Monday, November 14, 2005

Queen Rania

Ever since her ascendancy to the throne as a full fledged Queen of Jordan in the late nineties, Queen Rania has been very active on a number of fronts promoting domestic social programs, as well as polishing the image of the Kingdom abroad. Nevertheless, her efforts have been largely well below the radar level and haven't gained the necessary momentum to generate the broad based publicity necessary to put her directly under the spot light.

Fast forward to October 8, 2005. A massive earthquake strikes the country of Pakistan killing tens of thousands and injuring twice as many and leaves hundreds of thousands of Pakistani people without any shelter. Queen Rania, being the compassionate person that she is volunteered her services to the victims of the earthquake, and vowed to raise a massive public awareness campaign on behalf of the victims, exposing their case before the world public opinion, generating as much donations as it can be possibly generated.

Consequently, we couldn't miss noticing Queen Rania appearing at different times of the day on various satellite television stations promoting the cause of donations and soliciting other material help that can be provided to the earthquake victims. While it is very hard to measure the fruits of her Majesties message, it nevertheless gained a lot of publicity, and the Queens stature has been elevated in eyes of the people that watched these public announcements.

Queen Rania must have learned a lot about all of the human being sufferings while visiting the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan and while making those television appearances before the world audience, as her next performance shall be her best ever.

Fast forward again to November 11, 2005. Three Iraqi nationals blow themselves up in three different Jordanian hotels killing over fifty people and injuring over a hundred, a fourth bomber failed to detonate and was later apprehended by the authorities. Jordan goes numb, the country in deep mourning, no one can come up with a logical explanation to answer the questions : Why us? Why now ?

In the midst of all of the commotions, here comes Queen Rania appearing on Good Morning America for an interview on a television show that is shown across the United States coast to coast by millions of American on a daily basis.

The queen had made a very compelling case articulating the reasons for what happened and why did it happen, and despite her stunning performance the first time around, the queen must have felt that there is more to be said about this despicable act of barbarity that will go to any length for the purpose of inflicting pain and suffering on normal ordinary people enjoying a wedding party.

Fast forward one last time to November 13, 2005, in an exclusive interview with George Stepanapolus, the host ABC this week show, another nationally televised news show watched by millions of Americans on a weekly basis and shown coast to coast, here comes Queen Rania, poised, very elegantly dressed, speaking very authoritatively, and delivering a stunning super flawless performance. I must admit that I have never seen her so determined and so reassuring the way I seen her yesterday on this week program.

The host Mr. Stepanapolus tried to ask her very tricky questions, but the more the difficult the questions were, the better the answer she would give. Queen Rania described the attacks as attacks purely and simply directed against the people. There were no military instillations at those hotels, they weren't governmental institutions, the people are the ones who suffered the consequences of the atrocities.

I was so proud of Queen Rania, I have never seen any one from Jordan that was able to articulate the Jordanian position towards the bombing the way Queen Rania articulated it.

She connected all of the dots, replied to every question in a very coherent and cogent fashion, I wish for those who still have any kind of doubts about my Queen to watch the interviews and judge for themselves.

If you would ask me today I would have to say that Queen Rania is the best and most eloquent living public speaker in Jordan. The message has been delivered your Majesty, we are very proud of you Jordanian abroad, you have made us raise our heads high and our shoulders aplomb.

Our pledge to you and to Jordan that we will be the invisible soldiers spreading the good word about Jordan and polishing the image of the Kingdom abroad in every step of the way. This is the very least that we can do, fighting terrorism is not a one round match, it is several rounds, and just because the terrorists got away with one round, they will not get away with any successive rounds because we are determined along with your leadership to completely stamp them out .

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Condemnation & Commiseration

I strongly condemn the cowardly bombing act committed by unknown terrorists against the civilian facilities and people of Jordan.

I offer my sincere condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed. Those egregious acts are affront to humanity and they can never be justified under any circumstances.

I hope the the adroit Jordanian authorities quickly apprehend and punish the perpetrators.

May Allah have mercy on the souls of the dead and help the wounded recover in a swift and speedy fashion.

I'm so shocked and outraged to the point where I'm finding it hard to come up with the appropriate words for my condemnation and commiseration message.

To Allah we belong and to him we shall return.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Waiting for a verdict

The prosecution has rested its case after many hours of prolonged closing argument, the defendant isn't expected to call any witnesses. The verdict will be delivered as soon as the Jury completes its deliberation.

Dr. Al-Arian insists that he isn't what the prosecutor says what he is,namely; the lead chief financial arm of Palestinian Al-Jihad organization in the United States. The professor acquiesces to doing many charitable work raising funds on behalf of the Palestinian,but he insists time and again that he isn't a terrorist, never supported terrorism, and whatever he did is permissible and protected under the United States constitution.

The prosecutor on the other hand draws a very grim picture about who Al-Arian is and depicts him as the main Jihad Palestinian organization man in the United States.

It is an obvious harbinger of more woes to come.

I'm not sure what is the defendant's strategy behind not calling any witnesses and not countering some or all of the charges that were leveled against him. why did he chose to let this opportunity go is really a mystery to me.

I hope that he was not thinking that he will never get a fair trial no matter what he does, or no matter what kind of a defense he puts forth. Irrespective of the outcome of the trial, the defendant should have seized the opportunity by at least attempt to let the American Judicial system work to his advantage

"Jihad" is perhaps the most misunderstood word in America, if anyone hears it being uttered, right away they think that you are talking about a holy war even if you are yelling at an individual named Jihad.

For that reason alone Dr. Al-Arian and his attorney should have mounted a very succinct defense if for nothing else, it would be for explaining all of the meanings of the word "Jihad"

Monday, November 07, 2005

Dead on arrival

Did anyone hear anything about the national agenda? It was supposed to be delivered to the king after the Eid holiday ! The Eid holiday has come and gone and we still haven't heard anything that even remotely resembles the national agenda? What is going on? Is the national agenda dead on arrival? A writer in Al-ghad newspaper named Nimri stated in an Op-ed quoted a former Jordanian official telling him that the fate of the national agenda will be the waste basket. Another writer for the weekly Star named Janbek quoted the Jordanian Prime minister Adnan Badran saying that he doesn't know why was he hired for the position of the prime minister and he also doesn't know when will he be leaving that position.

A third writer in Al Dustour Jordanian Daily named Hussein Rawashdeh stated in his Op-ed that there is a mass confusion as to whether the national agenda articles are mere thoughts, suggestions, and recommendations, or are they edicts, canons, and invariables?

Meanwhile, the deputy Prime minister, Mr. Marwan Muasher is talking about printing a 200 mini version of the national agenda along with small booklets highlighting the most important article in the national agenda to be distributed for the general public and for the students in schools and universities, in addition, he will embark upon a public awareness campaign to tout the national agenda and remove all of the misunderstandings that are surrounding it especially amongst the skeptics in our society.

It isn't very unusual for initiates to die before the see the day light, I can think of too big initiatives that died before they started, the first is president Clinton universal health care system, it was met with so much opposition to the point where it ended in the waste basket soon after it was announced in the early nineties.

A more recent example would be the Bush's privatization of social security initiative, the President went out on the limb trying to promote his initiative, he pulled all of the punches and used all of the tricks in the book to make it sound good and beneficial to the average American citizen, never less, and despite all of his sincere attempts the initiative went down the tube and before it gained any momentum it too went down to the waste basket.

In Jordan I can think of two big initiatives that got doomed as well, one being the initiative about Jordan First, despite all of whoopla, and the public service announcements and the repeated slogans that were hoisted to support it all over the country, the initiative has never gain the necessary support needed to lift it high above the ground. It is still around but living in a state of comatose.

The other popular initiative that was also doomed to failure was the attempt to cancel the penal code that forgives or lesson the sentence on the people that kill their relatives in the name of honor crimes.

That initiative was debated in the Parliament chamber for many months upon months and in the end it was doomed to failure, even on repeated attempts to reinvigorate it once more have also failed due to tremendous pressure and opposition.

I understand that we all like to think of Jordan as a modern advanced, technologically equipped state, and to certain extent it is that and much more, but again Jordan is still a tribal society ruled largely by tribal laws and big family names, and it will take quite a bit of more time to get out of our tribal clannish mentality.

Let us hope that the national agenda gets delivered as soon as possible as this delay doesn't seem to be caused by what they say it is caused by, proof reading, printing, and-- putting it on the internet doesn't take that long.

The haggling, pushing, and shoving appears to be over the election law and not about those other lame excuses that we have been hearing. Coming up with election law should have been a top priority for the agenda committees, but since they let go until the end it has now come back to hunt them.

At this point in time, there is no if and or but about it, the national agenda must become public between now and the next week or two, otherwise, the credibility of the people involved will be on the line.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Change is coming...

In light of the flurry of activities that are taking place in the political circuits, political pundits, media czars, and opinion makers in Jordan are gambling on one of two things that are going to shape the next political atmosphere in Jordan immediately or soon after the Eid holiday is over.

Some zealots went even as far as predicting the demise of both; the legislative as well as the executive branches of the the government since neither one of them is showing any signs that it is willing to streamline their delivery agenda to coincide with the demands of the current internal as well as the external wind of change that are influencing Jordan in particular and the whole surrounding region in general.

If I have to make a wild guess as to whether the Jordanian parliament will be dissolved or the government of prime minister Badran will meet its final demise, it would be the latter.

Mr. Badran's government was doomed to failure from the onset, first and foremost it ignored the geographical factors influencing the political scene in Jordan, thereby the representation of some southern regions were totally ignored which caused an uproar amongst the tribal southern leaders and eventually lead to the reshuffling of the government while it was in its infancy even before receiving its mandatory endorsement from the parliament,

Secondly, it carelessly & intentionally carried over the same economics team that was dumped from the previous government despite the repeated warnings that this team was very unpopular amongst the opinion makers and was further accused with practicing massive unnecessary spending.

Thirdly, the executive branch appears to be always at odds with the legislative branch despite the denial by both branches about a deep resentment existing between them ever since the tepid endorsement the government received from the parliamentarians allowing it to function as a legitimate government under the law.

Finally, King Abdullah is faced with a choice between which branch is easier to dump without disrupting the flow of every day activities and without too much repercussions by the general public! When the King weighs the pros and cons he will conclude that it is much easier to get rid of the government and form new one that is willing to not only be pliant to the National agenda, but rather -one that will embrace the national agenda and sincerely believes in the biblical implementation of its recommendations especially the articles that deal with monitoring and bench marking now and for many years to come--accordingly.

Despite the fact that the agenda experts have already completed, signed, and delivered the sealed agenda dissertation to the appropriate personnel, the problem with the election laws is still looming large, it appears that the experts were not able to reach a formula where by a conciliation between the existing law and the proposed law can be enacted, it was left alone as to what the next move is going to be.

While we did hear through leaks that there will be two votes for each constituent, it wasn't exactly clear how these two votes will be cast. It was believed that one vote would be for the district or region, and a second one would be for the national vote.

While this issue is still pending, it would be very difficult for the King to dissolve the Parliament, he even said it on his own that dissolving the Parliament is out of the question.

In this case there is nothing left but to dissolve the Badran Government for the reason that I have listed above and for the reason that the government general perception in the public opinion polls indicate that it is a weak government that lacks the decisiveness existed in previous governments in Jordan.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I don't know what is going on with me lately but the feeling of lethargy has taken over my life. I'm hoping that it might be the Ramadan period is what contributed to this lethargic feeling, but I'll have to wait and see what happens when the fasting is over.

You can't imagine how bad it has gotten lately, I just hate to do anything, I feel that the smallest task is in my view a huge chore. All I want to do is cut corners and minimize the tasks to the lowest possible level that it can be minimized.

I have not cut the grass around the house for a long time, I didn't trim the bushes,prune the trees, or collect the falling leaves. I didn't wash my car, change its oil, or even put windshield cleaning liquid in it.

I didn't buy any Eid clothing for my children, heck, I didn't even polish my shoes for ages. I hate to loosen the necktie all the way so I don't have to re tie it the next time I want to wear it again.

My to do list has become several pages long, some of the items on my to do list is fairly new while other items are carry over from previous years, yet, all of it is still outstanding.

Sometimes I think that may be I'm depressed and I need to go on vacation to freshen up and rejuvenate myself, but the sooner I think about it the sooner that I forget about it and get up the next day much earlier than the previous day so I can make it to work on time.

Last time I got a hair cut was based on increased demand by my wife and by my secretary at work, they both urged me to find the time to cut my hair because I looked like a monster in their eyes.

I'm not busy at all, my job isn't very demanding, my wife and my children very much maintain themselves by themselves, they do need me to provide the necessary revenue to keep the household moving, but beyond that point they don't ask for too much of support other than what I'm able to give.

I'm financially stable, I don't have money problem, I mean I'm not rich at all but I earn enough to secure a decent life for me and for my family, so it couldn't have been a financial problem.

I don't know what to do next or what kind of changes do I need to make to get out of the lethargic state of affairs that I'm living in right now. I'm hoping that something will click and alter my mood.

I can't vouch as to when will this something click, this week, next week, or even never. I'm not really worried about this status because my life is moving as if nothing is happening and I'm the only one who is aware of this situation and this is the first time that I decided to write about it in a spontaneous fashion.

I didn't plan to write about this topic at all, I was planning to write about the national agenda and what changes it may inspire after its revelation next week, but some how & for some odd reason I found myself writing about my lethargy and the lethargic feeling that I'm going through.