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

Where I stand

For those of my friends who understand any call for reform as calls to bring the Islamists to rule.

For those of my friends who understand any call for reform as calls to bring the monarchy down.

For those of my friends who want to give the government a chance to do the reform for them.

For those of my friends who got excited about Egypt and Tunis so much that they wish NONE of it touches their home or themselves.

For those of my friends who want to refuse reform in order to protect the status qua with all the well/fear they’ve got.

Can we get more conflicted than this?

What you and me should do, is make our voices as loud- if not more- than the Islamists if we are to win them in the next election. Rather than conspire to create yet another failure of an election law just because we don’t want more Islamists to win or more Palestinians or more tribes.

What you and me should do, is form independent movements and new political parties that can win in the next democratic elections so we might get and limit the win of the Islamists if you and I fear their rule the most.

What you and me don’t want in Jordan is not March 24 movement or Friday protests or online news sites, what we don’t want is our government silencing peaceful protesters by force and allowing ignorant thugs to hit them by bricks. What we don’t want is security forces that interfere with our freedom of speech, assembly or organization while we need them to focus more on protecting us, citizens of Jordan.

Whether the March 24 movement chose a good or bad location, or a right or a wrong day is just the details. Its easy to say they are Islamists or Palestinians or even thugs, if you only listen to hearsay and rumors yet not investigate information yourself.

Focus I think should be on what they wanted, they wanted to put more pressure on your government to act faster. Why?

Because you and me should ask yourselves, does it need THREE months to come up with a new election law? Does it need THREE months to come up with a new party law? Do you think these laws are artifacts that need such time and deliberation to be innovated out of vacuum?…etc.

Do you and me like to  have the big elephant of who is your or my origin from to be forever in the room? Or Should we talk more about it? Remove the suspicion from all sides and focus on citizenship with its rights and obligation as our uniting factor?

We are in the middle of a big wave of change, you and me can get stuck in fear and stay in the backroom behind closed doors or go out honk our cars in an empty show of loyalty that is a given to most or we can help lead this change to where we want it to go.

When your kids, nephews and nieces ask you in 20 years where were you in 2011, you better have some great story to tell!

Its your choice, but I guess you have figured out where I stand from all of this.

13 Comments so far

  1. Qwaider قويدر on March 28th, 2011

    When your kids, nephews and nieces ask you in 20 years where were you in 2011, you better have some great story to tell!


  2. Amer Dababneh on March 28th, 2011

    Nice Article

  3. diala on March 28th, 2011

    dammit, i am in san francisco!

  4. Reem on March 28th, 2011

    Lots of respect to you and all the young people who are capable of thinking freely.

  5. Charlie Shishan on March 28th, 2011

    I don’t understand why reformists are considered as being disloyal. More loyal, one is a Saint. And, I can’t feel sainthood in those who throw stones and beat with sticks -in time knifes and guns-. I stopped by an article in ‘Kul El Urdun’ entitled ‘Jayeen’ honoring the fresh memory of Khair El Sa3d and was stunned by the aggressive tone of many of the comments, could almost see the stones and bricks almost in 3D so strong disdain and hate were oozing from those words within these lines. Where is Jordan going ? Am I to start worrying for Jordan ? Should I start trembling for the present and the future of family who belong to Jordan and Jordan to Them ? or listen to my Grandfather(R.I.P.) saying ” Sharly, don’t worry ya Ibni, Allah Mawjud.”

  6. samah on March 28th, 2011

    Thank you Razan,
    I would like to add that at one point we had thought the Islamists were more organized that we are; I think we can now add the anti – reformists. They are also well connected as we are online, and they are a powerful collective.

    I also agree with the fact that the small details are not important, and also that the voices are not one. The start reality is that the people against reform have one clear message.
    What is ours?

    I think Hazem Malhas said this is in the first hashtag debate: Egypt had one request: ارحل
    Mohammad Omar said our is : اصلح

    Then there was a suggestion in private meeting that actually الاصلاح is too big and vague. The suggestion was something along the line of اصلاح قانون الانتخابات

    one message, and to avoid confusion about the aims of reform, I would like to suggest we leave the king out of for phase one. Conversations around constitutional monarchy is clearly too sensitive.
    Again as Egypt achieved one step at a time, the same needs to be adopted here.
    One important thing to start the path of reform. This one territory that will create a space for other changes in the future.

  7. Razan Khatib on March 28th, 2011

    Thanks @Amer, @Reem and @Qwaider.

    @Diala, hope you can get most of the conversations online :)

    @Charlie I think worry is in order, yet I think you need to refocus that worry into action and making your voice heard in a peaceful and civilized movement. That’s what i am personally trying to do.

    @Samah Yes, anti-reformists seem to be too, in their arbitary ways connected and loud. I agree Reform should be focused on specific issues, and to leave the constitutional monarchy alone, not only because its sensitive, but because I believe we are not ready for it with the current party law or existing parties.

  8. Duha Awayes on March 28th, 2011

    What happened, and is still happening (or not happening actually) is a lot to take in. And you’re right it is different when it hits home vs. watching the news and reading tweets from the comfort of your house. I for one fully admit that I am conflicted and confused. Not to mention disappointed and sad. I truly had high hopes for our nation. I thought we were much better. We would deal with things differently. But right now I’m at a total loss, and yes conflicted. And little out of hope… Don’t what’s the right thing to do. On the one hand I am with reform, and of course this does not mean to bring monarchy down as you mentioned. But looking back at March 25th equally as important as reform, there’s cancer that is eating its way through our society’s unity fabric and it scares me. A lot. It’s not about location or time frame, speed, etc. It’s about those of us who can, who know, who want to do something good needing to organize, cooperate, communicate, and think rationally as there is no room for mistakes. And yes I do admit and you are right I am conflicted, and things are out of focus…

  9. Ola on March 28th, 2011

    Thanks Razan for the post. I realise that not everyone is up for protesting or joining a youth movement or party, but I just hope if at least more people would actually start reading about what happened on March 24th and digging for the truth.

    If that would start happening then people will be more aware of what’s going on in Jordan and understand that #Mar24 was actually calling for reforms that benefit the Jordanians as a whole. But the sad scenario of ignorance and resisting positive change repeats itself in Jordan.

    Yet again, I am positive. Change is inevitable, whether now, next year or the next years down the line..

  10. Razan Khatib on March 28th, 2011

    @Duha thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Yes, its a lot to take in, every time i discuss reform with a group of people priorities change and my own understanding of where we are as nation changes. But its a good process to seek to know I guess so as a lot of us learn how to swim and face those waves of change and maybe on some level or the other actually help shape them. Its not easy and its a long long road ahead, we have just been awakened. This cancer in my opinion is being feed in from those who want to kill the spirit of reform and we must fight this cancer from spreading through voice of moderation and voices of citizenship. We might stumble at times but we need to get up learn and move on building a better future for all who see Jordan as their home.

  11. Razan Khatib on March 28th, 2011

    @Ola, I agree not everyone is ready to join a movement or political party, we all just need to read more, understand more, learn more and discuss more of what is it we want to reform. Yes, change is the only constant and this time let’s try to shape it into a future we want to live.

  12. Ahmad humeid on March 28th, 2011

    Great post Razan. Silence not an option

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