Jordan is fine. Outsiders, please stay out

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I have no doubt that the latest royal family feud in Jordan will be solved internally soon. As deputy prime minister Ayman Safadi said Sunday, Jordan has been known for the principles of justice and mercy a code phrase for a possible ‘sulha’ reconciliation. But while the incidents of Saturday is sad, they should not leave room for any external power to worry or to get involved. Jordanians and their king will certainly find a solution to this glitch.


Even after the supposed detailed press conference of Ayman Safadi, Sunday afternoon, nothing of substance as to what caused this current trouble, came out.  Safadi called what happened ‘movements’ and ‘fitnah’ (sedition) but didn’t use the terms ‘plot’ or ‘coup’ in any way. In fact, the very fact that no military personnel was arrested is perhaps the best proof that this is nothing more than a family feud that has gone badly wrong.


Jordan is a strong country with a wise and moderate leadership that will certainly weather this storm and come out stronger as a result. But this strength requires change and reform. As the latest US state department, human rights report noted there are serious questions about freedoms of expression and assembly. Prince Hamzeh spoke about the need for issues of corruption and nepotism to be addressed.


Unfortunately, Jordan’s state-run media was silent for 24 hours repeating verbatim the truncated official statements that lacked any serious detail or information. It is a sad day when people have to get information about their own country by tuning in to outside media.


If a lesson is to be learned from the events that led to the house arrest of the former crown prince it is that Jordan needs to take the issue of political reform seriously. No one, including a moderate and wise monarch, can rule a country of ten million people without a serious debate and engagement with different political forces within the country. Let us hope that this hiccup will be a trigger to democratization, transparency, and genuine political reform

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