Jordanians Vs. Jordanians?

It has been said that you should define yourself before people give you a name. But, this is not the case for Jordan. According to many Arabs and Arab media Jordan is a tiny British made country existed to serve a purpose. After many decades of independent Jordan go figure what this purpose is. Unfortunately, Jordan is always described as a country divided into two; the Bedouin Jordanian tribes and the Jordanians from the Palestinian origins. This description by non-Jordanian media is due to the failure of our government to address this division. Mistakenly thinking that if a problem is not addressed it will eventually disappear.

In respect to the latest incident that took place after the match between the two rival Jordanian football teams, Al-Faisali and Al-Wehdat, I hope the Jordanian government be more transparent in their analysis of the recent violent incident. If for any reason is because this time the clash wasn’t mainly between the fans of the two teams but between Al-Wehdat fans and the police officers. The reason this time is different is because if the government does nothing it will be accused of oppressing Palestinians instead of reporting the incident as a clash between the police officers and the fans. This of course may lead to even worse consequences.  But since we never address this division,  we will always be Jordanians of Jordanian origins and Jordanians of Palestinian origins.

Knowing that both groups share the same religion, language, ethnicity, color, and geographical area makes one ponders where all this hostility came from and why it still exists even after 62 years when Palestinians were expelled from their homeland.

Jamal Halaby’s article in the AP about this incident has been picked up by The Washington Post and many others even The Kansas City Star. He wrote:

There is a long history of violence between supporters of the two teams, stemming in part from the decades of tension with Jordan’s large Palestinian population, which includes an estimated 1.8 million refugees displaced after Israel’s 1948 creation and their descendants.

He also quoted an American diplomat memo mentioned by one of WikiLeaks’ links:

In a match last year between the same teams, Faisali fans chanted slogans deriding the Palestinian origin of King Abdullah II’s wife, Queen Rania, and their son Crown Prince Hussein – an episode that even got a mention in one of the U.S. diplomatic memos released by the WikiLeaks website. In the document, American diplomats said they were "puzzled" by the king’s failure to respond to the "verbal attack on his family."

The fiasco media war that happened between Egyptians and Algerians over a football game last year was a disgrace for both countries. No Jordanian wants such thing to happen in Jordan between the so called Bedouins and Palestinians, or simply and more accurately one should say among Jordanians.

The repeated violent incidents in Jordan are not limited to Jordanian and Palestinian football fans and it is naive to say that what happened after Al-Wehdat and Al-Faisaly was due to “the deep divisions between the nation’s native Bedouin clans and its Palestinians.” [source] knowing that not all Al-Faisali’s players and fans are native Jordanians.

The culture of group violence in Jordan exists whether we like or not. It exists in university campuses, between two tribes supporting their parliament candidates or to avenge to one of their member’s killing. The government needs to address this issue by forcing the law. Violence in football stadiums is everywhere but in Jordan it is riskier because we still treat others as Jordanians and Palestinians not as just Jordanians.

Palestinians in Jordan are not a minority neither they are of different race or color. They are our sisters and brothers. Without a bond between these two groups Jordan will never be a safe place. Jordan is a country for everyone and should always be this way. Neither Palestinians nor Jordanians should think of each other as two separate entities. We may think of each other as different which is normal but we should not think that we are disconnected.

On a side note, it was hard to see the pictures of those kids got involved in this mishap but what those fathers were thinking when they took their children to this football game. Even without the violence, which is expected after every Al-Wehdat and Al-Faisali match, the cussing in the stadium is so obscene.


10 thoughts on “Jordanians Vs. Jordanians?

  1. When I saw the the vedio clip I was shocked. We are all one nation one blood and share one dream. I hope the incident will not be repeated in the future and it will a lesson that we need to learn from. Violence Leeds to violence and make things worse. I trust the jordanian government and I am sure that they will address the issue very seriouly since the issue is effecting the national unity of Jordan

    1. Violence in football stadiums is all over the world but as you mentioned in Jordan it may affect national unity. I will be waiting the government’s response.

  2. At a very basic level, this is about ingrown bitterness given birth to public rage. So so sad. I agree with your statement that dads were not thinking in bringing kids to this…not only the danger, but it then sows the same bitter seeds in young hearts.

    The behaviour is SO the opposite of the very best of Jordan.

  3. I do not know when and who start this categorization , but unfortunately it still going on, there is no one between the two parties want to stop and think about the reasons for this hostility

    So far, and after the recent events when you read the comments of some commentators on the events, we find that this phenomenon is impossible to disappear.

    I was in a discussion with colleagues at work some time ago regarding this issue, I mentioned how we live under the same conditions happy and unhappy all the events effected all of us – people who live in Jordan – one of my colleagues told me that I’m wrong, and even me as a non-Jordanian – as they sees us – being at a government job is stealing a Jordanian male chance to build a family …

    The problem is that these ideas legacy, I do not know why, rather than pass on constructive ideas to future generations some rather to pass such a retro idea!!!

    1. “being at a government job is stealing a Jordanian male chance to build a family” This is just so stupid. This is exactly the kind of mentality we need to get rid of. You are right that it may be difficult to change such mentality for both parties but for sure we can teach our kids to be better than us, if we want them to live peacefully. That is why I believe the government needs to start changing the school curriculum to build more understanding Jordanians. Of course, more than school curriculum needs to be updated but that needs another post.

  4. I agree with what you have said about really addressing this issue. I think it would be hard for the government to do that when it has so many other issues it needs to address as well. Education, wasta, spending and etc. I just find that this is another issue to add on to the pile of issues that need to be addressed.

    When will we stop separating ourselves or letting people drive wedges between us? Not sure anyone has an answer to that.

    1. It is tough and not a short term task but at the same time it is critical to the stability of the country. We can start the process from our homes.

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