Don't Obstruct Jordan's Peaceful Transformation

19-11-2012 12:00 AM

Ammon News -
By Madeleine Mezagopian

With frustration, disappointment and lack of confidence in all public institutions feature the attitude of most if not all Jordanians. Recently some form of violent behaviour, alien to the Jordanian society, is emerging foremost in the aftermath of the Arab Awakening and the arrival of elected Islamic governments providing an opportunity for the Islamists, with few exceptions, in Jordan to a new reality in Jordan of the need for change rather than reform targeting to realize new form of power monopoly rather than power sharing and pluralism undermining all past and near past achievements which distinguish Jordan from other Arab states entitling it as a beacon of hope and most democratic state in the Middle East.

While these newly emerging violent behaviours warrant revisiting education in Jordan where literacy is almost becoming complete, however quality education with its key elements of communication skills, critical and creative thinking through access to diverse philosophies is in dire situation, those seeking change are the culprits of promoting such a handicapped public education being the key if not the only authors of school texts and educational system in Jordan. Hence, urgent need emerges to revive, consolidate and disseminate the locally rooted culture of peace which glorifies peace and peaceful means of listening, dialogue, negotiations, tolerance, compromise and reconciliation, not least planting the seeds of all components of human security through realizing quality education security.

Today, Jordan witnesses the phenomenon of proponents of change and reforms versus proponents of status quo on one hand and proponents of old and newly emerging authoritarian forces versus liberal forces on the other far from polarized society representing a healthy transitional change distinguishing itself from Arab Awakening countries, provided Jordanians abide by their culture of peace and peaceful means, rooted in its tribal traditions, to confront national challenges.

This historical healthy transitional stage can be hijacked in the aftermath of Prime Minister's Abdallah Ensour unilaterally adopted decisions of increasing the prices of crucial items that further impoverish the already deprived big segment of Jordanian society instead of engaging the people in formulating decisions which directly and drastically affect Jordanians' daily life. The prime minister did not only inflict materialistic damage with his decisions, but undermined the dignity of Jordanians through transferring what is right into charity. Instead of adopting the simple principle in economy of the positive correlation between increase living cost and income increase, Jordanians are to receive and to beg for cash assistance. The damage was further aggravated with Prime Minister's message of Jordanians being politically not matured enough to enjoy elected government necessitating King's authorities not to be curtailed. This message overlooks the simple fact of all Jordan's prime ministers and accompanying ministers, including the present prime minister who held several ministerial posts, hitherto contributing in Jordan's accumulated socioeconomic and political crisis were appointed by the Monarch rather than elected by the Jordanian people representing a drastic failure in the performance of the closed circle guiding the Monarch while excluding relevant Jordanian experts whose grandparents were part of active party life.

Hence, global and regional actors are expected to allow and promote space for this peaceful transformation to undergo uninterrupted by local or external elements and support the efforts of all devout Jordanian citizens who are keen not to destroy the present and what has been achieved over decades to build better future without empowering an actor against the other, specially during the forthcoming parliamentary elections, to secure fair and transparent elections and foremost enhance Jordan's national interests and stability which is a prerequisite for not only regional but global security and stability.

Madeleine Mezagopian , Academic Researcher, Advisor and Analyst, Conflict Resolution/Peace and Socioeconomic and Political Development

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