Sunday, April 16, 2006

What makes you more jordanian than me?

Recently, I read a post for hareega somewhere, about "who is a typical jordanian", that stirred up some emotions and feelings in me from prior experience.

You see, there are two facts here, one the fact that I'm orginally from palestine (granpa born in palestine, and dad in jordan). the second fact that I feel just as jordanian as any one else who can trace his/her ancestors to the land of jordan.

Now, why am I writing this? Well, some time ago, my jordanianism was questioned on the basis that my grandpa was born in palestine. That troubled me somehow, becuase many people missunderstand the name "jordanian".

So I turn the table around and ask "what makes you mkore jordanian more than me, him, or her?". Seriously

Does the fact that his grandpa was jordanian, makes him/her automatically jordanian?

Thats what lead me to this analysis that may back fire at me. We tend to take "jordanianism" for granted simply because my grandpa had sex with grandma in jordan, and taraaaaa, bo3bo3 is born a jordanian.

To me, one should question him/herself about this term "jordanian". It;s not a lable, but a responsibility. The respnsibility to love (for good and for bad) this land. To bare arms protecting it from the enemy. To participate in activities and actions that makes this land and it's people move forward. But to sit back, relaxed, and claim this honorable name, only on the basis of where grandpa was born?

I know that the majority of jordanian do realize this fact, but there seems to be a minority that assumes jordanianism onloy based on birth. We all know that nearly 50% of jordanians are of foreign origins, syrians, palestinians, and iraqi's. But do we know how many of them held arms defending this land, while their blood quinched the thirst of this land to honor, protect and serve?

Being a jordanian is not a gift or automatic assumption, but a label that comes with responsibility. And what more than blood would anyone gives to protect the land and it's people. So, what makes you jordanian more than me, him, or her? Everyone of us should ask this question, and attempt to answer it.

I tell ya one thing. I am a jordanian, and so is my dad, and for the very small minority that think otherwise, I challenge and ask "what makes you more jordanian than me?".


Batir Wardam said...

Let me thank you for bringing this topic loud and I am sure the response from the Jordan Plant community will be as responsible as ever.
My idea of "what makes a Jordanian" is divided into two levels, the cultural and the political.
From the cultural aspect, a Jordanian is the east Jordanian with the distinct cultural heritage related with the Bedouin and fallahi rural population who were the original citizens of Jordan in the 19th century nefore migrations from the north (syria) the est (palestine) and the Caucas (circassians) and also kurds and armenians. In this context, each of those clans has a distinct cultural image and there is no prerference whatsoever between the cultures of Jordanians, Palestinians, etc..
On the political leevl, each and every citizen of Jordan, whether from Jordanian, Palestinian, Circasian, Syrian, Armenian...etc origin is a Jordanian citizen with all rights and responsibility. Let me stress on rights and responsibilities. The trend is that when we want our rights we always claim to be Jordanians but when we try to identify our responsibilities we prefer to go back to being palestinians and Circassians and Syrians. This is wrong, and the system must include all rights and responsibilities. For me I consider my self to be Circassian by heritage, Jordanian by political identity, Arab by collective culture, muslim by religion and secular by ideology. So, at the end there are always different levels.

Bo3Bo3 said...


Can't dissagree with u at all my friend, and yes, rights and responsibilities. We can not play this rope jumping, deciding that we are jordanians when it comes to rights, and hiding behind our origins when it comes to rsponsibilities. I agree 100000% dude.

Luai said...

"grandpa had sex with grandma" - I don't even want to visualize...I still have a hard time imagining me or my siblings becoming a part of this world :-)

You ask what makes someone more Jordaninan than someone else? I don't think I am more Jordanian than anyone else. I am Jordanian and not only because I was born there. Not because my family has lived there for a very, very long time. Not because my passport says so. Just because I am and because I choose to be. No one can tell me otherwise.

Even though I've spent the past 29 years in the US, after living in Jordan for merely 3 years, I still consider myself Jordanian. But I would say that I am an American first and foremost, then Jordaninan second, mainly due to the fact that I don't know the language and consider my home here in the US. I love each country just the same. I am still very proud of my roots.

I've always had a problem with labels. I was once on a plane once travelling to Jordan. Now mind you my Arabic has a strong accent aquired from growing up with friends who were from the West Bank. So in talking with this lady she had to nerve to ask me if I was a Palestinian Jordanian or was Jordanian Jordanian. I was like what the #@!$. Why do people put such a label on others. And why does it matter so much that people have to ask. Our love for Jordan is what make us Jordanians. That is the only thing we should be judged on.

Bo3Bo3, just ignore the morons who challenge your Jordaninan patriotism and love for our country.

Ziad said...

I don't care about the familial origins of any Jordanian; what matters is that the individual has a sense of belonging and responsibility toward Jordan.

There are two main reasons why this becomes an issue sometimes:

(1) The sense of disdain toward Jordan that you get from a minority of Jordanians from Palestinian origins.

(2) The elitist attitude of a minority of Jordanians from East Bank origins.

Still, I think that the relations between Jordanians from all origins, and between Muslim and Christian Jordanians are very good overall, especially considering what's going on all around us. Thank God!

salam said...

Thanks Bo3bo3 for this post,I am of syrian origins,my mom is palestinian ,but I feel as jordanian as they get,this is where a=I was born and raised and this is where I love,this is the country to whom both my parents have loyalty and which they have taught me to love and be proud of,and that's what matters.

nano1120 said...

Man!! this idea of who Jordanian & who's not makes me really sick.. at the end of the day we sleep under the same sky, the idea of discrimination is a serious sign of ignorance..

I think what defines whether you were jordanian or not is your loyalty & faith to this country that's been a warm oasis for everybody..

and life goes on... said...

I am a mixture of a Palestinian dad, a Jordanian mom, a circassian grandma, and another Kurd gardma... still Im a Jordanian and I totally agree with Luai 'Not because my passport says so. Just because I am and because I choose to be. No one can tell me otherwise.'

Anonymous said...

I would like to complicate the issue my case my mother is canadian, father is jordanian of palestinian origin..

sometimes its hard to explain, people ask me where i am from and i reply jordanian and they ask jordanian dont have blonde hair, or blue eyes or really white skin, then i reply well thats my canadian branch of the genes..
so by the end of the day i face the jordanian/palestinian dual identity crisis and in canada since my mom is from montreal its the Canadian/french Canadian dilemma..

its been nearly 22 years and still i face those same problem, i think one should move beyond labels and the identity issue after all we live in jordan some longer than others but we are all citizens of that country/state thus we are jordanians..
takikng the example of canada..the chinese, indians pakistanis..what makes them more canadian than for example myself? they are all canadians and proud of it..
again its the fact that we share the same land, work iin the same land, pay taxes, have freinds and family, born there and i think those are enough reasons to be called a jordanian..dont u think so?

OmAr said...

Palestinians will face this dulaity where ever they go, their Palestinian origin will always conflict with whatever loyality their residence require. In Jordan, the conflict is sometimes bigger than elsewhere and sometimes smaller,
I look at it this way:
1: The distance between Jerusalem and Amman is half the distance between Irbid and Aqaba!
2: The current borders were set by Britain and France.

In Jordan, everything started to become serious afer black september. Jordanians and Palestinians were not born racist, everything has a historical background.

hamede said...

Good job bo3bo3 you are one of the best jordanian.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jordanians!!

I think it is fair to say that the question, what makes a true Jordanian, is an excellent idea to help define who we are, and whether or not we are, in fact, Jordanians for more reasons than mere geography.
I think now, in particular, following the complications and changes that have struck the fundamental issues in the region soon after the war on Iraq, we need to redefine our loyalties and realize that right now is the time to show our true love for this country.
Jordan is entering the most difficult times in its history; we should not deviate from the real danger that is threatening our mere existence and plunge into petty quarrels over who is and is not a true Jordanian. Jordan needs its best of citizens to focus on ways to bring it out of this difficult situation.
I am optimistic, I believe in Jordan as a nation and I believe in Jordanians and their ability to rise above the obstacles put there, on purpose, to hinder their country's development.
Jordanians are those people who rallied the streets of Amman following the Amman bombings earlier in November 2005; they are those who rush to the aid of their Arab and Muslim brothers in the time of need. This is the Jordanian people I know and always bragged about to the world!

Bo3Bo3 said...

wow, I'm fascinated with the level of replies, but I won't lie to u and say didn't expect that. This was all expected due to the fact that all of us share a dream, a vision, and that is jordan for all. History is our witness, for amman was (and still is) the city that accepted so many people from so many different origins, due to so many different reasons. She accepted them, and we all should value that. I guess zarqawy did succeed in one thing, and that is to narrow the differences that we may have, and bring us all together to step up to the plate and carry this beautifull land, just as it carried us for so many years.

I also want to correct any missconception that may be the result of this post, and that is hareega's post was not offencive at all, but it just stirred up some past emotions. My post may have suggested the opposite, and thats why I assure you that his post wasn't a reason, but rather an event that made me think back in time.

faris darwazeh said...

bo3 bo3:

i dont see this unity as nationalism per se but rather i think its an issue of identity and that being belonging to jordan as a nation state or country, after all jordaninans despite them being palesintians, syrians circcasians idetify with jordan as a country maybe some of us hold dear issues of nationalism and other dont but thats not the case its again as i mentioned belonging and identifying with jordan as their country..
indeed the attack decreased the divide and brought about unity but still sentiments of jordanian/palestinian are still there, i hope that one day its just fades away for on the longer run and future generations i think we must move beyond this duality simply for the health of citiezenry and citizenship..

another point,,in order to tackle this issue i might propose a 'anti ethnic or origin clause' to be implemented..maybe some might say that it will ignite further divides vis a vis even thinking of such a clause shows a divide but yet many western countries most notably canada have such laws or clauses that aim to reduce divide and bring about a collective identity..

for example taking canada and their multi culutural laws that simply state that all citizens of canada shall be treated equally and fairly despte religion, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation (thats a new one since gay marriages are now legit)..
i think as jordanian we might benefit from such laws and would clearly disolve the divides and any favoritism...

well hope it was insightfull


faris darwazeh

Bo3Bo3 said...


I agree with what u say, except (don't u just hate it when we arabs insert this "except" word?) for I strongly believe that origins and current status should never negate themselves. One can be as proud with his/her current nationality, and still, be able to observe his/her past and origins. There has to be a way to combine the two loves, the love of the present and the love of the past or roots.

faris darwazeh said...

bo3 bo3,

interesting point about the current and the past..countries can be based not only on sentiments of nationalim but also as i mentioned identity and citizenship is very crucial..taking for example the riots in paris it was apparent that they were issues of inequality and unfair treatement those protestors felt..although they were french but the treatment they got was different than the 'true' or 'white' french..
nowadays i still get this jordanian/palestinian duality although it doesnt bother me but for some it does and in the past it had created major problems and i urge that we move beyond that since problems have happened in the past and history has a tendacy to repeat itself maybe on a different scale..
although i must give credit to the our political system for ensuring a wider representation exist in the parliment and ministry with more women and more palestinians but on the ground dualities still happen..
just to play the devils many palestinian jordanian suppose paleste is libertated would head back and live a new life? personally i wouldnt,
and the same applies for the jordanian i wonder how many think that such a route be taken by those jordanina palestinians..

the situation now is a sure thing and we must learn to live with it and again move beyond the identity crisis...

well its been an interesting debate..distracting me from my studies exams coming up soon in 48 hours...

i will be sure to read the follow ups

faris darwazeh

Khalidah said...

Thank you so much for this great post

I will share with you my point of view and hope that it will be met with open hearts and minds

I am a Jordanian to the roots as they say .. from both prents' sides .. bedouin ..

We have been living this dilemma ever since I can remember .. and I have always wondered why we always seek for origins and investigate if someone was a "true" Jordanian or not .. I have asked my parents and grandparents and was told different stories about black September and about how Palestinians hate us and hate our country .. yet I could not be convinced .. because looking around .. my friends were from Palestinian origins and we shared great friendships ... so what was it that made us different ... why should I "as a Jordanian" have more rights in my country or get angry if "the others" took the same rights ...

It perplexed me for a long time .. until I had the experience to live abroad ..

As they say, one rotten apple might corrupt the whole box .. and one bad example might change your mind about the whole concept ...

I have witnessed the following scenario first hand .. when I lived in Dubai, every time I introduced myself to anyone, the inevitable question came along: where are you from? and the minute I say Jordanian, it is almost always followed by: Jordanian Jordanian or Jordanian Palestinian ... my answer was always: what difference does it make? and no one answered this .. so I started paying more attention to my fellow Jordanians living there as expatriates .. and the shocking observation was that a high percentage of them ran away from the Jordanian lable and explained to others that they were Palestinians even though they hold the Jordanian passport .. and you know what .. that really pissed me off ... I used to feel sad for them and for my country that is being disowned by them the minute they live outside it ..

I know that this does not apply to ALL .. however; as I mentioned before .. one bad example is enough to make you become cautious at least and not take patriotism of everyone for granted ... I guess this is one of the reasons that make us question ourselves about who is the true Jordanian ..

Just for the record .. I don't hold any bad feelings towards anyone of different origins yet holding the Jordanian nationality .. I believe in my heart that it is their home as much as it is mine and that they should hold it dear and be proud of it as much as I do and as I am .. and I hope that as sophisticated Jordanians .. we can work together towards erasing the intangible boundaries that were built several decades ago and live in harmony and peace once and for all

thank you again and I apologize for the long comment

Bo3Bo3 said...

good luck dude in ur test.

loool yes i remember this question, orduny orduny wella....LOOL. Thanks for sharing ur thoughts too.

Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree that the topic has been tackled superficially; we have not even begun to scratch the surface of the true problem here.
I really am reluctant to bring this topic up, but I feel obliged to, especially when I see all avoiding it. How can you solve a problem if you do not discuss it?
The true issue here, based on my experience, is "all waten al badiel!" I think this was the main trigger for the September events, and it remains to be the hidden reason beneath every discriminating act taken by any person at either side, (if we can agree that there are two sides to this issue).

I do not know how you, good people out there, feel about this. To me, this calls for concern, this is why we have trouble discussing equal rights for Jordanians of Palestinian origins or (al huqooq al manqousa) – which is something I hate to talk about because I really do not feel that there is some sort of discrimination against any Jordanian at all. However, it is worth mentioning that some Jordanians feel this sort of talk is a serious attempt at erasing the Jordanian identity, especially when there are social issues that makes some Jordanians worry about this particular fact.

I believe Jordan is for Jordanians, and until the Palestinian issue is resolved once and for all , people should refrain from the "hoqooq el manqousa" topic, or else things shall take a serious turn!

Anonymous said...

hmm so ur saying ur not Palestinian???

Bo3Bo3 said...

am I saying I'm not palestinian? I don't. I'm saying that I am a jordanian or a palestinian origin. I never seen palestine, and nore my dad (except during the war, he was stationed there). But I do realize that I came from somewhere in palestine. Yet, my attachment is more toward jordan than palestine. One can have both, ir doesn't be ither this or that.

faris said...

again its an interesting topic being for jordanian culture and nationality i agree that the palestinian issue can and in a way erode it, but again if we are to examine where we see this duality the most i would say amman...
further, as one leaves amman we actually witness this jordanian culture.. i would say that the duality question is an urban one? personally i only encounter it in amman never felt it outside the city although upon presenting my ID to check points and other police points i guess they would recongize that the family name is not of jordan proper..

i have a question...dont u think that most jordanian palestinians have been assimilated (although i dont like the word) into jordan..especially younger generations tend to identify with jordan more and more...

would love to know more about al huqooq al manqousa debate?


faris said...

one last point...i dont think its an issue of waten al badeel..

i am sure that as generations get older such notions of waten al badeel erode..further intergrating into jordanian soociety and be of the people of jordan more and more jordanian palesintians do identify as being jordanian..
its certainly a sensitive topic to dwell on..its shame that its been roughly 30 years since black september where we witnessed a clear divide in jordan and yet till this day as i am typing this the issue still comes up and doesnt seem to end..

i dont want to sound defensive but the palestininan issue is also an arab issue and very much part of arab history and an important one, i think its about time that problems be resolved ..even my lebanese friends have such sentiments regarding palestinians in lebanon and sometimes joke and say that all what palesininans are good for creating civil wars...

the problem is deeper than that and yes maybe if the issue of palestine is solved the problem of identity will, but the fact is that we cant depend on that and we must fix what problem we are facing now as jordanians and as arab.. ya its a problem of diapora and people not having a nation but those people are arabs and we all must help and make sure problems wont occur again...

again i am not being on the defensive side but we arabs have a problem ourselves regarding unity and taking action as a people..

the debate can go on and on, but as mentioned some action must be taken against this duality since it still is vivid in jordan only when the topic is brought..

well i will leave it here for now


C^C said...

bo3bo3 go kill yourself ya karboj :D

kol youm korhe elak byzed ya a5e sho hal2osa hay :*l:

w ah btw al3sfora 2altle eno jedak allah yr7mo kan mn 7aifa bshkor allah enak ma enwldet feha :D

Anonymous said...

you are trying to be Jordanian more than Jordanians themselves ...about Myself as a palestinian palestinian citizen will not appreciate having you as a part of my nation..

Bo3Bo3 said...

With all due respect to the last poster, not you and not anyone can decide where I belong. If I ashame you, please don't watse your time and stalk my posts, I don't care.

Anonymous said...


your a palastinian citizen,so am i

i love my country,and i love my land.
and bo3bo3 loves his country jordan,and loves everything about it.

and plzz dont get too big and be gabaday,we tetfas-han.

and i have one more thing for you.
as iam a palastinian and born in palestine,gaza.

i think it would be gr8 if you make a post and have nice words. if you dont have nice comments,dont post them becuase someone like you may make the palastinians look like bad and have no respect.
the problem is that not all palastinians r like that,
only you and some other fools that try to be like you.

give respect to everyone plzz

hala bo3bo3
hala jordan
hala belhabayeb kolhooom

Bo3Bo3 said...

Last anomymous

Thanks for your remarks, and believe me, my pride of beaing originally from palestine is not and will never be shaken because of few comments here or there. But I can relate to this case. u c, my dad was born in jordan and never in palestine. His dad was. And that makes me somehow palestinian by origins (and very proudly so). But jordan has probably the same weight if not more in my heart. It's the land that I call home. If I can not be proude of home, then what am I gonna be proud of beside my religion?

thanls again, and gaza agda3 naaaaaas.