Al-Sadi: Seeking political reform

Monday, May 23, 2011 at 10:05pm
By Wael Al-Sadi

Over the past few months, there have been major reforms in the Middle East in hopes of leading to political and economic reform in the governments of the region’s countries. One of these countries — the Kingdom of Jordan — lies close to my heart, because it is my home country.

There has been civil unrest in the nation; the citizens have been petitioning for their rights in hopes of leading to a more democratic government sector for the people. This is nothing new considering the trend of most Middle Eastern countries at this time, but what makes Jordan stand out is the nation’s tactics on achieving reform. Jordanians are not pursuing violent measures; rather, they are trying to take a peaceful, democratic perspective on their hopes for reform.

The people in Jordan are still hoping for political reforms by the government of Jordan, but they are not demanding violence because they do not want civil unrest. Jordan is made up of several different types of people. The most predominant are Jordanians and Palestinian-Jordanians, and they do not want to see a separation of the two because this issue is not an issue between citizen-to-citizen but citizen-to-government.

The people of Jordan fear uprises like those that happened in Egypt, Libya and other nations in the Middle East that have had reform revolution riots. So in an effort to give the government of Jordan a chance to reform quietly, the Friday afternoon demonstrations have been small and peaceful.

I have been living in Nashville for 10 years, and I have seen the importance of basic human rights. Being able to speak openly and have the freedom of choice and not fearing persecution because of one’s opinions is something that my American friends do not understand, but my friends back home in Jordan live with every day.

The citizens of Jordan have the opportunities to seek education but there are restraints on this knowledge. The government censors the media. According to the CIA World Fact Book, the unemployment rate for Jordan is 13.4 percent compared to the only 9 percent rate in the United States and the 9.5 percent in Tennessee. While taking in this statistic, keep in mind that Jordan is only about half the size of the state of Tennessee yet is home to over 6.4 million people.

Censorship, unemployment and the lack of rights contribute to the oppression of the citizens of Jordan and their need for reform to bring about changes. Jordanians want reform but not at the risk of disrupting stability. Together and through democratic organization, the people of Jordan can achieve their needs. They need a government that is by the people, of the people and for all of the people.

The ongoing reforms in the Middle East are relevant to Americans because they need to know how hard others are fighting to get the rights that they are naturally born with here in the United States. Tennesseans need to know and understand these issues because there is a significant population of Arab immigrants, specifically Jordanian immigrants, residing in the region. Awareness and understanding, cooperation and community are what make change possible.

To help support these reforms in my home country of Jordan, I am trying to educate my friends here in Nashville about what is happening overseas and the impact that these changes can have not only on Jordan, but on the whole Middle East. I have started a Facebook page (Democracy for Jordan) and Twitter page (@reform4jordan) for my cause. 

Wael Al-Sadi has been working in the service industry as a cashier in Nashville for 10 years. He is currently looking to return to school to further his education in economics.

Filed under: City Voices

11 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 5/24/11 at 5:15

nice article, Wael!

By: budlight on 5/24/11 at 6:31

The most predominant are Jordanians and Palestinian-Jordanians, and they do not want to see a separation of the two because this issue is not an issue between citizen-to-citizen but citizen-to-government.

And you are correct; it should be this way all over the world. Pray for peace. Prayers work.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/11 at 6:42

I have considered Jordan to be a light for the future in the Middle East for sometime now. I hope that it will produce people like you, Wael Al-Sadi.

By: serr8d on 5/24/11 at 7:58

Jordan IS Palestine. End of story.

A nice article today in the NYT by Stanley Fish, "What's Up With the Jews?"

So which is it? Jews are a success story, or Jews are a plague? Don’t mess with Jews, or blame Jews for everything in sight the moment you get drunk? Jews are victims (expulsions, pogroms, the Holocaust), or Jews are victimizers (rapacious bankers, shyster lawyers, land-grabbers and ethnic cleansers)? Jews are devils and sub-human vermin (a Nazi trope), or Jews are God’s chosen people?

The answer is all of the above and much more, for, as many before me have observed, the Jew as a cultural/ historical figure is oversaturated, which means that the meanings that accrue to him (or her, but mostly him) are in excess of any empirical record and accumulate like barnacles without any regard for the law of contradiction. Attitudes, especially negative ones, toward Jews flourish whether there are Jews around or not. Anti-Semitism survives in Poland even though most of its Jews have either fled or been killed. There is anti-Semitism in China, but few actual Jews.

And there is anti-Semitism in America, unfortunately, it's on the rise.

I mention this because I'll bet Loner will be interested in reading Fish (what with all the Jew-bashing going on, especially emanating from the White House, Loner's probably walking around with a perpetual boner) and he will likely again emphatically swear that he's NOT anti-Semitic, only anti-Zionist. Something I find just a bit disingenuous, really.

FYI, I support Israel, Israeli Jews, Zionism and the ongoing efforts by Israel to stay alive in a region surrounded by near-beasts (yes, those who would strap on bombs and shoot rockets willy-nilly into neighborhoods earn that qualifier AFAIC).

By: serr8d on 5/24/11 at 8:01

My favorite Jew.

(Other than Bibi, of coursed!)

By: Loner on 5/24/11 at 10:36

This LTE is certainly different than the normal stuff published in the NCP. Welcome to America, Wael-Al Sadi.

My views concerning the US-Israel "special relationship" are well-known to the regular posters here. In fact, I have worn out my welcome with many of them.

As long as Jordan remains a monarchy; its development will be retarded. Jordan needs to evolve into becoming a constitutional republic. US-subsidized Royal Families are very difficult to remove from power...good luck!

Direct US aid to the apartheid Jewish state amounts to over 3 billion per year. US aid to Egypt and Jordan is actually indirect aid to benefit Israel and that means another 3 billion in US payouts to Israel's former enemies.

Of course, we were targeted on 9-11 because we finance Israel's wars of aggression and its brutal occupations. Holy Wars Suck.

We invaded and occupied Afghanistan and then Iraq for Israel's benefit. Those wasted billions and wasted lives are also indirect aid to the apartheid Jewish state.

As for recent developments, Bibi Netanyahu lectured the US President in the Oval Office and he is scheduled to address Congress this week - he was invited by the Obama-hating House Republicans - the GOP is trying to make US support for apartheid Zionism a wedge issue.

I suspect tha the Israeli leadership is mulling its options for removing the "existential threat" they see in Obama's policies. JFK posed such a threat in 1963 and he was snuffed....LBJ then acquiesced to Israel's demands for a nuclear weapons program.

The Israelis are not our allies, they have never joined the USA, as our ally, in any military engagement anywhere. They did attack the USS Liberty in a prolonged air and sea attack in June 1967. Thirty-four US sailors were killed, dozens more maimed in the deliberate, hours-long was never a case of "mistaken identity". Again, LBJ immediately forgave the Israelis...they had him by the scrotum.

Obama should shake-up his staff and weed out the Israeli agents; he is being targeted by people who believe that the ends justify the means.

Will it be President Biden running against Eric Cantor in 2012?

By: gdiafante on 5/24/11 at 1:58

I've never bought the premise that 9/11 was reaction to our support of Israel. It had more to do with American feet on the ground in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and turning our back on Afghanistan once the Soviets withdrew.

By: Loner on 5/24/11 at 4:19

Gdiafante, thinks that Bin Laden concealed his true motives for the 9-11 attacks; instead, he believes the AIPAC-approved version of the story.

Bin Laden would have no reason to conceal his motives, but that fact is conveniently overlooked.

Israel, of course, would prefer that Americans believe the canard that the US-Israel special relationship had nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden's antipathy towards the USA.

Gdiafante, like millions of other Americans, is probably beyond reasoning with on these issues; he's a willing submissive with an unshakable affinity for apartheid Israel. His contempt for the Palestinians is the result of decades of constant exposure to AIPAC propaganda and its repetition in the Israel-friendly US media.

In contrast with that Israel-first attitude, I prefer America, not some foreign country advancing US interests in the ME and across the globe. Folks like Gdiafante believe that Israel's national interests are congruent with , if not identical to US interests, so they are comfortable with the Israelis calling the shots for Uncle Sam. They trust Israel to advance US interests.

Gdiafante and millions of other American dupes have no problem with the Jewish State receiving billions in United States taxpayer-generated monies and enjoying near unanimous representation in the US Congress, while paying absolutely nothing in US taxation.

Representation without taxation - the Founders would be dumbfounded to witness this strange turn of events. We pay them tribute, they do not pay us tribute. Which state, therefore is the vassal state, the United States, or the Jewish State?

Naturally, I have been branded as being an "anti-Semite", for expressing my criticisms of the unnatural relationship between the putatively secular United States and Israel, the self-proclaimed "Jewish State". That's a spurious allegation - a knee-jerk reaction to anyone who dares to criticize the lop-sided "special relationship", or Israel's apartheid policies and its brutal occupations of Arab lands.

There, that's a tidy little rant for the boys to chew on....enjoy.

By: serr8d on 5/24/11 at 6:10

Bibi didn't need no stinking rant, just wise words given to those who have the intelligence to listen...

The Jewish people are not foreign occupiers. We’re not the British in India, or the Belgians in the Congo. This is the land of our forefathers… no distortion of history will deny the 4000 year old bond between the Jewish people and the Jewish land.

So put that in your bong and smoke it~!

More from Bibi on the path Arab nations are (finally) taking, the path to Liberty...

Israel has always embraced this path, in the Middle East has long rejected it. In a region where women are stoned, gays are hanged, Christians are persecuted, Israel stands out. It is different.

As the great English writer George Eliot predicted over a century ago, that once established, the Jewish state will "shine like a bright star of freedom amid the despotisms of the East.” Well, she was right. We have a free press, independent courts, an open economy, rambunctious parliamentary debates. You think you guys are tough on one another in Congress? Come spend a day in the Knesset. Be my guest.

Courageous Arab protesters, are now struggling to secure these very same rights for their peoples, for their societies. We're proud that over one million Arab citizens of Israel have been enjoying these rights for decades. Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights. I want you to stop for a second and think about that. Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one-half of one-percent are truly free, and they're all citizens of Israel! ...

So now here is the question. You have to ask it. If the benefits of peace with the Palestinians are so clear, why has peace eluded us? Because all six Israeli Prime Ministers since the signing of Oslo accords agreed to establish a Palestinian state. Myself included. So why has peace not been achieved? Because so far, the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept a Palestinian state, if it meant accepting a Jewish state alongside it.

You see, our conflict has never been about the establishment of a Palestinian state. It has always been about the existence of the Jewish state. This is what this conflict is about. In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition the land into a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews said yes. The Palestinians said no. In recent years, the Palestinians twice refused generous offers by Israeli Prime Ministers, to establish a Palestinian state on virtually all the territory won by Israel in the Six Day War.

They were simply unwilling to end the conflict. And I regret to say this: They continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees.

My friends, this must come to an end. President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people, and I told you it wasn’t easy for me, and I said… "I will accept a Palestinian state." It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say… "I will accept a Jewish state."

Those six words will change history.

Hey, he's saying that Islam must yank a knot into those of their numbers who would take their peaceful religion and hijack it, use it to attract those who are and who would support psychopaths who fly planes into skyscrapers. A long-needed reform to make Islam less susceptible to furious Imams and ranting Ayatollahs who school young people to embrace suicide death missions. A novel idea, no?

Speak after me, Islamicists: "I will accept a Jewish state". Then, "We will root out those among us who hijack Islam for evil, wicked, mean and nasty purposes".

Make it so. Then, and only then, will there be peace in the Middle East.,7340,L-4073389,00.html

By: Loner on 5/24/11 at 8:21

Serr8d, the American patriot. He raves over Bibi's racist rantings, but rejected and ridiculed the US president's recent ME speech. With patriots like that, who needs foreign agents?

Serr8d is not alone in this Israel-first worldview.

"Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Mr. Obama’s views were the “wrong-headed approach."


I posted the following comment on the comment thread for that Washington Times article; I'm re-posting it here:

My God, Helen Thomas was absolutely right. Christian and Jewish Zionists do control the US Congress. And they certainly control the editorial board of this right-wing rag.

Israel's state-sponsored abortion mills terminate tens of thousands of Israeli pregnancies every year, yet the US Christian "right-to-life" groups say nothing about it. Israel still qualifies for 3 Bn in annual US aid, regardless of their high abortion rate.

Israel enjoys US representation without US taxation, as well as US compensation without US taxation and anyone who complains is an "anti-Semite". That's BS.

The American Founders would be dumbfounded to see the United States act as a vassal state to a Jewish theocracy in Palestine.

A fawning US Congress "raves" over the ideas of a foreign head of state, while characterizing the US president's ideas as "wrong-headed".

AIPAC & JACPAC campaign donations have been exceedingly effective; the US Congress is now controlled by de facto Israeli agents.....Shameful!

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