NASEEM TARAWNAH: Even after a year of demonstrations, the overwhelming majority still believe they cannot criticize the government openly.
NASEEEM TARAWNAH: The river has been sucked dry over the decades to nothing more than a trickle of murky water.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: If you had to sum up the last 12 months events in Jordan it would be ‘running round in circles’. And in a single word – ‘corruption’.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: The way Jordan’s authorities have handled issues of public lands illustrates their meaning of the word ‘transparency’.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: Hussein was a politician of consummate skill; it’s a question I can’t help asking on the day he would have turned 76.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: It was until recently thought to be inconceivable to criticise King Abdullah in public. Recent events have shown that, in this remarkable year, another taboo has fallen.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: So, enter Khasawneh. Compared to Bakhit, he’s an out-of-the-box choice. What probably stands out most is his legal background.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: The timing is wrong, the process is wrong and the failure of the authorities to acknowledge the tribal nature of all politics in Jordan has inevitably led to protest.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: So now those of us with dual citizenship will be required to give up our non-Jordanian passports if we wish to serve in government. Not a good sign.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: While those of us in the Middle East may not necessarily face the exact same problems with advertising, we are facing very similar issues.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: There’s a certain inevitability about how ‘pop patriotism’ is played out in Jordan. It was clearly on show during yesterday’s international football game in Amman.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: Thank you Tunisia for lighting a flame. Thank you Egypt for adding the fuel. And thank you Libya for keeping it alive.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: The recent protests in Jordan appear to have attracted attention only because of the number of journalists who were attacked. It offers, however, more evidence of a deeply divided nation.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: We Jordanians have a problem. We’re always comparing ourselves to others but using the worst of the region as our benchmark.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: On and on it goes with no end in sight. Some are calling it a ‘test of democracy’. Really? There are a lot more pressing issues facing the Jordanian people.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: There seems to be a desire to ‘craft’ an acceptable democratic transition in Jordan. The lesson of history is that democratic transition tends to be a little ‘messy’.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: There was mention of ‘an elected government’ but apart from this vague aspiration the speech by King Abdullah stuck to familiar themes.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: 6,000 idiots from 69 countries around the world have signed a petition calling Jordan the alternative homeland for Palestinians?
NASEEM TARAWNAH: So Jordan’s Independence Day has come and gone. It’s a good time perhaps to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learned.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: I joined the March 24th group’s sit-in with little expectation. What I witnessed has changed my view of my homeland.