Jordan’s Identity Challenge by Laila Bashar Kloub, Jordan

Today in 2015, the world is really different. Everything is quicker, easier, and changeable now. Preserving identities is not a problem of the country, it’s a global challenge. When you can easily go to primary school in the Arab world, high school in Europe, college in America, and then work in Australia, for example, you will completely make a unique and different identity for yourself, being affected by a lot of cultures from different countries. This can really change you, and maybe it would make you a little confused about what is right or wrong. In Jordan, it’s another case. It’s not the identity of you as a person– Jordan’s identity ­ as a country­ is having the biggest challenge today. Although other countries are trying to preserve their inner identity, Jordan cannot understand the population’s diversity bomb, especially after the Arab spring. For many years, Jordanians were comprised of clear and specific groups: Bedouins and farmers, Charckasians “people who came from qafqaz in 1882”, Armenians “people who came from Armenia in 1950”, and Palestinian refugees who came in 1948 and 1967. All of them, Muslims and Christians, lived together in a really peaceful and lovable way, preserving their special identities. All of these cultures made Jordan’s unique and compatible identity. In 2003 Jordan let in thousands of people from Iraq after Baghdad fell, and a very different culture was mixed with the Jordanian society. It became ordinary to hear a different accent, or music, and to see different traditions. By the Arab spring, another diversity bomb happened: more than one million Syrian refugees traveled to Jordan, without forgetting that there was also more than a half million Egyptian workers there already. Today, we have a real challenge to preserve Jordan’s real identity, the accent, the culture, and thousands of other details. You and me, everyone should be responsible. Future is our present continuity.

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