Jerash Festival is cancelled. No one knows with certainty why this arbitrary decision was taken few years ago. Many claim they know the sinister motives behind this cancellation, but none have had the guts to express their “classified information” in public. With all said and done, the issue of discontinuing Jerash Festival has become the pretext to attack any new attempt to fill the void left with its termination.
Jordan Festival opened last night with Amal Maher’s tribute to Um Kulthoum. The feedback from the event was telling on many levels. Apart from the praise of the brilliant performance that was befitting of a Diva, the kind of talk was indicative of an insecurity that we have harbored for too long and that we were only too happy to dispel. The feedback bordered on national pride, an elated feeling coupled with an implicit sigh of a relief of “Yes we can”. We can produce shows of such high standards. We can accommodate thousands without creating havoc. We can showcase a first class taste that we thought only others were capable of.
Not surprisingly, the view of certain expected and selected cynical few was different. It was not negative. It was poisonous. The organizers as well as the event were publicly attacked with malicious and mean spirited insinuations bordering on treason. Descriptions of the foundation backing this Festival as mysterious and alien is tantamount to slander. Those who have taken up the habit of attacking anything and everything must be stopped. They must be stopped not because it is unfair to the organizers, but because it is unfair to all Jordanians who are truly desperate for reasons to make them proud again.
Jerash Festival and Jordan Festival complement one another. They are not mutually exclusive. Support of a Jordan Festival does not mean quitting the calls for the return of Jersah Festival. I personally was very saddened to see it end, and I would at any moment call for its return.
Enough carping! We are tired! We want to be happy. And if this is a sin…then I am a sinner. We want to feel proud. We want to see honesty in the way things are handled. Unleashing attack dogs for no reason other than bitterness and egotistical motives does us all harm.
Finally, for all those who claim that the title is an infringement on the name “Jordan”, I say think again! Anything and anyone who succeeds in showing the beautiful face of Jordan deserves unequivocally to carry this name. Entitlement alone suffocates objectivity. Earning the right is by far a better judge!