Abu Ghoush’s dream

The champ, Ahmad Abu Ghoush, deserves this popular celebration for what he has achieved, with the least allocated official support, within available capacities. But the real challenge lies in our ability, as a state and as national institutions, to make available the factors to sustaining the brilliance and advancement of this youth, to retain his global title representing Jordan.

I fear, and it is quite justified —I think, that our officials are addressing this historic triumph achieved by Abu Ghoush as a current celebratory incident; short-termed, as usually, without actually reproaching the national standards to developing the Taekwondo scene or any of the other scenes in Jordan, to preface more achievements. More so, the media version should portray Ahmad as a role model for youths on the possibilities of attaining global success and achievement, where there is will, determination, practice and the right atmosphere, to pave a way.

In Jordan, there is a disturbing shortage of role models and inspiring people! Overall, to put more clearly, there is a shortage in investments place in developing and maintaining role models. For in every field, such models can be found; in medicine, architecture, engineering, sports, arts, literature, business; but all of them are marginalised and forgotten, and there is no standing dynamic to projecting these models politically, socially, or even media-wise.

It has gotten to the point that we’ve become known, utterly almost, for our low tolerance for long term celebrity or creativity; we just as soon either push them out of Jordan, or destroy their talents with repeated dismissal and denial. Jordan is some many times referred to as the Graveyard of Stars; we only celebrate ours for a while, before we burry them in negligence and denial. We haven’t the slightest clue how to sustain them and develop them, let alone honour them and respect them after retirement, or in the aftermath of, or even during, harsh and difficult times they endure.

Like Ahmad, there are thousands of Jordanian youths with the ability to innovate and achieve; to provide a role model. But the conditions, policies, and atmosphere surrounding them drive against them, and drive them down, to either migrate or just abandon their dreams altogether.

I don’t want to come across as frustrating, or adding salt to the wound, but whoever has something else to say about this, please do; revive in us our hopes. Else, we need to address this very vital question: why is Jordan referred to, by its own creative talents, as the “Graveyard of Stars”?!

Days before Abu Ghoush scored his medal, we lost a national football legend; Khaled Zoubi, for whom thousands would cheer, only to sleep so quietly into oblivion. The same goes for Ahmad Hayel, who is fighting alone to overcome the unfair conditions imposed upon him by the Kuwaiti Football association, and is one of the best strikers in the Jordanian football scene. And the list goes on; of the many stars who; had they been in some else, perhaps in a western state, would have made fortune and fame for themselves unforgettable. Instead, they live in Jordan today, some barely making a living!

And this is not an exclusive feature of the sports scene in Jordan; what about Jordanian artists and stars? Has the state given any attention to stars like Mohammad Qabbani, and many others; some battling poverty to survive? Had they been in any other country, an Arab country even, like Syria or Iraq, they would have received much interest and attention. So many Jordanian talents have nothing less to bring than any other Arab star!

So much ingratitude by the State, respective institutions, civil society, and the private sector, is directed to the innovative and creative talents we have. Everything we hear and see ranks to nothing more than instantaneous skittish celebrations that last a week maybe, tops, after one of them scores an achievement or a victory. Or champs are more or less like orphans in the discourses of their glories, lacking support and proper sponsorship!

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