تمشي اسرائيل بمشروعها للاخر ونشوفها من النيل للفرات لانه انا شخصيا بعد اللي شفته هاد اللي بشفي غليلي

  • @ Batir

    “we still do not have the institutinal setup for a constitutional monarchy which are strong and effective political parties with clear political, economic and social solutions.”

    Enough already with this nonsense, just yesterday one of them government puppets was talking about how a constitutional monarchy will result in either A) a bloody civil war B) Israeli occupation or C) dividing the country !?!? hmmm … What about non of the above !! It is like you people did not learn a thing from what happened in Tunis and Egypt. We are a 60 year old country and our people are mature enough to steer their own wheel. Democracy might result in chaos at the beginning, but it just a matter of time before it eventually corrects itself by itself.

  • These manifestations of loyalty are orchestrated by the entourage of the Monarchs. And It is amazing how after seeing everything that happens around, they just don’t want to get the picture.

    Those charades don’t have the same effect on us as 10 years ago.
    Why can’t they just understand that they need to let go of this one man authority and let us decide for ourselves. I ask the question does Mohammad VI has better advisers than Abdallah II? Why did he have the intelligence to decide to make complete reforms and declare that the Moroccan regime will have the same model as Spain, and Jordanian advisers are still in their pathetic loyalty charades.
    Of course Morocco’s history is not the same as Jordan’s. But at least by doing so, Mohammad VI will have the guarantee of staying a king he and he descendants, and have all the money that he needs.
    There is no difference between the different origins in Jordan, we all suffer from the same problems and no tribes will accept the fact that they can’t live in decency, and with a king or no king the priority of the people is to live in decency.
    It makes me so sad to see the article about the king on his Harley in California “Thank you Free Jordanian” with a global record of the inflation rate in Jordan in 2010, the king spends his time in California on his Harley. Doesn’t he have better things to do taking into account that he is the one who rules? If we have a model like Europe, where the king is a symbol, then it would not shock us, he can go do whatever he wants, but he wants to rule and decide everything and spend his time with his wife doing such exaggerated stuff that cost us a lot.
    I hope that the king’s advisers would have the same political intelligence as you Nas, and actually tell him to stop this hypocrisy. For me it is so hypocrite to allow the “Baltajieh” hit the protesters and then declare that the king has put private body guards with his own money to protect Laith Shbeilat from the baltajieh. It just gives me even more determination to go out to the street every Friday, until we change this system.

  • Ahmad,

    60 years old country is less than a newborn in historical terms, not to mention it took Britain few hundred years since mid-17th century (Cromwell&Co) to reach democratic way of governing known now. Same ( a century less) goes for the US of A and France, so, it’s nice you burst with optimism but I’d say you better tie up your camel for the chaos in the beginning might take much, much longer or the whole thing might get hijacked the way it is happening in Egypt right before our own eyes.

  • Suffering proud Jordanian,

    Sure the economic situation in Jordan, to put it mildly, is far from rosy, however, let us all agree we do operate with facts and not spread rumors. There was no such thing as “a global record of the inflation rate in Jordan in 2010”. A lot of countries had much higher inflation index in 2010, like Argentina, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey.

  • Sure. “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” – Martin Luther King Jr.

  • @coffeegirl, and others: you are right, the Jordanians (I mean all Jordanians) may not be ready right now, but they will be quite soon. Education is everything, that’s what especially the so-called “loyalists” are lacking , in fact they are not to blame, they just don’t know anything else than taking some priviliges for showing some loyalty; but what do you expect from a system where its players give the green light to dubious ($$) projects and a (former) minister of education with forged certificates! It is time to establish a good education system in Jordan,the public educational system is being ignored and only the rich can afford good education. And then the universities? the media? no comment (Ya’ni Bala Fadhayeh)…

  • @ coffeegirl

    60 years is way too much. Just take a look at the former USSR countries, how old are they ?? and yet they have full democracies. And by the way, what is happening in Egypt, I really wanna know? The current situation is Egypt is way much better that before the revolution. At least they have no fear now. And just like Juliette Riley said: “Those who exchange freedom for security deserve neither”, so enough already with the chaos talk; it is all in your mind.

    I’m sorry but I’m not really willing to live my life without my freedom nomore, we only live once for God sake, and I’m definitely not going to wait for “ centuries” to get my full, and nothing but my full freedom. And by the way, it only took them centuries because they did not have what we have today (technology), that is the only reason.

    @ antar
    Please, I freaking beg you, stop saying “we are not ready”. There is no “good time” for this, we are born free and we are supposed to live this way. Freedom and only freedom is the key answer for all of our problems. The talk about education reform is just a waste of time.

  • – Well-written!

    – It is obvious that these loyalty banners are not spontaneous. They are triggered by certain powers around the king, if not by the king himself. These powers will always try to maintain the pre-modern tribal society.

    – It is funny how each time the king appoints a new government and promises reform, then he fails to deliver, it is the fault of that government not responding to his directions. Dude, since you appoint the government, you are responsible for its actions. If they fail to follow your directions then you have failed as a leader.

    – The argument that people are not ready for constitutional monarchy is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not being ready now will maintain the status quo and we will be just as not ready 20 years from now. The young generation is way ahead of the old-fashioned politicians, whether it is the regime people or the classical opposition. These old timers are out of touch with the modern world. Look how magnificent the revolution in Egypt is (despite some forces trying to hijack it).

    This article on aljazeera is telling the obvious, but is still good

  • @Ahmad;

    I read your reply to my commment but still did not find an answer about how can a constitutional monarchhy be implemeneted without a strong party basis? Can you enlighten me please as I am talking nonsense, according to your perspective?

  • Ahmad,

    “Full democracies” in ex-Soviet republics? Where that came from, from your obviously superficial knowledge of those countries political facts or, more correct, complete lack of any knowledge? Have you heard of the level of corruption there, lack of accountability, money buying posts and positions, propping up certain parties, etc, etc? No? I thought not. In their majority ex-Soviets could be called oligarchies. Out of all 15 ex-republic only EU members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania could be called democratic in western sense of the word (and that sense in itself is debatable – USA with its system of only 2 parties changing ‘the throne’ each 4 or 8 years is not a real democracy) and even they have negative record ( Amnesty International reports) of discriminating not only economically but also politically against large Russian minorities in those countries which, wouldn’t you agree, make them not exactly ‘fully’ democratic. Kind of reminds me of Israel proclaiming to be the only true democracy in the ME.

    Another point. The very notion western democracies needed that long because they didn’t have Facebook or Twitter shows how little you know. Technology is nothing but a tool. A smart tool in the hands of an idiot wouldn’t make that idiot smarter. It will be just what it was: a smart tool in the hands of an idiot, so, it takes way more than technology. And, by the way, there is no such thing as full freedom unless, of course, you are an anarchist. I assume you’ve heard “Your freedom ends where others begin”, so, you’d better start thinking what is exactly that you want for yourself and your country but in comprehensible terms, terms you can articulate for and not some empty slogans.

    Education was, is and will be important. Always.

  • @ Batir

    There is no way we will be able to establish such effective political parties without first having a full constitutional monarchy. You are talking like you are an outsider or something, seriously, do you honestly believe that such a strong party can be established under the current regime? the same regime that has been systematically killing all chances for reform for the past 60 years.

    Here is the bottom line, nothing but a radical change will resolve all of our problems. All these debates about political, educational, economical and social reforms, are nothing but a waste of time, it is just the same old story we’ve been hearing over and over and over for the past 10 years. It is like you are trying to fix a broken door or a broken window in a collapsing building! What is the point? I really wanna know. See, this is what people in Tunis and Egypt have realized and acted upon and we can learn from that, but if you are willing to waste another 10 or 20 years of your life looking for that super party that will save us all, then good luck, I myself, I have learnt my lesson, and you, with all your 19th century ideologies and “rational reform plans” … I wish you nothing but good luck. And once things are resolved, Egyptian style, you are welcome to get on board.

  • @ Coffegirl

    I see that you’ve done your homework, good for you. Moving on, YES, I assure you, those 17th century people you are talking about, had they had these tools we have these days, they would’ve done it in days. And the fact you don’t actually believe this, shows how out of date your knowledge is.

    Also, don’t you see how depressing your attitude is? Centuries!! A change in the constitution requires centuries?? I honestly believe this is exactly why the same family has been ruling us for more than 60 years, because of people like you, who truly still believe that “it takes more than we think” to make a change, and they never say what that thing is!!

    And yes, I’ve heard “Your freedom ends where others begin” before, in fact, this is what the regime has been teaching us for the last 60 years, all these rotten arguments that converted us into nothing but passive people who are as harmless as a cattle of sheep.

  • @Ahmad;

    Great. let us asume the King says after 10 minutes that he wants constitutional monarchy and elected governments tomorrow morning, how will this deep radical transitional take place? I mean after we go on the streets and sing, will we vote between 120 members in the Parliament and the top 25 will form the government? Can you think of actual steps instead of preaching?

  • Ahmad,

    It seems you are riding on naked enthusiasm and nothing else. Enthusiasm is good but not enough – history proved it time and time again. You have nothing to offer but change for the change’s sake and show very little comprehension of politics. In your post addressing question of parties you, intentionally or out of ignorance, are oblivious to the fact of how quite strong Islamic Front(Muslim Brotherhood) party in Jordan is. How you overlook that? Come on, there is internet, the ‘tool’, remember? All you’ve to do is go beyond “two lines” points. So far you are avoiding hard precise answers to what’s next and hide behind blabbering.

    There is quite interesting article on how predatory the pillars of ‘democracy’ are to their junior brothers-in-democracy. It’s a bit off the subject but quite an eye opener, so, I highly recommend:


  • @Batir

    First of all choosing a government from a majority in the parliament is not the only way to go here, there could also be a separate elections of a head of government, but that is not the most relevant point at the moment.
    moving the country into constitutional monarchy should not and could not happen in 10 minutes, it has vast legal ramifications and constitutional changes that should take their time, and this time could be enough for a wide sector of the population who has been silent for a very long time because of the oppressive political atmosphere to speak out and start organizing themselves, yet even if they dont manage to be fully organized in time to produce a body that is able to take over responsibility with a focused political and social agenda that represents the needs of the majority of Jordanians and we end up electing someone like Abdulhadi Al Majali or some backwards islamist for prime minister the beauty of the democratic process is its ability to modify and correct it’s course; maybe we need to make our mistakes in order for us to learn from them, the status quo is not allowing us to even make choices be them the correct ones or the wrong ones.
    I think its wrong to determine our faith in our ability to make the right decisions concerning the discourse of our country based on the common good before we are given the chance to make our choices and then correct them and so on, in other words to create a viable and healthy national dialog that allows people a deeper understanding of their needs as a society and not only as individuals.

  • @Yacoub;

    I like your comment; realistic and constructive. In my hypotheticalm examples I was challenging some one who wants to jump into the unknwon. For a fair competitive political process to be launched the playing field should be level and this requires an election law that will provide at least 50% seats for a list system in addition to the 50% for individuals but now we go into the method of voting: one vote of multiple votes? This needs careful considerations. I have no problem with Majali or Hammam said to be a PM as long as he will step down once he screws up in managing the country and not stick to the position. people will learn from mistake and we end up with a really effective elected government that is accountable by the people.

  • @ Coffeegirl

    Really,, The Islamic brotherhood !! OMG, are there still people out there who think of this organisation as an effective political party, I honestly thought that the way they operate was so obvious that no need to point it out !! I just assumed that people who follow this blog are politically mature to figure it out by themselves, clearly i was wrong.

    Anyway, I will “curb my enthusiasm”, I’ll wait for you and Batir to make the change, and take your time please, we are not in a hurry, lets give it another 20 years, I’m sure the regime is on to something, and till then, we all need just to relax now and continue living peacefully in our lovely country.

  • @ Ahmad, @Batir: you both may have a point. seems to me we are commenting comfortably while hiding behind our computers. imagine all agree with you, what’s the next step?

  • والله عندي سؤال، بسيط الصورة للمك والقياشين والمدليات المصطفة علي صدره ØŒ من أين أتت؟ هل خاض الحروب الضروس حتى حصل عليه ØŸ أم هي الحرب التي خاضها في مدينة معان ØŸ

  • Ahmad,

    Let us avoid “OMG!” expressions as an argument, shall we? For the ‘politically mature’ it’s rather weird – we are not window shopping on Wakalat St.

    Islamic Front is the only really organized political entity in Jordan, everybody else is too much shouting and less substance on the ground, and because of that, like it or not, they(the IF) will be able to usurp/hijack the situation. As I said you look for change for the change’s sake, otherwise you would have thought of that and what danger such a scenario possesses. So far, not a tangible thought nor a constructive argument from you. None, nada, zilch. But, – thank you The Free Jordanian, – do go get them tiger! Everything will fall in its place on its own after that, will it not. Any Hollywood heroic flick tells us so.

  • Hi Nas,

    Provocative article! I might be alone here, but I know a lot of tribal Jos, and here is what I understand from their fear and point of view, regardless of the rightness/wrongness of the issue.

    They want reform as much as the next man, but seeing as how most of Jordan’s population is Palestinian or of Palestinian origin, in a democratic system, tribal Jos would be outvoted (assuming people would vote based at least partially on national origin). IF this were true (and people were not able to put their origins behind them in the political sphere), then Jordan would cease to be ‘Jordanian’ and would become the “alternative homeland.”

    Basically, they are afraid of 1. Losing their state, and 2. Fulfilling Israel’s wildest dreams.

    They aren’t supporting the King for what he can do for them (unless you’re a Majali or something) but rather because they believe that they’ll lose what little they’ve got. Most Jos I know are public sector employees, and we all know how little they make to support typically very large families, in an increasingly expensive country.

    IMHO, for Jordan to transition to democracy, (or to ‘be allowed’ to transition by everyone who stands to lose from a less stable/predictable border with Israel), then the Israel-Palestinian conflict first needs to be solved. Barring that, I think things would become quite messy.

    Jordan is kind of the big bandaid in the Middle East: absorbing refugees (Iraqi, Palestinian, etc.); hosting the longest, most peaceful border with Israel, and keeping the peace internally at the same time. I think almost any thinking person on the street would love to see a system in which their rights are protected and that they are able to ‘pursue happiness,’ elect their own leaders, and determine their own destiny. To say differently is not giving your fellow man the benefit of basic thought processes. But to have popular support, you’d need to convince everyone that they would have more to gain than lose.

Your Two Piasters: