Isn’t what you’re doing to us shameful?

Maher Abu Tair (Photo: JNews)
Most officials in Jordan today are graduates of Western universities, but as soon as they take office, they forget everything they learned, and apply the strangest of recipes on this country.اضافة اعلان

I have never heard of a Western country where an official distributes food coupons of JD35, $35, or 35 pounds to their country’s representatives, to be distributed to the poor and those in need in their electoral districts, under the guise of social solidarity.

Imagine if the head of the UK government distributed such coupons to members of the British parliament, and the representatives stood up in applause at Westminster, in gratitude of this governmental gesture.

You might hear, for example, about coupons for the homeless in the US in some cases, but what should be done is to improve direct and cash social support allocations, not to distribute coupons and create discord between representatives and electors by letting each deputy choose who they like in their district to give them a grant of JD35, so they can exchange it for food.

No one knows what the curse is that befalls Western university graduates when they take office. Most of them are taught in a certain way and are influenced in a certain way, but in this country, they become political mutants. If you criticize them they throw you in jail, for example, as if they have figured out that we, as a people, are not worthy of living up to the higher ideals they have found while living among those nations.

The most martial of officials in the history of Jordan are those who were educated in the most liberal of countries. However, they have studied the differences between the two approaches. Perhaps they have secretly come to the conclusion that compromise does not work with us, and oppression suits us better.

How can it be that the people have turned into collection baskets, competing for official aid packages, food grants, zakat funds, and charities?

The real unemployment rate is higher than the publicized one. People in this country have undergone social reconstruction, with those who used to refuse aid packages now employing wasta to get a package, and those who were too proud to stand in line at a charity association for JD10, are now relented, as their lives have reached impossible levels of difficulty.

The best days that Jordan has seen are those when its officials were of nationalist, conservative, ultra-right ideals, with the majority of them graduating from universities in Jordan, Cairo, Baghdad, or Damascus. Those officials were closer to the people; they were actually aware that these solutions are not fit for their people. In fact, their time was more blessed, and their solutions were sensible, addressing the root cause of the problem. We didn’t hear about food coupons then, nor charity association queues and aid packages.

This comparison may be unfair. It’s as if we are saying that the graduates of the West are not fit for the Orient, which is not the point. The point is to compare two eras, in which the majority of officials during the first one were graduates of the Middle East and the universities of its oppressive regimes, belonging to segment of social ideologies that morally compel them to find solutions that respect the social structure. Meanwhile, in the second era, some officials are disconnected from the street, even accusing citizens of being too entitled, complaining a lot, being lazy, and not wanting to work, believing that there are no solutions other than putting out fires with a food package somewhere, and a zakat of JD10 somewhere else.

Isn’t it shameful that in 2021, while we celebrate the beginning of our second centenary, we employ these harmful stereotypes of some former MPs, for food packages and aid coupons? Add to that what we already know about food aid queues, and the search for medication. Reform should have tackled the economic, social, and medical systems, in a manner that preserves people’s dignity and grants them their rights, instead of these offenses that made an example of us in the Middle East.

All this new social engineering is not carried out by ultra-conservative graduates of Jordan, Baath universities in Syria and Iraq, or Egyptian universities. It is carried out by the graduates of the West, and what the West represents is entrenching human rights rather than charity.

In 2021, fix our economic and social systems instead of giving us charity.

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