Who Victors for the University of Jordan?

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 31 August / Aug 2016. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Thu 1 September / Sep 2016. 12:04 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

The University of Jordan (JU, UoJ) occupies a special place in the hearts and minds of Jordanian; those who attended it, as well as those who didn’t. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is an authentic, native component of Jordan’s national state identity, and the most prominent witness to the advancements and progress of higher education in the Kingdom, for a variety of reasons; mainly because it is Jordan’s first official public university.

Throughout its history, tens of thousands of students have enrolled and graduated from the University of Jordan; some of the best Jordanian qualifications have been introduced by JU in the fields of economics, sociology, and political sciences, including some of the Country’s own leaders and state politicians.

Unfailingly, over the years, some of Jordan’s and the Arab World’s most prominent pillars and scientists have taught and tutored.

I personally, did not go to JU. But I never overcame the overwhelming sensation I got staring at its gates, as I passing by, which at that time seemed more like a masterpiece of architecture.

With time, these gates became a University landmark, featured on official stamps, school books, and works of art. Above all, thousands of youths dreamed of passing them in their journey for knowledge and enlightenment, at the University of Jordan.

It was truly overwhelming; the sight of the gates, as it communicated a massive sense of worth and value to the place, preluded by the lengthy passage shaded by tall handsome pine trees.

To my surprise, a friend of mine drew my attention to what the gates have become; just two days ago, I stood before them, and realised the bitterness of which he spoke. And he is in the right, so as we all are, to be offended by this belittlement of our dear domed edifice of national pride and history, so shrunk to the ground under the lighting beacons of a famous mall that opened a branch inside the university. The gates of the mother University of Jordan lies in the laps of major corporate trademark. Anyone who visits UoJ for the first time would think it’s a mall. The fact that this is the entrance to an “ancient” academic monument would doubtfully come to mind.

This shopping monument was constructed under the administration of the former University board. And I have no idea how JU’s administration accepted this insult to every Jordanian; and you know what? Maybe I should ask the same question to the University’s students and graduates just as well!

A long debate at the time was raised on the University’s inclinations to open up to commercial investments, in order to increase its limited and scares sources of income, to balance out massive spending burdens. Opposing this direction, some stood, while others conceded; even supported. In the end, so many knew exactly why the University was heading down that road; the absence of alternatives, in light of gradual public abandonment of official university support.

Nonetheless, this does not justify the humiliation of our mother University. This big sign hanging over the historic gates of our university, especially with the target consumers being the students on campus, not outside, is unnecessary! Why is the sign directed towards the public street, right by the main entrance, meters above the gates of the JU?!

We all know that the Jordan University is based over a relatively vast expanse of turf, with its buildings and schools scattered across its area; the mall could have been built on the backside of the University instead of where it stands now!

Truly a humiliating sight; unfitting of the University of Jordan and its great place. And we hope the new chairman interferes immediately and victor for the dignity of University of Jordan, its graduates, and students.