In every Jordanian’s life, there’s a common monster behind the bushes. Ever since we start our journey into adulthood and perhaps well before that, we hear several stories and warnings to avoid being caught by that vague, notorious entity. Don’t talk about this, turn a blind eye to this and a deaf ear to that, and God forbid that you should ever come across a protest; in that case it’s the Lion King’s policy and none other than that. Run, Simba, run! Yes, every Jordanian, male or female, young or old, has at some point been haunted by their own idea of the notorious, mystical, ever feared Mukhabarat.
First, I feel that I have to make something clear here. I’m in no way trying to mock or underestimate the work of the General Intelligence Service aka Mukhabarat, for God knows how many bombings those people have stopped, they are one big reason we could feel safe after the Amman bombings in 2005. They’re pretty cool actually, have you seen that movie “Body of Lies”? Heck! They made it look as though the Secret Intelligence is the only good thing about Jordan. Seriously, they had a general shot of Jabal Al-Hussein where you could see a donkey pulling a carriage, but the Mukhabarat men kicked some CIA behinds though! In your face, Dicaprio.
Any how, my concern here is not with Mukhabarat, but rather with how Jordanians see Mukhabarat. Seriously, sometimes it’s absurd. For example, if you have a Facebook status critical of anything about the government people might start hinting that you’re going to face some nasty consequences. Honestly, I think that’s an insult to Mukhabarat itself, for I personally believe these are busy people who certainly have better things to do than monitoring a Facebook profile of a girl who once had Judy Abbot as a profile picture and a blog that gets 100 to 150 hits a day, and that’s on a good day. Let’s face it, people! There’s a reason those people are called “the Intelligence”, they are not stupid! They know who’s a threat to the stability of the country and who’s not.
What I’m trying to say here is that those are difficult times for our country and we need more than ever to free ourselves from the “Mukhabarat Pobia” that’s been haunting us forever. We are obsessed with this, we imagine that once we say anything or point any fingers at the people who are destroying our country from within we will be taken “behind the sun” and tortured like there’s no tomorrow. They are people doing their job in protecting the country and the throne, which is much needed, we are not their job.
Adding for good measure, let me point out that the current Prime Minister Al-Bakhit has always been an army man and was once a councilor at Mukhabarat and as we’re seeing now that his government is more open to criticism that the previous one and they are taking positive steps towards freedom of expression. I’d say this is a positive sign that we’re getting on the same page. The government seems to understand that when we speak we’re not trying to undermine the stability of the country or anything; it’s just that we’re ordinary citizens who actually care for their country and feel a responsibility to do something to prevent it from going to the gutters.
We need to speak up, not only you or me but everyone should speak up so that we can build momentum to let our voice be heard, and it’s not just because we want to rant and change governments, but rather because we want the decision makers to get it right and to know what our demands are. And no, we don’t have to have American passports to feel free to express our opinions.
They say you are what you believe, and I don’t believe I am oppressed in this country and I owe it for my country to prove that, and if it isn’t true then I owe it to make it true. I mean come on, at least we haven’t had bloggers put behind bars, yet! That’s encouraging if you ask me
Fears cripples the mind so set your mind free, just to see what could happen… if anything