Its Friday! We Must Have a Protest | View Points | Ammon News

Its Friday! We Must Have a Protest

[3/2/2013 12:00:00 AM]

By Abdulillah

It’s Friday and we must have a protest in Jordan. Someone, somewhere in Jordan has done something that peeves us and makes us angry so we need to go out, block the roads, cry foul and snarl traffic because we have nothing constructive to do but protest. We seem to be doing a lot of that in Jordan lately.

The latest spat is because the government has raised fuel prices that are already subsidized by another 4%. So let’s go out and protest against these government civil servants and their leadership that must be corrupt.

It cannot be that the fuel prices have been kept low for so long by subsidies that the government cannot continue to maintain
due to large debts, and fuel prices that are going up. It has to be because they are corrupt.

It cannot be because we refuse to walk anymore to burn off some of the fat from our overly obese bodies (The rise of Diabetes in Jordan is staggering). Or the fact that some of us cannot walk a kilo without collapsing because of all the cigarette smoking we do and the fact that this vile, dangerous, costly, dirty habit is killing us and our children who have to live with second hand smoke (Cancer and many other disease linked to tobacco use in Jordan is growing rapidly).

We don’t want to change our poor habits. We don’t want to take a bus or taxi (because that is beneath us). We don’t want to walk or try different alternative sustainable energy methods that in the long run will make it cheaper for us and our country. We just MUST HAVE cheap fuel.

It cannot be because we are lazy and do not want to try to make things better by attempting new innovations or thinking. It’s because it must be the corrupt civil servants and their leadership that is doing this to us.

We don’t want to leave our wet nurse, we don’t want to grow up and start to think and live on our own and pay our own way. We want to be moochers of the government coffers, because after-all they are our mommy’s and daddy’s.

So when we do not get our way, we need to throw a fit. We need to go out and protest. We have to show them and the world that we can throw a tantrum just as well as a teenage kid, when they are told that they are spending too much time playing and on the phone with his friends and not studying and applying new skills.

My brother and sisters here is what I know about unleaded fuel pricing in the world as of February 2103, and if you do not believe me please go to and check it out yourselves:

• Jordan ranks 41st of 134 countries ranked in price per liter,
• Jordan ranks lower in fuel costs than Turkey which ranks last, Lebanon, China, Canada Greece, Israel, Portugal, France, UK,
Germany, Finland, Morocco, South Korea, Kenya and many others.

My brothers and sisters we of all people know that we have been living like wet nursed children for so long. We know that we need to wake up and move on alternative sustainable energies. We know that we need to raise prices not just on fuel but things that we are fully aware are killing us and our children principally tobacco use.

This product must be taxed to limits that will deter its use. We know that we have to control this dangerous narcotic as we control other dangerous narcotics. But I have yet to hear a protest or demands about its flagrant use in our public building and street and at tobacco companies, who are profiting on the demise of others.

We must get our heads out of the sand and stop pretending that we do not live in the real world. When things get hard we must rise to the challenge. That does not mean we let our public officials off of performing their duty to us, but understand that things in our country must change for us to survive. So like my father used to say, “Pull up you big boy pants and get to work”.

God Bless Jordan and Its People

  • 1 Feel The Pain! 3/2/2013 9:40:12 PM

    The writer wrote the following: "The latest spat is because the government has raised fuel prices that are already subsidized by another 4%."!? For an average citizen like me, Mr. Abdulillah seems to be living in another planet! He doesn't feel the pain of Jordanians who are suffering from the high cost of living, which is fueled by the high fuel prices! I've read the following thoughtful comment on another article. It opened my eyes on a troubling issue of major concern to many Jordanians. Read it! It explains something hidden about one good reason why Jordanians wait for the next Friday! Wake up, friend!(1 The Smarter Foreign Worker! 3/2/2013 1:27:33 PM One reason for ending subsidies for fuel prices, the smart regime insisted, was the fact that foreign workers benefited from the subsidies. Since most foreign workers don't own cars, the smart regime named the residential cooking gas cylinders as an example, which the price for one gas cylinder was raised by JD 3.5- from JD 6.5 to JD 10. The foreign worker spend most of his day working and not cooking--his average consumption is one gas cylinder a month! Immediately following the price hike, the smarter foreign worker protested to his employer the new higher "cost of living" and asked for, and received higher pay! On average, the smarter foreign worker received at least 10% to 15% raise! The average foreign worker make JD 300 a month. That means the smarter (than the government) foreign worker got raise worth 10 gas cylinders a month which he doesn't need!? But the smarter foreign worker is likely to send back to his country an extra JD 30 a month! 30 x 12 = JD 360 ($500) a year! The regime's estimate is that there are at least 500'000 foreign workers in the country. That means Jordan is losing an extra $250 million a year for raising the price of the residential gas cylinders! By the end of the year, the regime is likely to notice the difference of the net loss for the treasury. It will be too late! Anyway, why fuel prices in countries which don't subsidize fuel prices yet it imposes high federal and state taxes, like the US, are cheaper than Jordan by at least 20%???? Any responsible government official knows the answer?).

  • 2 Abdulillah 3/3/2013 9:29:41 PM

    Dear Feel the Pain, Thank you for your comments and if my article hit a sore spot with you, it was meant to. It was meant to wake you and my brothers and sisters up to the reality in Jordan today. That is; one of limited resources, the other, larger and larger debt and the inability to pay them down as fast as we like, thereby burdening the economic growth of the country. Now let’s tackle this issue of me not feeling the pain just like you are and not being as fully awake as you maybe. You referred me to another article the “Smarter Foreign Worker”, where you lay at what you believe is the failed government response at the feet of the smart foreign worker who is robbing the treasury from increased revenue it could have gained otherwise. You state eloquently that they spend all day at work and not cooking and not driving. Where you then imply had they been more like the average Jordanian, who you imply does otherwise, they would be madder too about the rise in fuel prices. You go even further by asking the question as to “why fuel prices in countries which don't subsidize fuel prices yet it imposes high federal and state taxes, like the US, are cheaper than Jordan by at least 20%?” Well for starters they have a very large economy, while we don’t. They have many more people than we do who make a lot more because they actually innovate and they spend much more time thinking on how to improve their country and economy than we do. But they too suffer from the burden of taxes, but they do not spend time dwelling on it, but actually work to resolve their issues. They have vast resources and have worked very hard to develop smarter ways to extract them. I am not speaking about their government but their people. There are many reasonable factors that answer your question about why they pay 20% less than we do effectively. So as I wash all that you have said above through an open minded sieve, I get that the idea that you are mad at not being as smart as the foreign worker in Jordan, or maybe implying that because they are smarter than you or the average Jordanian you would not mind kicking them out because they are mooching off of your hard earned income and taxes. Also I get the impression that you have been chewing on some sour grapes when you compare yourself with other success countries. Sir I have heard you but respectfully do not agree with you. We in Jordan cannot blame others always for our problems. This creates a pervasive atmosphere of a victim society and I respectfully decline to be part of that. I know we are better and know better and can do better if we challenge ourselves. Best Regards and always thank you for your comments and arguments. I hope we can start seeing eye to eye on this issue soon.

  • 3 Dabas 3/4/2013 4:43:09 AM

    Clueless is an understatement… with all due respect…. How can you not see the extreme hardship most real Jordanians are going through on daily basis in in our country? Do you really think nothing is behind all this extreme frustration? We don’t blame civil servants or government officials. We know who are the criminals and their associates. We see them every day in their extravagant cars and mansions. They stole and robbed our country and its resources with the aid of criminal leaders who are complicit and just as guilty. Jordan will soon collapse under the extreme weight of social injustice. I deal with hundreds of mostly educated young Jordanian who are at edge of their patience when it comes to the situation in Jordan. Most of them are convinced that they are being sidelined and made to suffer economically so the so called leaders can impose new realities on our country. As an example of reckless behavior of our leaders is during the first gulf war, corrupt Jordanian leaders allowed more than a million people from mostly Kuwait to come and settle in Jordan. Those people were millionaires in comparison to our people in Jordan, Suddenly all prices of commodities and real estate shot up to an extreme levels because the new comers can and have the money to pay for the new expensive reality. An extreme unbalanced buying power took hold on our economy. In comparison, and overnight the Real Jordanian citizen became very poor. Since then, Jordanians are increasingly feeling as foreigners in their own land. The leaders don’t care and clueless to boiling magma of hell under their feet. Sooner than later a social equilibrium must be achieved regardless of the circumstances, it’s a matter of how it will happen not when. Yes, bad and reckless decisions have bad and dangers consequences, and somebody will pay.

  • 4 Abdulillah 3/5/2013 3:46:35 AM

    Dear Mr. Dabas thank you for your response. I have heard you and as I mentioned above in my response to Mr. Feel the Pain, we cannot always lay the blame at the feet of everyone but ourselves. We have and continue to be a society dependent on government handouts. We work more at keeping this the status- quo than finding solutions to our failures. We look for the, easy out all the time and it is always as in your case “Blame the Outsider” he did it to me. The same efforts is being tried by the Right Wing - Wing Nuts in the US against the Hispanic populations and they keep losing that argument with the people because it’s factually not true. In their case as in ours in Jordan very few Jordanians want to work for the meager wages that these outsiders do or in hard labor like in agriculture etc.. In truth they pay taxes on their wages and in the case of the Hispanic he does not even bother to collect the refund check if he is undocumented. It suffices to say that your argument falls in this category and like they say “That dog just will not hunt” with any sensible man or women. I truly suggest that you read the article by Mr. Fanek in the Jordan Times Titled Jordan’s No. 1 Challenge where he lays out the energy crisis which supports what I just wrote regarding the energy crisis and the debt service. You can find it here Best regards

  • 5 Jafar M Ramini 3/6/2013 12:03:34 PM

    Brother Abdulillah, a piece of advice if I may. There is no use trying to debate with someone who comes on with a preconceived idea and a 'set in stone' school of thought,based in ignorance, tribalism, envy and self importance.Ever since the likes of Mr. Dabas graced our pages with their inane comments the trend has been pointing downwards.Mr. Dabas, I have no wish to debate with you on the economics of Jordan nor the meaning of nationality and demographics. Nor the difference between education and qualifications. It would be a waste of time for us both. There is one thing you failed to throw at us and that is the swarms of locusts that are coming your way. I hope that Jordan has the where-withall to cope with it. Meanwhile, you might like to take a note of the words of the late Abraham Lincoln, "Better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

  • 6 Kamil! 3/6/2013 12:57:13 PM

    Abdulillah sounds like Kamil--King (Alex) Mininig Industries Limited! Kamil looted the company and robbed the poor and ran away! Yet the robber or thief or Ali Baba insists that he is the victim of the "lazy complainers"--the real victims and not a "victim society"! Yes indeed Jordanians complain and blame the regime for their present "difficult" situation! But don't blame them for that! The pervasive culture of corruption started in the top "elite" which impacted the rest of the society! That is the major reason for the lost trust between the ruled and the ruling elite! Your views are valuable in a society that enjoys true transparency and accountability. In the absence of such a must pillars of democracy, we are left for rumors and blame game! You seem to be familiar with the situation of Hispanic Americans. That should lead you to recognize the fact that they make no less than 10 times more than what the average Jordanian make, yet their cost of living is not much different than the cost of living in Jordan!? However, your views reflect the views of the yes seedi "elite"/above and they are not surprising! You are waaaay up! Are you one of them!?

  • 7 Dabas 3/6/2013 11:48:42 PM

    This .... has no problem defending Jordan from all kind of locusts...including the walking, talking ones. I refuse to be put in your self-inflected position to defend my homeland. I am grateful to have a Country, a Town and a Tribe to defend.

  • 8 Abdulillah 3/8/2013 3:37:54 AM

    Dear Kamil. Thank you for your comments as always you are welcome. To answer your last question, I am not one of them, but me saying it will not make you believe. I do not take you one to believe anything; because of course you must know each and every corrupt person in the country and or must be the victim of each and every one of them. As to the reasons why I know about Hispanics it is because I manage to read all sorts of economic news and try to reason the best way forward instead of sitting blaming everyone for my own faults. I am not so sure you are fully aware of how they live and how much they actually make or pay in taxes or even their cost of living with respect to ours. However with respect to our own taxes in Jordan let me quote the recent Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nemat Shafik who stated “that Jordan's tax revenue compared to GDP is the lowest in the region and has seen a decline in recent years by 5 percent due to tax exemptions.” But I am not too sure you will believe them either because they too must be part of the conspiracy out to get you and those like you. You are not completely incorrect however when you say that the country has corruption. But I can tell you it WAS NOT limited to the elite, many were partaking in it but to a lesser degree than maybe SOME of the elites you mentioned. However; it is my belief we are working to combat these abusers, and thieves and with the new developments and anti-corruption policies I pray we get there soon. Yes I know from the way you have commented I will not be surprised when you state “ and maybe you Abdulilliah” nust be one of the corrupt. LOL not even knowing who and what I am, and I am not so sure you have even read any other articles of mine in this forum. But let us not stoop so low as to end up calling one another names. I will not go down that road because I too do not know you personally and as such will forgive your personal comments. Brother Ramini, thank you always for your comments and advise. Please allow me to try to explain my positions even if they fall on deaf ears. As for now, I promised myself when you egged me to start this form of expression that I will not turn away any comments because I disliked the argument. As long as they are civil I will try to explain my positions.I hope others see these counter arguments asa needed debate and we all learn from them. Best Regards

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