After a short visit to Lebanon with my family, I noticed the setback Lebanon is going through. I couldn’t but feel it was badly affected by the regional turmoil. Police were all over the streets, the downtown, malls even restaurants were almost empty.
I thought it’s okay to speak politics there, so during my taxi rides, I asked taxi drivers about what they think will happen in Syria and they all made it clear that they can’t speak out their mind. “Its dangerous” they said and they politely asked me to change the subject.
It’s very sad indeed, and I hope it is temporary as Lebanon usually has freedom of speech than most Arab countries, yet we should pause and think twice. Jordan has been surrounded by neighboring crises for ages, it has faced many attempts to create chaos and instability yet we managed to overcome all of the challenges through wise political decisions.
I couldn’t but compare, the freedom and democracy Jordan has given us is sadly unappreciated and is taken for granted most of the times.
On the other hand, it’s great to hear how many Lebanese people talk highly of Jordan. We discussed many issues there, even their controversial parliamentarian law which many disapprove of. Yet, when it comes to Jordan they kept repeating: “Jordan’s security and stability is what you should cherish.”
Perhaps we should learn from other people’s mistakes and listen to their advice.
We all miss sitting in a restaurant and not speaking politics. We all miss relaxing on Fridays with no protests. Yet, I can assure you we are heading in the right direction. Having the MENA-ICT Forum, the Jordan-US Business Forum, the visit of Crown Prince Charles and the upcoming visit of President Obama at the end of the week followed by his one-day site-seeing tour of Petra is a big sign that Jordan will always be a hub for the region, a safe gateway to the Middle East and a key player for peace and stability in the region. This is our Jordan. And it’s back on track.