As Jordan’s centennial approaches, the Kingdom’s past, present and future were celebrated at an event organised by Al Rai and the University of Jordan (UJ) on Wednesday, exploring what it means “to be Jordanian”.
Jordanian Press Foundation Chairman Ayman Majali said during his opening speech that “given the turbulent politics of the region, it is important to reiterate the principle foundations which Jordan was based on. Democracy, Arab nationalism and good judgement are not only what have kept us stable, but what will also serve as our guide for development”.
Majali described Jordan as “unwavering in its stances”, adding that since its independence in May 22, 1946, it had fought “not only its own interests but that of all Arabs”.
Afterwards, prominent political figures, members of the media and professors from the Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II School of International Studies discussed what it means to be “Jordanian”.
Former Prime Minister Abdur-Rauf Rawabdeh outlined challenges that faced the Jordanian national identity since 1921, affirming that this identity encompasses all Jordanian citizens regardless of origin, ethnicity, religion or any other factors.
Rawabdeh said at one stage in the Kingdom’s history the biggest challenges to this identity were represented in the pan-Arabist and religious forces which were trying to override the national sense of belonging.
Jordan, he said, managed to overcome these challenges and to assert its unique identity, underlining the need to ensure that all citizens are equal in terms of rights and duties.
Abdul Karim Qudah, president of UJ, said: “We have folded 10 decades, during which we worked hard to distinguish our identity. Now it is time to build on that. The future for Jordan should be one of prosperity, development and productivity.”
Dean of the Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II School of International Studies Mohammed Qatatshah added that the Kingdom’s past and future are “interconnected”.
“To know where we stand is to answer questions whose answers are a result of past accumulations. Is the national debt what we expected? Are our youth convinced of the government’s transparency? Are we doing enough for our students?” he asked.
Al Rai Centre for Research Director Khaled Shaqran said that holding the conference was “in itself a step forward. To have all these great figures here; all using their expertise to benefit their country, that means that our country’s moral standing is the highest it can be”.
The conference, which will continue for two days, plans to touch on topics such as the challenges facing Jordan and how to overcome them. Research papers regarding Jordan’s internal and external policies will also be reviewed, the conference’s agenda stated.
Jordan Times : Apr 11, 2019