Jordan between two eras … What has changed socially and politically in the Kingdom?

The young Daham al-Fawaz – the son of a sheikh of a Jordanian tribe from Mafraq – recalls how the close relationship between his late father, Sheikh Mithqal al-Fawwaz, was with the late King Hussein bin Talal, who kept visiting them at home and sharing their joys and sorrows.

Al-Fawaz recounts to “Arabi 21” an aspect of Jordan’s history on the 22nd anniversary of King Hussein’s death, highlighting an era in which the clan occupied an advanced position in support of the pillars of Hashemite rule, but he believes that some aspects have occurred on the scene.

He says to “Arabi 21”: “It is not in the public interest to administer the back to those who consider a shield to build and protect this state alongside the higher authority.”

The Jordanian clans had a strong relationship with the Hashemites since the arrival of Prince Abdullah bin Al Hussein to the city of Maan in southern Jordan in 1920, and the establishment of the Emirate of Transjordan a year later, and the tribes historically received special treatment in government jobs.

The Jordanian tribes have historically been supportive of the regime and the state, but economic conditions have accompanied the marginalization of some tribal leaders in favor of “liberal” personalities, which made members of the tribes move from the loyalty square to the opposition square. To demand the return of the public sector funds that were privatized and fight corruption, and within years the clans launched reform movements bearing the names of the clan.

Political, economic and social transformations

The journalist, Fayez Al-Fayez, believes that “political, economic and social transformations in Jordan began to be evident in the mid-seventies of the last century, as internal and external factors influenced the outcome that brought the regime to stability, supported by aid from countries that supported the policy of the late King Al-Hussein, Hussein’s movements transcended the global axes, as Jordan’s link with Western policy did not intersect with his engagement on the socialist side represented by the Soviet bloc, which supported the wheel of industry, trade and the expansion of education that raised the efficiency of the workforce and state employees.

He continues: “From here, social transformations began to give impetus to the creep towards cities in search of better sources of livelihood, and this has produced, with the passage of time, a discrepancy between social classes, matched by a break of the previously prevailing concepts, represented in the emergence of a homogeneous and mismatched society.

Al-Fayez said to “Arabi 21”, “All of this has produced new concepts related to political work that deviate from the frameworks on which the old state system, based on the bureaucracy and the military, was born, as capitalism began to appear with its heads with figures who were concentrated in decision-making circles, especially after the return of political and parliamentary life after What was known as the April gift, and the election of a new council brought about different personalities from the usual. “

He adds, “This left its impact on the new approach until the end of the 1990s in the primitive marriage between business and politics, in light of the long martial law that landed its way after many years.” According to him.

Social and political changes began to take shape in the Kingdom after King Abdullah bin Al Hussein ascended to the throne in 1999, when the liberal-minded young king who did not hide his ambition to establish a civil state in a tribal society took over.

King Abdullah II faced regional challenges in the process of his rule that he was able to overcome, through the occupation of Iraq and its repercussions on Jordan and the complications in the Palestinian file, up to the Arab Spring revolutions and the war in Syria, and Jordan was able to overcome these challenges with the least losses.

A change in methodology

Writer Al-Fayez believes that “the new era initiated by King Abdullah II, in which a change took place in the methodology, albeit slow, as King Abdullah inaugurated a new vision and a reading of the future of a modern state, but this was not an easy matter. The king wanted a vision of a modern, civil state that takes into account two generations.” And he was determined to work to change the old stereotypes based on the names that were repeated for a long time, as he tried to skip the stages of progression, but he collided with the strong wall of the past, as his prime minister who continued with him in governance, Fayez Tarawneh, was still an extension of the old bureaucratic era, so he did not It would be easy for the king at that time to accelerate the transformation to the contemporary or simulating pattern of Western development without circumventing the class permeating the official apparatus, but as the years progressed, there was a systematic change in governance, although its effects did not appear until the first decade of the second millennium.

He says, “In the end, it was clear that any change could not take place overnight, as the king was already the son of the military establishment, and it is one of the most important levers of disciplinary bureaucracy, and whatever he tries, he cannot bypass a people whose lifestyle is framed between an ancient tribe and a functional class dependent on The state apparatus is both civil and military, and this kept the old guard as successive tracks accompanying it in the early years, as Tarawneh was succeeded by a new president from the old era, Abdul Raouf al-Rawabdeh, who had previous experiences and political visions that he could not abandon, based on his awareness and anticipation of what was clear about the heralds of comprehensive transformations Socially and politically. “

He continues: “But King Abdullah tried once again to experiment with the civil state, the free market, and non-traditional alliances, so he appointed a president associated with the capitalists represented by Ali Abu Al-Ragheb, who kept the House of Representatives vacant for three years, during which he issued more than two hundred temporary laws that supported the disposal of the old legacy and the adoption of a policy. The open market and the expansion of privatization, which began at the end of the 1980s.

“This produced a contradictory reality in successive government policies between bureaucratic and liberal, which managed to uproot the economic past by introducing so-called strategic partners, which opened the door to global investment for state institutions that were their heavy assets, and in return for limiting the official institution, the real crisis was hiding in Balancing the governments that did not get rid of any of them with a debt bill of less than three billion at best, which made the image of the state a mixture of conservatives, liberals and capitalism, which controls many politically and economically sensitive decisions, and in the end the new era remained clustered with the Old and New Testaments together to face the challenges that The state is facing it, “according to Al-Fayez.

100 years since the founding of the Kingdom

Jordanians will commemorate next April the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Jordanian state. Writer and political analyst Rana Al-Sabbagh says that the most prominent title for her should be “Resilience, Challenge and Growth”. She believes in an interview with “Arabi 21” that “steadfastness is that Jordan was founded in a difficult position.” With scarce resources, it withstood the wind, and stood before the whirlwinds in the unstable region. “

One of the milestones that affected Jordan greatly – according to Al-Sabbagh – “the 1948 war that also left controversy over the form of the state’s identity. During its 100 years of life, the Kingdom acquired billions of grants that contributed to building infrastructure and universities and improving the quality of service provided to citizens, as well as Jordan played a role as a spokesman for the Arabs with the US administration and Israel, but this role changed after Arab countries were printed with Israel, and Jordan lost its pivotal role or as a buffer wall with Israel. “

Al-Sabbagh believes that during the life of the state, “the Kingdom witnessed major changes in regional alliances, while maintaining strategic relations with America and Israel, which provided protection for the Kingdom in many stages.”

But what is the change that occurred between the two periods? To this day we cannot solve the problem of dual identity, and remains the bogeyman of geography and demography. Today we have not been able to decide whether we want to be a modern country or a country closed in on itself and committed to customs and traditions. Political reform was a valley and procedures in another valley, in addition to the spread of corruption horizontally. Vertically, all of this and no one reviewed where we were wrong and where we were hurt. “

Perhaps the internal challenges plagued the Kingdom during the last two decades, most notably the internal economic challenge, after tax policies imposed by the “economic reform” programs developed by the International Monetary Fund, and these programs formed the core of the economic policies of successive governments, which raised prices and fees for basic commodities and allocated institutions in the public sector, which made The Jordanians considered it a “tax and impoverishment policy.”

The writer and political analyst, Labib Al-Kamhawi, says that “the late King Hussein ran an institutional state that affected all aspects of life with controlled security intervention and ruled with relatively democratic self, and that stage witnessed limited corruption, now we sorely miss that.”

Al-Qamhawi now feels that “there is uniqueness in governance and a concentration of powers with one side.” He told “Arabi 21”: “The challenges during the reign of King Hussein were fateful, including the wars with Israel, which had dire consequences, and were faced by the king who took power when he was young He built important institutions such as phosphate, potash and telecommunications, which were later privatized. “

And the kingdom still faces its biggest concerns: high unemployment, armies of frustrated unemployed people, modest economic growth, and a large rise in unemployment rates that exacerbated with the Corona pandemic, which also raised the kingdom’s internal and external debt, in conjunction with a tightening of public freedoms.


Source: عربي21 by arabi21.com.

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