>Forgive me, but could the rest of the world just SHUT UP already?!

>Okay, so MommaBean’s a tad hot under the collar just now. I’ve spent days hearing from presumably well-meaning family members (and that’s not even talking about all of the pundits) about the situation in the Middle East. MimiBean’s been advised by numerous friends and relatives to hurry home. After all, Jordan is just about to fall. And, if she doesn’t agree she must be naive. After all, certainly Glenn Beck and his ilk of ill-informed fear-mongers certainly understand the situation in Jordan better than people, say, actually in Jordan, right?

One of these wonderful well-wishers informed her she’d be better off “reading the situation” at a demonstration than going to a girls’ night party we attended on a recent evening. Because Jordan now has night-time demonstrations? Because we’re in the middle of Tahrir Square here and I’m unaware? I mean really! What a boneheaded thing to suggest. Of course, I make it a practice of avoiding (by as many miles as I can) any and all protests here. After all, blond hair makes an easy target and mob mentalities around the world rarely bring out the best in people.
And, as if it’s not bad enough that the family is alarmist and poorly informed, there are people out there like this woman at some website called Politico who cuts and pastes valid information (the King of Jordan did kick out his government) and misinterprets it (he did not dissolve Parliament). I mean really, can’t you take the time to understand a system of government before adding your (clearly truly valueless) opinion? Please? Because conservative bloggers all over have started following her lead.
I just love being told that people who have never even visited Jordan understand the situation more clearly than I do. You know, I live here… by choice. And while we may, very well, suffer from the frog in the cold pot syndrome, I really don’t think so. In pretty much all cases, there was some inkling on the street before the situation flipped. Even in Egypt, this has been a steady build-up. We have seen this clearly watching the American Embassy in Egypt’s response. They started by sending home families and non-essential personnel. The next day they sent additional people to “reduce the diplomatic footprint”. The following day, they “evacuated non-emergency personnel.” It was a day-by-day change.
So, are we foolish for thinking that Jordan is different? Well, the Embassy here, which sends messages to alert Americans to celebrations for the annual high-school grade issuance (I’m not kidding here) has been conspicuously silent. So it seems to me that cautious observance of the situation is a better and more measured response than rushing out to spend thousands on a flight to the US. After all, the King has been taking many steps to help ensure that the situation here remains calm.
And, contrary to the relative who tells us that these regional issues are “part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda” which he “knows all about” (and is apparently centered around establishing Sharia law), I see a different viewpoint. Tunisia and Egypt are people’s cries against abuses that have simply gone on too long. They are also an indictment of the global financial situation which was authored not in Egypt or Tunisia, but in the “democratic” US. And as for people in the US “knowing the Brotherhood’s agenda”, I’d love to know how they do it. I live here and I have no idea what their agenda might be. But I do know that since most of the governments in the region have legal codes that take their foundation from Sharia law that it is silly to spout that as the reason. They may be French or British or whatever trappings, but underneath the cultural values that make the legal system run are Islamic. So, the MB may want many things, but somehow I expect these gentlemen are smart enough to be looking for something farther out of reach than this. For a better understanding of the MB here in Jordan and its internal challenges, check out this very interesting post by the Black Iris, who is Muslim and much more in the know about the MB than I.
So, I guess my bottom line is this request… those of you who have no idea what you’re talking about… button your flapping lips. No one in Egypt really cares how the US, Israel, or even Europe feel about their demonstrations. They aren’t demonstrating for the world. And, to those family members who know more than I do…
All I can say is welcome. Come to Jordan. See my home. And once you’ve been here and seen it we’ll see if your all-encompassing knowledge is still all-encompassing. Once you have first-hand knowledge of this amazingly rich part of the world. Once you’ve seen the treasures that abound here, both physical and human, maybe you’ll understand that the political blowhards who get paid to scare you know nothing – and I do mean nothing – about Jordan. I once went to a lecture where the fellow talking said that he spent the four years of his Harvard education going from cock-sure ignorance to thoughtful uncertainty and considered it the best money he’d ever spent. I wish political pundits, on both sides of the aisle, would make the same trip… it’d make the world a better place.
Happy Know-It-Alls!
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10 thoughts on “>Forgive me, but could the rest of the world just SHUT UP already?!

  1. >I've just come across your blog and want to congratulate you on what you have just said re Egypt and Jordan's political situation!! EXACTLY!! Among all of the scaremongering and ignorant assumptions it's hard to keep a balanced picture, especially while here in England! I am returning to my HOME, Amman tomorrow after a 3 week break in UK and am so looking forward to being back there and away from all of the opinions of those who think I am either mad or very naive to be living there in the first place!Thanks for wording your blog so eloquently and I really look forward to following your blog more! Best wishes from another British Expat and mum, living in wonderful Jordan through CHOICE!

  2. >if You had lived through the events that have taken place in Jordan in 1970 you would not be saying what you are saying in your post above.History is bound to repeat itself and yes things could get very ugly in Jordan I don't wish for the 1970 to ever repeat itself but the way things are going these days it is more than likely that it could happen again.It is good that you are always on the look out from bulletins from the US embassy in Amman but as you probably smart enough to realize that things could change quickly and abruptly and there may or may not be inbound or out bound flights for a very long time. Thousands upon thousands of people are stuck right now at Cairo Airport. I hope that you don't interpret my comment as an encouragement to leave, it is merely a word of caution that things could get ugly and when they do it may be too late to leave.

  3. >Word.Momma Bean, thank you. I'm getting sick of it too. I don't mind when people ask for help understanding, but when they preach to me about what's happening on the ground I get frustrated. Anon (the 2nd), we are historically aware of past events in Jordan. We are also aware of the situation on the ground, the moods, the atmosphere. There would be ample warning of airport closures, and as Americans, we could go with American evacuations as we've seen happening in Cairo. Worst case scenario we could also drive (or walk) over other borders to get out if necessary. The thing is, when you've built an entire life somewhere you don't walk away so easily, either.

  4. >Anon, thanks for your comment. As Emi said, I am indeed historically aware. My in-laws have been here through every single situation in the last 30 years. For us, yes I'm keeping my ears and eyes open. I'm aware that situations change rapidly, but as Emi also said when you LIVE Somewhere (not visiting or studying or touring) it takes alot more than pundits in the US who know nothing (literally) to make you rush for the airport…Emi, yeah. You and me both. I see that we both are looking from the same perspective. I would certainly expect to be out before airlifts, but would plan on that as a last resort (well actually, I expect perhaps crossing to Syria would be the last resort…). El 3atal (who was in Egypt until Thursday of last week) said he could tell on Thursday that it was time to get out of there. And he's not from there, so I would hope that through our vast networks we'll hear rumors (as always abound in Jordan) that help us prepare…

  5. >Emi & MomaBean:I'm not visiting, studying or touring, I'm someone that lived through the events of the 1970, luckily I survived but many other members of my family did not along with 10000 other citizens that perished during the fighting. It is now 40 some years later and I'm still dramatized by the events that took place back then. I wish that Jordan stays calm and stable under the leadership of King Abdallah but the way things are going it does not look like the theory of "more of the same" will continue fo too much longer than what it already did. Most of the families in Jordan are short every month 2 to 300 Jd. How long can they continue borrowing and pawning things that they have at their households.The political and social situation is no better, things are bound to explode at any moment, demonstrations already taking place against the new prime minister designate before he forms his new cabinet. Again, you can do whatever you want to do, it is up to you decide when it is time to leave, but trust me if you think that it is going to be easy to make it to the Syrian borders very easily when the fighting had already started then I'm sorry to tell you it would be too late because the thugs that what you see now in Egypt will be out there in Jordan to take advantage of the people rip them off, rape them, kill them or whatever. If you had lived through the 1970ties then you would understand what I'm saying.Emi and mama beans I commend you for living in Jordan during peace time but I'll pray for you when the shit hit the fan. Sorry for not finding a better word.

  6. >Anon, thanks for returning. I presume you are posting from outside Jordan at this time? I'm certain that the events of the 1970 were terribly traumatic and mourn with you the loss of your family members. I also hope that in the current difficult economic and political times Jordan will find its way through to peace and stability…

  7. >Hey MommaBean,I LOL'd at your post. Thankfully most of my family back home is pretty trained not to tell me what to do on my home turf. It also helps that hubby is a police officer and would be the first to tell me if I had anything remotely to be concerned about.

  8. >Bethy, nice to see you here on the blog. I trust you'll keep the rest of us informed as well :). Sadly my family is like a stubborn puppy – not easily trained. I always wondered where my kids got that darn stubborn streak. Clearly not from me…

  9. >Thank you for this blog. The media can make the situation seem unnerving, but actually being in Amman while all this has been going on has been an invaluable learning experience. I have been less than a mile from where the demonstrations are taking place. I have driven past where demonstrations were taking place outside places like the Iraqi embassy (demonstrators:8, media/journalists 28, cameras 3) and wondered how soon it would be seen on TV. I have been concerned to know the story of the demonstrators, that the true story would get out, and wanted to know about the counter-demonstrators, the why behind all the stories. It does not seem like the King doesn't care. On the contrary. It seems like the King tries to institute reforms, take actions that will help correct the offendsive problems. And like you, I expect to know in time to be totally gone should there be threat to life and limb! Again, thanks for the blog.

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