The Invasion will not Hold!

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Mon 8 August / Aug 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

We have always theorised about the world turned into a small village, and here it is; borderlines have faded, and there little to no strain to the communication and sharing of knowledge. Rapid developments breakthrough all bounders to place technology in the servitude of people and their comfort.

However, the fact that the world has really become such a small place, in regards to communication, also entails another face to it; one comprised by the intensification of challenges that build with the sophistication of science and knowledge and cutthroat rivalry, as well as the expansion of opportunity.

This is a size fits all kind of description. No sector can detach from competition, locally, regionally, and globally. Which is why our domestic public transportation sector is fully immersed in the idea of adopting global competitors over domestic companies and providers, as the prior come armed with world-class standards of comfort and vast fundamental solutions that relieve us from our perpetual sufferings with the totally deteriorated national sector of transportation.

Jordan, a small Country, only so recently opened up to the bigger fish, to provide people with comfortable and cleaner services, Uber for example; a global company with a market worth of nearly USD40 billion, that provides transportation services similar to those provided by “Careem”, a local service provider.

The idea is simple, easy, and organised, and its entry to the domestic marketplace was easy in light of the spread of the World Wide Web. We are talking about a smartphone application that mediates the provision of a decent, suitable, transportation services, with the information on both the vehicle and the driver provided beforehand, adding safety and security to organisation.

Uber, an operational network with a site or office in Jordan, has developed its services up to people’s standards, and needs. Their vehicles arrive on time, and their drivers stick to the fair, which is something our local traditional alternative, the taxi, lacks. Taxis here, as it is known, do not abide by schedule or time; they roam the streets in search of clients, which to an extent no longer happens in the advanced world. That, of course, is in addition to the moodiness in providing services, which are generally of low quality.

Complaining to the government in regards to the overall deterioration in the public transportation sector; begging them —more or less— to develop it, resulted in very, “very” limited response by the government over the years; we all know how feasible complaints really are in Jordan, anyway! Betterments in public transportation have become dreams that people share the more they crawl down the streets hoping to get a ride to their destination, or catch a bus, to the point that this dream has become impossible to achieve!

Due to client frustration of public transportation, the domestic client, as well as visiting ones, look now for alternative solutions that meet their needs. So, the global marketplace responded, and many began to rely on these particular vessels of transportation to move around, particularly inside Amman.

The government, as usual, did not like how it all turned out, so they flipped against the whole “world-village” concept, with a decision to close up to the world marketplace, announcing these services to be “illegal” in Jordan.

Subsequently, a module was proposed by the government to “organise” these global operations in Jordan, and all for an openly, theoretically speaking; noble purpose: to protect public taxi drivers.

Typically, the government did not, on the other hand, seek to fundamentally address the flaws of the sector instead of shutting down alternative business modules with global standards, and deciding them to be “illegal”, or to say the least, lacking legal “organisation”.

If the government, and respective official parties, were sensing a threat by this expansion in to the domestic sector by foreign business modules; why didn’t the transportation ministry declare a state of “emergency” to address the challenges incurred by these entries, not by shutting them down, but by bettering the quality and level of services provided by the local “rivals” or counterparts; i.e. the traditional yellow taxi? Only developing the national sector would enable it to face up to the global challenge and contain the threat of entry to the domestic sector, were the government at all interested in safeguarding it.

In this day and place, technology paves the way for users; it carries and bridges services across the world all the way to consumers wherever they may be. The invasion of technology and its instruments will not hold for government approval. Just like taxi drivers face the challenge of foreign “industry” invasion, many other sectors and industries in Jordan face up to the same kind of challenge, incurred by opening up to the global marketplace and the advancements in world telecommunication and information technology. There are worldwide, global services invested in commercial applications. Many are invested in real estate applications; will they shut down their global mobile operations to safeguard the interests and future of real estate companies and offices?! Highly improbable!

Dealing with scientific and technological evolution necessitates that we develop our tools and instruments, in order to compete in the global marketplace in which we are integrating. If we don’t, should the government cut-off the internet domestically? Do we want to end up isolated from the big village?

Once again, and quite clearly this time; banning Uber or Careem from operation, or illegalising them, is not at all the solution. The answer lies in auto development of our tools and our sectors, in order to pillar the domestic sector’s capacity to stand before the invasion of a new world that is enforcing its own terms and conditions.