Rebooting Jordan: do we need a bigger kick in the butt than what happened in Salt?

11/4/2010

The incidents in Al-Salt are just the tip of the iceberg.

Wherever we look in Jordan there are signs: rising family and tribal violence, apathy, lack of quality and a way of life divorced from our real means and natural and human resources.

The decay is affecting much of our national life: from the disastrous state of our universities to the laughable mediocrity of our national TV to the destructive regionalism and tribalism on news websites.

Even “west” Amman is not immune. My 12 year old son who goes to a “good” private school comes home and asks me about the size of our “tribe” (my answer: we have no tribe).

A university teacher recently told me how his architecture students “buy” ready made project almost openly and I’ve witnessed the absolutely bad level of 5th year design students in a jury I recently was part of in a once-proud public university.

Hell, we even can’t spell the word “Restaurant” in English on a building sign, right opposite the 5-Star Amman Intercontinental. It’s maybe “silly” to mention this. But isn’t that a glaring sign of an “I don’t care” culture?

This is not about stolen graduation projects or misspelled signs. This is about a town where one university student killed his colleague with a knife, because of “angry looks”. It’s a town that had to be occupied by security forces after tribal-based violence swept its streets. And this is happening 15 km away from “west” Amman with its fancy cars, restaurants and malls.

Back in 1989, when unrest erupted in various towns in Jordan (over the price of commodities) I remember quite well that the moment violence reached Al-Salt the situation was particularly scary.

Back then, the Late King Hussein ordered a “reboot” of Jordan. That’s how Jordan got back onto the democratic (or semi-democratic) track.

The incidents in Al-Salt and elsewhere should prompt another “reboot” of the country. I’ve read a dozen mainstream newspaper columns in the past 3 days that are all ringing one huge alarm bell and raising a huge red flag. Just read the latest stinging article of Al Arab Al Youm’s Fahed Kheitan about the “tragic end of the success story of Jordan’s universities”. He warns that we are on a path of violence not unlike to what Lebanon experienced before its devastating civil war. “The sectarian violence started in the universities back then. Arms came later”. Depressing words. But we’d better pay attention.

How did our universities and our society get to this point?

In short:

* Blame populist educational policies which resulted in stuffing universities with too many unqualified students and stuffing the country with too many mediocre universities. HRH Prince Hassan had a lot of criticism of that policy in a recent press interview.

* Blame the systemized de-politicization of Jordan’s universities since the early 1990′s. This happened to counter the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and to turn down the volume of opposition to peace with Israel. Instead of encouraging enlightenment, moderation and liberalism in the the universities, fundamentalism was countered with a sick form of “tribalist Jordanism”, which equates patriotism with mindless flag-waving and an over-emphasis of “places of origins” and tribal affiliations.

* Blame easy oil money and the rise of land prices, which brought about mindless consumption patterns and the lack of creative production. Who needs to invent software, revolutionize agriculture or even provide good service when land trading can make you rich overnight?

* Blame our lack of democratic progress. Jordan is more materially and socially developed than its democracy. The election system produces parliaments that simply hold the country back.

We need a reboot. And this time it can’t just come from HM The King alone.

If an earthquake hits us tomorrow, we can be sure that a state of emergency would be declared. The social earthquake has already started hitting. This is a chance for a reboot with the aim of a more democratic, productive and sustainable Jordan:

* The upcoming elections need to be held under a law that is biased AGAINST narrow tribalism and regionalism. Educated and enlightened members of every community should be induced to run for election. Radical ideas (like only allowing people of a certain level of education to run, or giving women a huge quota) should be considered. If there is fear of an Islamist over-domination of the elections, the State should tell them in no uncertain terms that any attempt of encroachment on civil liberties or crazy moralistic legislation will be faced decisively. A very enlightened, respected and liberal-minded Senate can be appointed too.

* Swift action needs to be taken to totally reform schools and higher education. A small committee of wise men and women needs to be appointed with a “war room” mentality. The aim: the determined uprooting of policies that hinder reform. Literally bring the Army in to help clean up the universities and fix the buildings. Students will be required to help with this effort. Government should beg or borrow money to attract great Jordanian and foreign professors to Jordan. Everyone in the universities should be thinking “oh my god, this is serious stuff”.

* A radical economic plan, built around energy, water, human knowledge and innovation should be enacted. Water for swimming pools needs to be taxed like hell. So should extra large cars. Cigarettes should be highly taxed, with proceeds used to rebuild and re-staff public schools. The economic elite needs to be convinced, pressured, encouraged, etc, to start investing in new energy, water collection projects, innovative software and content companies and education. High level guarantees should be given for regulatory stability.

* An immediate restart of a national media project (like what ATV was supposed to be) with TV, online and mobile media outlets is needed NOW. The aim: produce and distribute content with positive messages, critical thinking and cultural openness and the creation of a new internal national identity for Jordan.

A small country like Finland did not rebuild itself after World War II (and produce a global giant like Nokia) by flag waving and fast food consumption, but by considering the brains of its kids as the number 1 national asset.

We need a real reboot. Socially, economically, politically. There are enough good Jordanians to do it.

Or else we will be on path of deterioration or worse.

37 Comments

  1. Tarek says:

    Really moving post…

    I think you should start a blog that’s specific to Jordan… You’ve been posting a lot about it! On another front, I don’t know if it’s an Arab thing or not, but we tend to always look for ways to divide ourselves… In Lebanon as you mentioned it’s sectarian… In Jordan it’s apparently tribal now?I always thought it was just the Jordanian/Palestinian issue, but clearly it’s deeper. I remember seeing a lot of the Jordan First banners whenever I visited Jordan in the past couple of years, and thought that the message was good one… But apparently it’s having a wrong effect coupled with the cultural tribal thinking…

    I love Jordan and hope the Salt incident does not spread…

  2. Amjad says:

    I applaud you Ahmad Humeid.

  3. Jordanian says:

    >Stop marginalizing half of the population and involve them in the government.
    >Close down all the community colleges (these two yrs schools for the lucky and unlucky Tawjihi) , cancel Makrumat
    >Take back education sector from the hands of the Islamic brotherhood.
    >End the mindless tribalism,because it’s just giving the others more support, get the leftist, nationalists back in the game.

    I salute you for your courage, great title, REBOOT JORDAN. Bravo

  4. Jordanian says:

    Sorry for double posts.
    A very well rounded article, the best so far

    Please please please repost in Arabic.

    Please repost in Arabic, let it reach to more people. Sadly your blogs are read by few elite people.
    Generally speaking, Ammonnews,Jordanzad and such are much more popular, although the are rubbish compared to yours.

    Please blog in Arabic, or at least translate this article and send it to Ammon, It’s time someone with balls speaks up before it’s too late

  5. Luna says:

    This phenomenon is symptomatic of a multi-layered complexity of issues:

    1) Childhood, home and extended family context: hierarchical, male dominant home environment, where the father mistreats the mother, daughter and sister at the first level. His sons, younger brothers, cousins at the second…etc… . in such contexts, young males, from an early age not only play into this hierarchy, but also strive for attention, even if in negative ways. this becomes part and parcel of their character… they have to be the center of attention, even through hitting their sisters or younger siblings… of course, as boys, they are never punished.

    2) tribal and regional affiliations: same hierarchies as above, plus 3anjahiyyeh and 3asabiyyeh. I still cannot get my mind around highly educated, well-exposed individuals, who revert to both attitudes in a split second. This is part of a societal problem, where “belonging” and “nepotism” are part and parcel of all this.

    3) Lack of a nurturing of dialogue, nor an understanding/acceptance of constructive criticism. Did you ever hear any civilized, emotion-free conversation in Jordan? Everyone begins with shouting. There is a lack of a sense of humor.

    4) points 1, 2 and 3 above when combined, lead to laxity in implementing laws leading many to believe that they are above the law. One of the commentators above mentions implementing a zero tolerance policy… come on!! this is Jordan, and “zero tolerances” are lost in familial, tribal, and nepotism relations…

    5) add to that, a lack of a real educational system: schools and universities are more about “delivering” the same 70-year old information. They are not about instigating an appreciation for knowledge. Who seeks knowledge among university students in Jordan? they all want a cardboard degree and all do the “minimum” to get it… I bet those who really do engage in a “learning” process are far less than 1%. And they do it on their own because their professors are part and parcel of all the above attitudes. I know, I am a graduate of that system, and I was one of those 1%… Luckily I escaped and have no intention of coming back!

    6) add to the formula, a lack of extracurricular activities, apart from smoking narghileh, watching soccer (and having ridiculous affiliations to European teams!! I am appalled by the 3asabiyyeh towards teams in countries we have no association with… 3asabiyyeh for the sake of 3asabyyeh….Dah!)…

    7) add also, the ingredients of unemployment, sexual frustrations, increasing socio-economic bifurcations, corruption (in which they feel that if you cannot beat them then join them), lack of any outlets to vent (even in urban space: there are no parks or green space), lack of any activities to engage them in feeling useful in life other than belonging to the tribe or whatever that gives them meaning to their existence…etc…

    The situation is ridiculous and is not new. I taught as an adjunct at one of the government universities nearly ten years ago, before I left to do my PhD, and in the span of the four months I spent there: three huge fights had erupted on campus with broken furniture and injuries… also, an example on the 3asabiyyeh and 3anjahiyyeh, which are simply “tayaseh” from my angle: I had an auditorium booked for an exam, and the exam was about to begin, and yet I had a few “male” students, who were not in my class and REFUSED to leave the auditorium! They almost physically attacked not only me, but some of my respectable students who tried to tell them that I was the instructor and we had an exam there!! That was the day I vowed never to come back…

  6. Wesam says:

    Don’t even bother my friend, nothing is going to change, most people here couldn’t care less about those things, and they actually prefer things the way they are, after all this is our culture and traditions that we should preserve, and besides, we have more important things to deal with, like video clips,women not wearing the hijab and mixed schooling.

    And the worst thing about this is whenever someone tries to speak up against tribalism, homor crime or any of our “traditions” he is immediately called an infedil and a zionist.

  7. Wesam says:

    /*honor crime…sorry

  8. What happened was quite tragic, perhaps out of this tragedy something good will come.
    It’s about time many things are changed, I think the government can’t find a better opportunity to seize than these conditions. It’s time we move from the mentality of the mid-20th century and join the rest of the world in the 21st
    This is one specific areas where we can’t say things like “but we’re better than others around us” in fact, we are the worst in the world when it comes to tribalism, and the rest of the side effects associated with it.
    You’re right on so many levels with your analysis, and recommendations. Although, I would caution against certain undemocratic practices that can be taken in certain direction and might end up back firing on the whole society.

    The sad thing is that many people, on all levels, in all walks of life, including those who call for abolishing tribalism are accomplices in these practices and victims at the same time.

    I guess, we need to continue to push towards a more democratic Jordan, there’s just no way around that. If this happens with Islamists, then so be it! If that’s what the people are choosing. Certain guidelines must be set to prevent tribalism from sweeping off the elections.

    I don’t agree that certain education levels should be mandated, perhaps beyond basic education it would be fine. But I just don’t think a bunch of PhDs are connected enough with the society to be a good representative sample.

    I agree a reboot, or even a Format is needed.

  9. Dalia says:

    Well said Humeid – I actually had to read through it a couple of times to digest it.

    I had no clue what had happened in Salt till I read this (looked it up after).

    Sad – but not shocking.

    Unfortunately, narrow tribal mentality will prevail until major reform starts to take place.. This has to start from the bottom up – like you said – take the kids and work with them, because most of the older generations (include most of ours) is beyond repair.

    For that to work, you would need a lot of change from different sources, educational insitutions, media, politicians. etc.. I agree with what you wrote.

    However, when you wrote:

    “Jordan is more materially and socially developed than its democracy”

    Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but I honestly don’t believe that’s true.. I do agree that some people in Jordan are – but they in no way represent a majority.

    Will we end up like Lebanon? Probably worse. The tribal mentality/segregation/racism is a lot more corrosive in Jordan.

    Anyway – I might ramble if I keep going.

    I feel detached – and relieved that I don’t live there anymore. Not the ideal feeling, but at least I’m honest about it. It ****** me off to no end when a country that should know better, does not act to that effect.

    Keep blogging :)

  10. هيثم الشيشاني Haitham Al-Sheeshany says:

    Thank you sO much for this, painfully true!

    H.

  11. Amjad says:

    @wesam
    we all knew that. at least i did. you are speaking of it as if the jordanian society is some kind of abnormal society.

    @dalia
    you feel detached and relieved that you don’t live there anymore?? you can’t detach yourself from where you come from.

  12. bambam says:

    Honestly if you look at the comments and the background of who is commenting you notice something….
    Over half of the people don’t really care about what happened in Salt because it doesn’t involve them, it happens to people from the “other” side.
    On the other hand i believe that everything is governed by economics and especially tribalism, if it was not economically beneficial (for hiring, debt reduction, property ownership and much more) then it wouldn’t persist. And unless you penalize it economically(place nepotism laws and enforce them, create a more transparent bidding process. be transparent with accounts and information) then it will always remain the same whether they are educated or not. you can teach honorable ideals but they are sure fragile as hell for most when you have to choose between them and a loaf of bread. So if you want to get the wheal moving you can start by actually letting us vote in a representative government

  13. shalabieh says:

    Thanks Ahmad for such a great post. I think a more comprehensive approach is much needed. And yes elections and government as well as social change are the key. They go hand in hand.

    My only concern is who and how do we decide what is “liberal”. It can be interpreted in such a subjective way.

    Thanks again. And lets hit the “reboot” button.

    S.

  14. The previous and the current government have failed miserably in every aspect, whether in education, economic development or promoting people political participation.
    Unfortunately, this country is basically run by one man show ( with an iron fist and violence). for long time, we have been prevented to share responsibility and take our civic duties seriously because the power structure in our country has been monopolize by the guard at the gate..in brief, there will be no solution without us governing ourselves by ourselves period..

    [this comment was edited]

  15. Hareega says:

    “Reboot” is a very nonspecific term, but whatever it indicates it’s unlikely to work this time like it did in 1989. The 1989 incidents were not tribe-related, but those ones are.
    Tribialism existed way before Jordan did. Tribes, not the king, rule the country.
    The only “reboot” that might work here is to turn Jordan into a country that respects the law. We may continue to have murders like those mentioned above, but if we start treating those cases like any other murder case, and the criminal would get life in prison or the death penalty, we may be able to decrease their occurences and prevent tribes from protecting people who should be let on the loose.

  16. Maha says:

    The issue is not only tribal mentality..it’s the mentality of “i don’t care i can get away with murder”. Many efforts directed at educational and social reform have failed miserably because they are not serious enough to enforce compliance, before trying to implement ANY agenda you need to work backwards and think of how it will be enforced. Left to their own devices the general population will not do the right and sensible thing and they know they won’t be forced to do it. Have clear painful consequences that apply to ALL those who don’t comply. If traffic violations add up to points that get you jailed you will become a better driver. If a student gets expelled for plagiarism and no was6a on earth can get him back in, less will cheat. If you execute a few murderers people will think twice. They should’ve kept Al balqa University opened and had the military and mokafa7et el shaghab be there so tribal thugs don’t think they are in control and that they have the power to shut down a university.

    Having said all this and calling for a No tolerance policy i personally don’t trust that justice will be served in a no tolerance policy, because our justice system is one of the most corrupt institutions in the country and the simplest process is long twisted and sickening and is more of just pushing a case around until a was6a interferes.

    Write fair laws, come up with effective ways to enforce them, make it a law that anyone bypassing the law will be jailed (kills was6a) and make sure that you have checks and balances every step of the way.

  17. Mohanned says:

    -Hypocrite,double faced leadership that is disconnected from the people and living the high life.
    -The same system failed to deliver for so long and now you want to entrust the same gang with leading us to the future?
    - A scared state produces selfish citizens.
    - What you termed as “populist” policies are nothing but a premeditated attempts to co-opt certain segments of the society. In a way the state is bribing its citizens to become apathetic to their own long term interests.
    - A systemized dumbing of our youth through the educational system and the governmental propaganda machines.

    The list can go on and on, but keep in mind that such lists are mainly a reflection of our disappointments and aspirations, they might not be the cause, they might contribute and they might be highly correlated, but that doesn’t mean causation. The fact that we have so many interpretations and suggestions means that we don’t really understand the phenomenon. A phenomenon that is a product of many policies,decisions big and small, behaviors, and attitudes that compiled over the years. It is a big, multilayered, and complex mess which requires a counter strategy on a national level. We first need to get the people interested again. People must believe that they have control over their lives and that their decisions make a difference in their own lives and the lives of many others. We need to drop fatalism and conformity.

    We need the 10,000 steps. There were 10,000 things that got us where we are and now we need a counter-10,000 positive things strategy. An integrated “pay it forward”-”butterfly effect” strategy.

    Each and every one of us can do a little thing everyday to make a tiny and insignificant difference. Let us make “insignificant” the new significant by attaching a meaning and cause instead of weight and value. Students in school and universities might be asked to keep a journal of positive things they did each day.

    A comment that is all over the place, but thats how the ideas flowed through my head as I was writing. A raw comment if you will.

  18. Mohanned says:

    On a side note, can you please left the moderation at least for this post. it will the interaction faster and more lively.

    Thanks

  19. Faisal says:

    Speak up man, great article. We need more people with this mentality.

  20. Raghda Butros says:

    When people are reduced to the sum of their parts: place of origin; family-name; socio-economic status; grades, etc., we end up with fragmented bits of people, not whole individuals with a true sense of who they are and where they would like to go.

    A radical decision to implement all laws and policies in a way that treats everyone equally, regardless of who they are and what kind of influence they have, is the only way forward. Otherwise, all our great plans and strategies will fall by the wayside, the way they always do.

    Unless people are recognized for their individual worth, no economic or political plan will solve our problems. To accomplish this, we have an important role as citizens to make our value known and our voices heard and to add our voices to those who are not normally heard and help strengthen their voice as well.

    Only when the weakest one of us is strong and respected, can we truly be a strong and respectable nation.

  21. Hysham says:

    Good stuff Ahmad.

    Civil society and institutions need to be developed to make a difference beyond West Amman. I tend to believe the country is splitting into a small relatively liberal affluent enclave in the middle of a tribal/ nationalist whole, and they couldnt be further apart

  22. [...] Nas and Ahmad have some great responses to the latest school violence. [...]

  23. Amjad says:

    there should be a society for this. a website, a radio even, maintained by donations for these kind of topics to educate and organise people.

  24. Amer says:

    Great post Ahmad.

    Just remembered a campaign we saw a few years back – ‘على قدر أهل العزم’ – and i wasnt sure if this campaign filtered well through a national plan.

    I hope your article can reach more people through Arabic newspapers, it might start snowballing into something tangible. if we dont play the drum louder, who will?

    Once ‘radical’ idea i had in mind is to pay good money for good university professors/business leaders to give speeches at mosques. Heck, why don’t we even introduce a screen and a projector in mosques? Why not create a real-life Wikipedia module where people share their knowledge through sessions? Isnt this an effective method to reach all members of society and switch on the ‘think’ button in people’s heads? I’m not talking about discussing science and evolution – maybe not at this stage – but at least starting with the basics: economy, production, media and communication, international arena, arts, etc.

  25. Julian Rahahleh says:

    I think it’s every individual appointed as a uni president’s fault.. They act as if the uni is their private property! They only care about gluing their bottoms to that chair where the official stamp and the high salary is, making stupid decisions as long as they stay in power.
    For example, Omar Remawi, the head of BAU, never left his office! I’ve never ever seen him walking around university or checking up on things. People who work in the university presidency building say that when the riots started around 11 AM in the faculty of applied science in the university, he locked his office door on himself! And he was charged with corruption and misuse of power like 3 years ago…! He even can’t order the cleaning staff to clean properly!
    Go figure! With those kind of people in power, we’re just marching backwards.

    @Jordanian, “Take back education sector from the hands of the Islamic brotherhood.”
    Couldn’t agree more, they are just another cause of marginalizing students with oppression and ‘nope you can’t say that’ policy.

  26. [...] Two excellent blogs, The Black Iris and 360East addressed the problems in ways that I cannot. Their thoughts and suggestions to remedy such problems and work towards a better future bear serious consideration. [...]

  27. Dalia says:

    @ Amjad

    I am a Palestinian-Jordanian who lived in Jordan for less than 10 years. I wasn’t born there and never felt like I belonged.

    I do feel detached – yes – and relief. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t also feel love and longing for Jordan (or at least my little piece of it).

    Jordan is only a small part of who I am.. It does not define me.

  28. مجهولٌ says:

    Ya Abu Hmeid ya 3azeezi, very nice post, you are one of the best, Qweider too, ta7eyyati.

    very sorry to say
    كله غلط، و راكب غلط، مستحيل تغير

    this is a nice post, very true, emotional and well written but i’m sure that people like you guys Ahmad, Qweider, Mayor M3ani, et al, who actually had influence, have tried to fix things over the history but either: did little progress, failed miserably, or ended up joining the corrupt or careless lot..

    very sad.. i dread the moment i have to go back to Jordan although i always recommend it to everyone i meet. i’m sad whenever i’m reminded of the reality.
    the saddest part is: i just realized that this is me, and this forms part of who I am. i kinda hide it in front of others; what do you say when someone tells you: “your from Jordan; you kill your women legally”! (no one did so far but they might, and i’m sure many think it, and i don’t want to say that some are fighting it, thats no answer in a democratic 21st century country!)

    not sure if its too late for me personally to change. (or even if i want to change!) but i am jordanian. sadly..

  29. Mariam says:

    My concern is that this formula is generating youth who believe that they are above the rule of law.

    Unless Jordan is rebooted, as you say, these very youth, will be the government officials, policy makers and ministers, based on their origins and their tribes’ names.

    In that case, we are looking towards a very dark future.

  30. YBaggili says:

    Speachless…
    Awesome Post!
    Huge thumbs up…

  31. Yanal says:

    What a well-written and moving post this is! Thank you!

    And if it is any relief in the current situation: Your post surpassed Naseem’s by far :D

  32. Bilal Hijjawi says:

    Indeed an excellent article as are the responses; there’s obviously a class in Jordan that are the wiser, more intelligent and intricately bonded to their country; deeply concerned about the future. A white (Arabic media) revolution grassroots movement of “enough is enough” is in order. It needs to echo deep, wide and far into Jordanian society. Failure is almost always within, not without and we need to approach matters as such.

  33. Amjad says:

    for a good book on political philosophy:
    ‘Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal’ by Ayn Rand. a fantastic read

  34. Amjad says:

    that’s for you ahmad.
    might as well check the work of adam smith and milton friedman.

  35. Sabrine says:

    I happened on this site by mistake and was excited to see that it included articles about Jordan. I think this article in particular is very interesting and demonstrates the real frustrations of “liberal” (I use the term loosely) minded people living in a traditional society. I commend your call for a modern day enlightenment and would welcome a “new Jordan” based on some of those principals. Yet, I have to share my concerns about the overall tone of the article as well as many of the comments listed. There is an unashamed elitism that pervades almost every sentence written, and I must take serious issue with that.

    Your suggestion to basically restrict access to college education for “unqualified” students actually scares me (demonstrated by this line… *Blame populist educational policies which resulted in stuffing universities with too many unqualified students )The last thing we need to do is limit education, instead a slow and steady program to change the college culture is in order. Limiting students’ access to the college campus will just leave those same men and women hanging out at the mall all day and none the wiser at that. Then the next crime you hear about will involve two men that gave each other dirty looks at Chilli House instead of the cafeteria. Education changes minds and changes cultures, it is a slow process but one that we must be committed to if we truely want to see Jordan reach it”s maximum potential.

    I agree completely that the elections should not be a tribal popularity contest, this limited model always returns power to the same corrupt hands and hurts the most disenfranchised of the population, but we must also be aware to have people in office that speak to the realities of the majority of Jordanians. Picking the most elite in the country to run the government in no way ensures that the government will be honest and protect the interests of it’s citizens. Historically it has just created another tier above the most average citizen. Creating this distance will only ensure that the cultural gap in society only gets wider. we need to bridge that gap and speak to the issues that shape the lives of the vast majority of the country, since most of them don’t live in West Amman.

    I understand the severity of the situation now, and really appreciate the parallels you discussed between Amman now and Beirut 40 years ago. But, as we look to a brighter, fairer future, I think we should take heed to not just replace one system with another that may not work. We need to create a nation that will flourish with the beauty and humanity of all Jordanians and include the rich history of Jordan in that. We must build on what is present, we cannot simply just replace what has been culture for hundreds of years with ideas that people do not relate to.

  36. Amjad says:

    @ Sabrine
    apparently liberal is not the only term you use loosely. elitism is another term for you.

  37. Elizabeth says:

    Mohannad’s comment was brilliant. My favorite quote due to it’s widespread applicability: – A scared state produces selfish citizens. –

    I’ve been living in Jordan for two years now, and I’ve been astounded at the apathy and ignorance I’ve encountered everywhere–from hospitals to restaurants to the workplace. It’s nearly impossible to find people with a good work ethic, even when it’s the business of saving lives. What is happening to people’s sense of humanity?

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