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Razan Khatib's commentary on life on/off the web

My personal pledge to the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions

Before a new work week starts and to commemorate this incredible weekend, 18 days and year so far; I wanted to write a post about this whole new state of affairs that took us on a roller-coaster of a new kind. But I already shared a lot on Twitter and Facebook through the past month. So I don’t want to add new thoughts or share any more feelings.

I want to share my very personal pledge to all those who stood up high, rose their voices out loud, suffered and died to free a quarter of the Arab World.

1. I will no longer accept the long-standing-and-greatly-accepted-as-a-norm of a defeatism attitude no more. Neither at work or my personal life. When there is a well, there is ALWAYS a way.

2. I will make my voice heard, I will not shy away because I feel my school of thought is a minority.

3. I will make my voice heard, I will not shy away because someone thinks that what is concerning me has “lower” priority than other things that needs fixing in the society I live within.

4. I will make my voice heard, whenever I see someone is doing something I don’t like in my name or with my taxes.

5. I will not let difference of opinion discourage me or others from voicing out our thoughts. We all need to listen and try to understand each other, let’s try to find a common ground.

6. As an entrepreneur/business owner, I will always try to keep my commitment to quality over quantity, to reward with no punishment, to systems of dignity & trust and not belittling doubt, to push as much as possible for consensus over majority, to everyone-is-their-own-boss and finally -yet not least important- to create meaningful experiences, to reduce waste, to contribute value to our environment and society from the ground up.

7. I will read the constitution of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and learn as much as I can about our history, about our laws and regulations and on what it means to live in a democracy. Because, Omar Suleiman thought Egyptians of all people didn’t know what democracy is. I bet you, it’s because he himself didn’t know what it means.

That’s what I though of. I will add more as they come to mind.

6 Comments so far

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Razan Khatib, Razan Khatib, Ahmad Humeid, Hazem Zureiqat, Natasha Tynes and others. Natasha Tynes said: RT @humeid: amazing amazing post Razan! “@razano: My personal pledge to the Tunisian, Egyptian revolutions http://bit.ly/i9npmv” [...]

  2. zizo on February 12th, 2011

    Great stuff! I have a feeling this post will be remembered and quoted, some day. You just put the foundations of something huge. Congratulations !

  3. sa'ada on February 13th, 2011

    For Egypt, Are Elections the Way Forward?

    The people of Egypt are standing at an historic crossroad. But to hear other people tell it, Egyptians are travelling down the highway to democracy. They’ve been stalled for decades but now their engines are revving and they are all but on their way to western style democracy. First stop: free and fair elections.

    To all those who died and sacrificed, it would be a disservice to commence this trip without fully examining the destination and any and all alternatives. Required reading before you embark on this journey is Animal Farm by George Orwell. Moral: If new people are put into any version of the same system, no matter how reformed, you will eventually end up with the same results. The problems may be to a lesser degree, more benign, but you will not have the freedom for which people died.

    As an American who dabbled in local politics, consider this my postcard from Destination: Democracy. I don’t wish you were here. Sure, I have a vote; I have a voice, but it is not heard. If you have a voice which you can’t use, are you in a worse position than one who can use their voice, unheard? What is the difference?

    “Although Bahrain has a parliamentary system, many Shias feel elections have only served to co-opt them into the political system and did not improve their access to government jobs and services.” (http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201121251854857192.html – 2-12-11)

    So, apparently, no difference. Free elections only encourage those who would, to achieve power, do and say anything, those with no scruples, the lowest of our low. Anyone who says they want to run for a political office should be immediately disqualified from politics. The process of running for office does not appeal to anyone who is, at heart, a good honest person. Isn’t that who we need now, good honest people?

    There should never be a political class, a group of people who make their living as politicians. The political class is insulated, protected from the very people whom they are supposed to represent. How then, can politicians represent people?

    Is there another way, a different road to take? First, decide what your destination is. For the voices of the people to be heard. For the will of the people to be enacted. To be free; to rule ourselves.

    Well, it’s clear that free democratic elections won’t get you there. I suggest the direct route. Fill all political offices by lottery. It works for jury duty. I haven’t heard of that system being corrupt, beyond people trying to get undeserved exemptions. It works for military duty except, again, people trying to get exempted.

    The people of Egypt could vote on the framework of the system. Who is included in the pool? How often can people from the same family be eligible for duty? Should eligibility for national positions rotate geographically?

    During a term officers should receive a stipend equal to 0 of their salary from the previous year. They should continue to live in their house amongst their neighbors. It should be seen as a simple matter of changing jobs . Then after they have served a term or two they will go back to their old job.

    Enough! of political intrigue and manipulation. Enough! of corporate interests before those of the people. Enough! of rule by the rich for the rich. Politicians are a scourge and they do not represent people. We the people should start to begin to represent and rule ourselves. In this age of crowdsourcing we know that we can create, we can collaborate. Yes, WE can. Not ‘we can get him elected to change things’; WE can make change.

    If you don’t take this opportunity to now try something new you will regret it. For the highway to democracy is actually a ring road. Eventually you will end up where you started and you will see your grandchildren in Tahrir Square. But, they will go home unsuccessful, unheard. Because, they will live in a democracy and they will have a vote.

  4. Haitham on February 13th, 2011

    Excellent read, thanks :)

    As for #7 , I wish all ppl do it in particular!

  5. Razan Khatib on February 15th, 2011

    Just finished my first read of the constitution as published on the website of the Jordanian House of Representatives. http://www.representatives.jo/constitution.shtm

    Interesting read, need to read it several times more!!

  6. [...] الطريق”  كانت هذه واحدة من بنود العهد التي قطعته رزان على نفسها لهؤلاء الذين وقفوا عاليا و رفعوا أصواتهم، و [...]

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