Friday, December 15, 2017

What next in Jordan?

The Kingdom experienced a great number of marches, protests and sit-ins since. Thanks God nothing violent in contrast with what we witnessed in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Tunisia or the current happening in Syria; or in contrast with a heated local football game.(cite PSD statistics, cite a bad-hair-day football game)

Most of these protests, marches and sit-ins were copied from other Arab countries with similar slogans and demands, maybe because Jordanians shares similar characteristics of other Arab states that led the popular demands for reform(cite Rohail Gharaibeh article on the Guardian), or simply for lacking creativity (cite blog commentary on this), own own story; or simply because the situation in Jordan is somehow different from other Arab states. However, It may not be useful to touch upon the fact of copied-protests, as there are some exception that was an authentic Jordanian creativity, at least according to my knowledge, like the BlackFact (link to their FB page) protest came with the creative idea to deliver strong message through peaceful and meaningful protest.

Copying ideas from other nations is not always a bad idea, we live in globalised world after all, and sometimes copying ideas should be endorsed(not sure if I should cite the Canadian couples picture/coverage in U.S protest). Good ideas are to be spread than owned after all.

The Kingdom is facing many obstacles in making its way for reform (Cite HMK for old-guards). Certainly passing the Arab Spring without scars is impossible, but again, thinking about the future is much more progressive than sticking to the happenings.

I'm hopeful that what we are witnessing in Jordan is not to be taken as a crisis or a passing phase but a transitional phase that will take Jordan from where and what it used to be to what Jordanians want it to be. It is up to Jordanians to define what they are going through and turn their dreams into a reality. This is a huge historical responsibility that we may not live twice to witness and be part of as a Jordanian citizen, and thus it requires great deal of responsibility from every single citizen.

As a Jordanian citizen, I believe that democracy has a place in Jordan and is here to stay, but then we have to work on building the democratic atmosphere that appreciate and walk together toward it. It's the walk that should not be rushed into, and work hard not to turn it into a crawl.

In 2011 Jordanians turned many dreams into a reality. They are no longer required to obtain license for public gathering, the Parliament is discussing the cornerstones of our new Jordan, the bundle of that will draw Jordanians freedom and civic engagement. Accepting the Arab Spring scars does not mean neglecting its fruits (cite HMK King Speech)

We should channel our energy on the Freedom bundle, which is the new Electoral Law, the new Political Parties Law and the Independent Electoral Commission Law with its procedures.

Sending our concerns and suggestions to our representatives; and pushing them to draw it the way we want it to be is our national duty and is our part of participation in making our own history or else it's another stigma to be omitted of the future curriculum. It's up to us to decide how our children will perceive us.

Regardless whether your representative disappointed you or not, you should do it. It doesn't hurt to tell him or her how they disappointed you and how you hope they will not disappoint you with their proposals, amendments and votes precisely with the EL, ILC and PPL. That is the democracy we are calling for and after all bad politicians are one of the by products of democracy.

Most certainly, reform cannot happen overnight and reform is about reforming the mechanism of governance in which will change the way we participate and voice our opinions; and most importantly, a massive change to our culture. Let's not forget that some of us live and practised the martial laws until eighties, and most of us grew up with the remainders of martial law culture in nineties and now we cannot claim that we got rid of it just because we can say no to some policies and legislations that we disagree with.

Achieving a new Political Parties Law that will encourage the creation of new political parties that is broadly presented and can represent Jordanians on programmes and interest basis; and then a fraud free election in 2012, and an Independent Electoral Commission in the middle, would output a true representative parliament and that is an extreme makeover, though it's just the first step in tasting the fruits of Arab Spring and then we have to work on healing the scars.

Taking the responsibility and ensuring the safety and security of our country through this process is rather compulsory, our home has been there for thousands of years and for many years to come.

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