The Jordanian Dream for 2025

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Mon 24 October / Oct 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Through a series of articles in the daily newspaper, “Al Hayah”, Saudi columnist Jamal Khashuqji, voiced the dreams and aspirations of the Saudi citizen for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by 2030, as opposed to the government’s Saudi “Vision 2030”, which includes the general outlines of transformation within the State, goals, and policies that should preface the attainment of these changes, part of which was the national transformation 2020 programme.

The Saudi governmental plan includes perceptions of the needed changes on the level of services, economics, competitiveness, bureaucratic proficiency, and education, among other things. Khashuqji’s articles, however, entailed the priorities and concerns of the citizenry regarding their own aspirations for the years up to 2030, including political stability, employment, health security, and education, among other issues like the provision of 500 football fields, pedestrian walkways, parking lots, notwithstanding these dreams which fall between the criteria of public policy and economic, social priorities, inclusive of daily services and welfare concerns.

His articles inspired me to read the “Vision 2030” and the Saudi national transformation programme, before going back to the Jordanian 2025 vision, which theoretically, economically, and professionally is no less important nor proficient than Saudi’s 2030 vision. Still the Jordanian plan did not receive the attention of Jordanian citizens, and nor perhaps that of a vast proportion of officials; just a week, tops, after its publicisation, it was thrown into our drawers, the way other documents were!

The Jordanian vision addressed several spheres; from income level to education, health, economy, trade… etc, but its main problem lies in:

First, a lack of credibility. There is zero credibility and public conviction in the State’s intentions to implement the vaster part of its proposed plans, visions, and strategies, in many fields, which has voided all and any effort in these regards all value or importance to citizens.

Mindful that the higher levels of administration do indeed want to implement the Jordanian 2025 strategy, with it highlighted in many speeches and instances on economy, the problem remains that the government still views this in superficial light, and is not taking this new inclination seriously. Governments think only of the time it will spend in office, and in the administration of daily issues, dispatched and devoid of strategic implementation.

If the government itself is not serious about this, how can the citizen be convinced that these strategies are underway?

Second, lack of humanisation; these documents lack humanisation. They are abstract figures, albeit it necessary and required; still, it is all around quantitative, lacking the “Howabouts” of its implementation, which reduces these strategies to deafness, unengaging for the citizen and his thoughts, while most people barely understand it.

That said, if we were really interested in making this “document” part of the Jordanian’s dreams, their priorities and concerns; economic, service, and developmental, they have to be humanised and outlined in a societal prospective, reinforced with qualitative description, captivating to the common eye. And like Khashuqji’s articles, then we may ask: what does the Jordanian citizen aspire to arrive at by 2025? And to what extent do their dreams converge the official economic and financial aspiration in regards to the labour market, employment, education, health insurance, public services, and facilities?

We do not want to overinflate the dream, or sink it in utopic aspirations or ideology. But we, however, do ask: what does the common Jordanian want? A decent residence? And whatever happened the “Sakan Kareem” initiative? Decent transportation? A decent public education? Clean environment? Playgrounds and fields? Facilities? Good jobs? Reform labour regulations, and reconstruct the labour market.

I have a feeling that the Saudi government is serious about these transformations, while we are not; do you agree?!