An American of Jordanian origin

تم نشره في Wed 9 April / Apr 2014. 06:27 PM - آخر تعديل في Wed 9 April / Apr 2014. 06:28 PM

By Muhammad Aburumman

If my readers could excuse me today, I am hosting a beautiful, critical, and maybe painful comment I received on my article “Where do they disappear”, abridged due to space considerations*:

Yazan Eisa wrote the comment, titled “An American of Jordanian origin”:

"I congratulate these scientists on their efforts, and thank God that they survived the university and social violence. I wish for them to try and travel to a country that has enough respect for them, and a the private sector with godfathers like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

"My eldest son is five years old, and he is on his first visit to Jordan. Honestly, I tell you that from the minute he arrived at my family’s home in one of the major cities (not Amman), he has been asking: Why all this garbage in the streets? Why are the children running in the streets, where are their parents? Why people do not abide by the Stop sign? And other questions to which I cannot find a convincing answer to a five-year-old child. These reasons, but on a larger scale, that result in killing those innovations in Jordan.

If the inventions were serving sectors like acting, tourism, and ugly capitalism — in its ugliest forms in the Arab world — you would have found hundreds of those willing to adopt it.

Case in point, the Arab capital only focuses on trade and its revenues, paying no attention to industry and production because the return on investment needs more time and more effort. Additionally, the service sector creates only few job opportunities and costs less than others.

I closely know five Jordanian youth who studied and live in the city I live in. All of them stayed here after they graduated, and will get the US citizenship within years.

My wife is originally American, preparing a Ph.D. in genetic engineering in one of the most prestigious universities in the world. When she looked for a research opportunity in the Middle East, she did not find any country that does leading scientific research in her sector in the Middle East except in Israel.

Incidentally, there was a cabinet reshuffle a couple of years ago in Jordan, and there were ministers with Ph.D. degrees from some of the prestigious universities in the US. Back then, some of the conservative writers at a Jordanian newspaper taunted their degrees, saying that a minister needs “Hata and Ogal”** and “dark forearms”***.

"Truthfully, I wish that these innovators migrate rather than stay in this cemetery of energies, and by this I mean the Arab world. Arab money is busy destroying all hope of a decent life possible for all Arab people. Altogether, at least in Western countries, one does not suffer injustice.

"Three members of the Senate of Canada were dismissed from work and were referred to an investigation, which was broadcast live, because they filed receipts for travel expenses higher than the average of the other members of the senate! The difference here is a few tens of thousands of dollars, in a few years, and was interpreted as an abuse of the trust granted to them by the taxpayers!

One commentator, Basma Hindi, wrote once thatshe is afraid that some might look for a greener homeland — and those who do not do that are not sane. I say it, biting the bullet, that the number of victims of car accidents in Ontario two years ago was 27, and the number of Ontario’s residents is twice that of Jordan, and they have a problem with driving under the influence of alcohol. The universities studied traffic safety to no end, and came up with recommendations that were adopted — note that the driving in the winter often makes controlling the vehicle a miracle; I wonder how many people does Jordan annually lose due to traffic accidents?!”


*This article was originally published in Arabic, in Al Ghad print edition for Thursday, April 9, 2014.

** Traditional Jordanian headdress. Hata is a headscarf and Ogal is a headband.

***Reference to being engaged in manual labor.


This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.