Jordanians Are Confused!

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Thu 16 March / Mar 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

One of the main factors behind our youth’s confusion and the slip of so many into the clutches of either drugs and deviation, extremism and violence, or alienation and detachment, is inarguably the state itself. We’ve already established that.

The state is incapable of formulating a unifying, collective national identity and vision, nor has the imagination or the appeal to engage the Jordanian aspiration.

There are many questions fundamental to the conceptualisation and realisation of a unified national identity: What kind of country do we want Jordan to become? What kind State will it be? Who are we, as Jordanians?

Naturally, even the elite, include those up in office, conflict over these question.

How then, do we expect our youth to know the answers to such fundamental questions on their own? How is our youth expected to find their own way to the public sphere, contribute to the advancement of society, and reconstruct their relationship with the state, all on their own?!

Generally speaking, these issues are as fundamental and crucial as they are subtle, as opposed to the more evident and tangible problems of poverty and unemployment.

However, it so happens to be that the questions of identity and engagement are far more encompassing than any other issue, especially when it comes to a misguided, frustrated youth, with no plausible prospects or sense of future whatsoever.

In the midst of this confusion, many of them try to escape their shapeless, difficult reality by any means necessary.

As far as government goes, despite the hardships that come with the rise of poverty and unemployment, had there been responsible leaderships among our officials, intellectuals, and politicians; our elite, engaging our youth and leading by example, dedicated to helping them navigate their way through financial difficulty, atop the disappointments of the political climate, so many would have been saved!

Sadly though, it is what it is.

We said it before; our elite, are just as lost and confused as our youth. They are partial in their reasoning, and may even be more discombobulated than the youth themselves!

Some ministers care only about the time they spend in office, whilst other can’t wait to retire to the private sector in order to secure additional income.

Contrarily, perhaps the best of them are concerned solely with the specificities of their sectors.

What we need though, is leadership!

Typically, this left a massive vacancy in the political sphere and vacuumed the state’s rhetoric of political, moral, ethical, cultural, and national values. In time, next to a variety of other issues, the ridge between the public and the government widened, and the state became secluded from the citizenry.

Even with a number of inspiring individuals in office today, some with the biography and intellect worthy of leadership, for the first time in decades, mind you, the government still persists on keeping them in the background.

Instead, some of our current ministers should be brought to the forefront of the public institution. The media too should focus more on those leading examples to inspire and guide our youth!

Put role models in government aside, there is a lot else we can do to reconstruct a unified national sentiment and identity; history, Jordanian history.

The history we teach, be it in our books, novels, drama, cinema, and theatre, is dry, dull, and unengaging. Our ‘narration’ is devoid of spiritual, moral, and philosophical value.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that a considerable portion of our youth, and Jordanians in general, have a foggy vision, at best, if not mutilated, of Jordan’s national history.

Some of these views are pure conspiracy theory than anything else!

Just yesterday, I was browsing through photos of Amman from 1910, when it was almost clear of housing. Many were shocked by these pictures, for they are clueless as to how Amman progressed from bare landscape to one of the Arab World’s most beautiful capitals.

More so, many have no idea how the Jordanian miracle came to be; the transcendence from a state in constant peril to one of the Arab World’s most secure and stable countries!

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.