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Jordan Blog Reform Why is the king meeting us Jordanian youth, and taking notes?! [My letter to King Abdullah II of Jordan]

Why is the king meeting us Jordanian youth, and taking notes?! [My letter to King Abdullah II of Jordan]

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10 August 2011 22:40 |

Well, this is not the first time for King Abdullah II to go for close meetings with Jordanian youth, or for personal visits around the kingdom, but this time I was personally involved and sensed the spirit through my participation in King Abdullah II's meeting with 15 Jordanian youth last week, August 2, 2011. As I received the invitation to meet the head of the state, along with Jordanian youth, for 90 minutes where King Abdullah II is requesting our feedback on the current situation of the country, discussing problems and suggesting solutions, I have brainstormed quickly and came up with a quick list of problems and solutions we face to discuss with his majesty.

The Royal Court representatives asked us to talk freely, honestly, using any accent, with no limits nor borders, as the king requested.

We shacked hands with the king then all sat down on a small meeting table, where the king started by declaring that the constitutional amendments will take place on September, advanced and centered around boosting balance among the three branches of government and enhancing the role of Parliament, which will be endorsed along with the new elections and political parties laws, by November. That will all support and establish a legal basis to finally see an elected parliamentary governments in the future, as a completion of the reforms package. To stress on the fact that Reform in Jordan will lead to elected parliamentary governments.

Then time was ours, as we discussed various topics with the king who said: "The worst thing to do is to sit beside me and praise me". Young ladies and gentlemen discussed multiple topics like absolute justice is the key to solve most of the challenges, how would the constitutional amendments and electoral laws satisfy the needs of Jordanian people, and the role of Bedouins to be considered in good times and not only in bad times, ministries and inherited positions, and environmental problems of nuclear reactor and forests, where the tone was more like: how come we find most of the relatives of ministers hired in ministries! Then I tried not to duplicate any of the previously discussed issues and went for other problems and solutions listed below in my letter to king Abdullah II [a translation of the Arabic version previously published].

One of the most extraordinary parts was the king discussing issues at our level, deeply listening and actually taking notes of our speeches to be considered. As he also expressed his sadness and frustration over some important governmental organizations, where there are old fashion direcotrs who are against the reform we are all working for, as they are satisfied this way, but he also stressed that all of that is changing gradually. And while he was expressing that it came to me to imagine how much it's hard to manage a 50 employees company, where our king is managing thousands who are responsible of millions in such area, with a huge challenge that is a big portion of the existing employees are already corrupt.

Why is the king taking notes from Jordanian youth?

I guess King Abdullah II is shocking his own system, he's not waiting for people to shock it but he's shocking the middle of the system himself and going down for feedback. King Abdullah II is being a micro-manager, tho he shouldn't be, but he's finding this huge gap in between that he's trying to fill the right way. He's been paying personal visits to many projects, cities, and poor people to touch the problems himself, and asking youth to come to his house and give him the full and clear picture, tho most of these tasks should be done by the government and other organizations, but since they are not up to it, as I sensed from his speeches, he's doing them himself, being a role model for others, and this is clearly a big failure of the government!
King Abdullah has been leading the reform process since couple of years, yet the "Arab Spring" forced a huge acceleration. Jordan is troubled with a lot of external and internal situations so I find it ugly that the government and governmental organizations are still living in the past, abusing their power, and doing everything at old fashion, the 90's or 80's style. While the king is asking and working for accelerating all to cope with the modern situations. During our meeting and while he was discussing the situation of one of the important organizations in Jordan he said: "I told them, it's crazy to think that you can still handle it the same way for 4 years!". The king needs to find the right people, in order to perform the reform process. A lot of people in Jordan are talking more, and doing less; and from people comes the government. We need more honest and educated people with a real sense of urgency, modernity, and goal-orientation to be elected to the parliament and governments, in order to cope and develop. Hopefully the new elections and political parties laws, which are aimed to result in elected governments, will support this ideology, and spread it among the Jordanian community. As we really need to change some wrong cultural behaviors, electing people for their family names or because they friends or acquaintances, is on top of that.

King Abdullah II, Jordanian Youth, Rani Dababneh

My Letter to King Abdullah II

"Ramadan Mubarak, may God protect you and help you to lead one of the toughest states in one of the most difficult areas. Your majesty, I've been granted 5 minutes only to list the problems and solutions that have been swimming in mind lately:

1. Problem: Jordanian young people no longer trust the traditional methods of governments and media which were not developed since ages, (I think you're aware of this problem and for this you're calling for direct dialogue with youth without any obstacles and formalities). Solution: Governments should learn, from you, to be close to the people, go to the streets, touch problems, perform quick steps for a successive reform in an up-to-date manner, and to lose the negative sense.. In short.. listen to the public in the streets but don't let the noise control you.

2. Problem: Jordan lacks natural resources, it is true but we should not keep this as "the hanger to which we blame everything", if anyone complained we reply "just thank God we don't even have water in here"! True, but in order to move forward we need to find solutions for that. Solution: 1. since our sources are very scarce we need to be more efficient and to implement utilization and usage plans that are more efficient than any other country. 2. Find other sources of income, rock oil, therapeutic and religious tourism, and foreign relations ...

3. Problem: Most of our problems in Jordan grows then gets divided to become a problem of Jordanians vs Palestinians, unfortunately. This is an existing problem that we can not deny, yet we should make sure not to pass it to the upcoming generations. Solution: The Jordanian government should treat everyone equally regardless of the country of origin, and to understand that anyone who holds a Jordanian ID is a Jordanian native who has the same rights and duties. It is also the other party responsibility to absorb all of that and to fully belong to Jordan, the country they live in. The problem is there because there are people who already lived in two countries, we need to work on above steps to make sure not to pass this to the new generations living here!

4. Problem: The latest demonstrations, even tho I don't believe in this approach, but everyone must understand that people have different ways of expressing and some people have no other way to express but to protest, the problem is that police secures protests for hours in a positive manner, but during the last minutes, police uses uncivilized methods to disperse people after provocation, and this last piece of negative information is what media spreads to the world. Solution: training courses for police to learn that they are the line that people see of the government and they represent your majesty in front of people and media, they must know how to deal with provocation, and not abuse their power, they are the symbol of the state and their duties and accountability are doubled.

5. Problem: Bureaucracy, favoritism, and red tape in government institutions, courts and hospitals. Solution: to hire highly qualified staff only in all layers from the lowest employees, nurses and others to the directors of the institutions.

6. The information technology sector in Jordan is advanced, also Amman is advanced; yet what about other sectors and other cities, we should go beyond the capital, Amman, and develop other sectors in various cities.

7. All of this leads me to feel that there are limits for the youth in Jordan. Jordan is currently for competitors only, and we need to develop the model of reward and punishment. Currently if you work hard 24/7 in Jordan the best thing you can achieve is a decent life for yourself only, but you can't subsist a family or company if you worked hard and started from scratch in Jordan."

King Abdullah II of Jordan Meets Jordanian Youth

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Why is the king meeting us Jordanian youth, and taking notes?! [My letter to King Abdullah II of Jordan]

-1 #7
Omar Bani Hani 19 August 2011
Khawater is a Great Show hosted on MBC by the presenter "Ahmed Alshugairi"

it's on the 7th season already youtube.com/.../... and there are many ideas that are sure to be of great benifit in jordan, many of them are simple ones that wouldn't even cost much :)


In my opinion, the best show to ever air on any arabian TV channel :D
+3 #6
Rani Dababneh 19 August 2011
Thanks all.
Yes Evelyn I agree and this is what I was talking about when I mentioned the need for efficient utilization plans.
What is Khawater, Omar? :-)
+7 #5
omaramarin 11 August 2011
Dude... well done... I respect all what you do...
+3 #4
Evelyn 11 August 2011
Hi Rani, interesting article. But I have one comment, about natural resources; We do have great solar radiation resources which are not being utilized. Unfortunately, people keep focusing only on the lack of water. Here's an interesting read bit.ly/ih5dND
+4 #3
Jim Wright 11 August 2011
Each time I read one of your posts I am more and more impressed with your clear and logical thinking. You had the King's ear for ten minutes and not one second was wasted. Inshallah, His Majesty will be able to take your words and the words of all the panel and continue to improve this great nation! Because we are blessed to have citizens like you, the future of Jordan can only be bright and hopeful. I pray the blessings of Allah on you and yours!
-2 #2
Omar Bani Hani 11 August 2011
Brava King, Brava

+5 #1
Ola 10 August 2011
May GOD Bless that Jordanian ,, we'll always be proud of you Rani ,,, Keep it up .
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