Even though Jordanians are more appreciative of the inviolability of their security, when looking at the region surrounding, infested with humanitarian catastrophe with much social, cultural, and moral disintegration, still; sensing the pulse of the street, one would sense a dominating anxiety and fear of the future!
Why are so many people “afraid”?! A question worth addressing; worth much thorough evaluation by officials, researchers, and media people; worthy of workshops and debates, to uncover the secret behind this fear, which reflects, as many merchants say, on the economic flow, and on commercial activity; particularly real estate. This fear, apparently, is reflective on the social mood and reinforces the sociology of frustration and tension in the social midst.
Leaping unto the primary assumptions, over the regional scene, and over all the chaos and destruction prevalent in the surrounding area, which certainly does affect the social mood, in Jordan especially; only a few kilometres away from the heart of these disasters, to focus on the domestic affairs of Jordan, one would find the most dominant sensation, infusive of so much fear, is the common “uncertainty”, lacking assurances on future security. Is this a fear of end up like countries around us for example?
Well, this seems relatively farfetched, for a multitude of objective reasons. So what is the source of this haunting and the fear so widespread among Jordanians?
To my estimation, it is the series of occurrences and phenoms unravelling over recent years, from the drugs epidemic to the spread of extremism, through the deterioration of moral authority in state and society, which is the precursor to the manifestation of moral disintegration and qualitative growth in crimes, like petty corruption and bribery, even though quantitatively, in other criminal spheres, according to the Public Security Directorate (PSD), crimes have decreased. This qualitative distinction on the rise also reinforced distrust in the state institution.
There is a multitude, accordingly, of factors and indicators to dynamics behind these phenoms. But, what has recently superseded all that, for officials and citizens, is the economic crisis, which has limited approaches to deficiency control and sky-rocketing indebtedness, as well as reflected wildly on society, in terms of continuous increase in unemployment, and the widening gap between rich and poor, exerting enormous pressures on the middle class, as prices rise before a vaster social segment unable to adapt to these harsh economic conditions to secure the required balance; which in turn induces much social, cultural, and moral conflictions, all things considered!
Now, undoubtedly, democratic reformation, our topic yesterday, comprises a golden bridge to dealing with the economic crisis and its social implications. But it does not suffice, at all, without a strategic economic perspective integrated to establish unconventional resolution for the greater, graver danger casting shadow over Jordan; one of the very real reasons behind the popular anxiety we spoke off. By that I mean rising unemployment.
Prime Minister Dr Hani Mulqi, and his economic team, in hand with the Board for economic policy, all realise well this predicament. But, we nonetheless need to speak more often of it; politically, publically, and culturally, to address the core of the fear dominating our streets. New figures indicate 14.7 per cent stands as our general unemployment rate. Among youth, the rate reaches 30 and sometimes 40 per cent; this only means we are sitting atop a dangerous volcano, with critical effects should it erupt, socially, economically, security-wise, as well as culturally.
The generation described by Dr Omar Razzaz as “on hold”, or suspended, should be the centre of everybody’s attention; they are waiting for a chance to work and live, and should that not come their way, what should they be waiting for then?!