Monday, July 28, 2008

Noblesse oblige

King Abullah's II visit to Balqa' is telling of the begging custom that has become the modus operandi of the day.  

I happened to see the King's visits on TV to several Governates all over the Kingdom. The audience of each visit was more or less indicative of the level of needs of the various governates where these royal visits took place. During these encounters several notables of the communities in question gave speeches of welcome fused with list of grievances for which they were seeking relief.

There is nothing wrong with having poor communities voice hardship and seek the support of the government. In fact it is great that such calls fall directly on the lion’s ears. After all, empowering and providing safety nets in areas where government intervention is necessary, is but one of the most important mandates entrusted to the public sector.

My surprise came specifically at watching the latest town meeting that took place in Balqa Governate. To me, a brief survey of the notables of Balqa and the big families that are hailed from its great capital Al-Salt, tell me that there is a lot of wealth residing there. I have no statistics on which I base my observation. It is merely an observation.

Nevertheless, assuming that my observation is valid, I am sure that we could agree that a goverante that houses such wealth should not wait for the king to visit so that a petition for a hospital or a school or a program or I don’t' know what, gets acted upon.  These very needs should be the trigger point to be proactive in addressing the civic needs of any given community.    

As I was watching all the extremely well dressed and obviously well off notables hold the microphone and talk (petition is more like it), I could not help but think to myself “To whom much is given much is obliged”.

Finally, there is no disrespect intended by this post to the great people of Balqa’. In fact this is probably one of the greatest goverantes of Jordan. However, what I noticed in the Balqa’ town meeting could apply countrywide on all those who are given but do not see the need to be obliged.


Mohanned said...

The anatomy of balqa and salt might be hard to understand for an outside observer; the fact that you see wealth and status in some instances doesn't reflect the reality on the ground. Many work in the army, others are employed by the government and its arms(or legs). Each and every 3asheereh or family in salt has a dignitary that serves as a liaison with the regime and the government, their roles are working on wasta's and massaging the whole 3asheer's ego.

Now, one thing you might not know is that Salt houses many of the extremists in jordan, as a matter of fact I will go as far as calling it the capital of takfeere ideology in jordan. Those idividuals have been very successful in recruiting many young men.

Tallouza said...

In addtion to Zarqa!?. This is bad news.