Hussein’s legacy lives on in Jordan [Archives:2005/887/Opinion]

October 20 2005

If there is an Arab country that can truly boast it has progressed and made a name for itself, it is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Jordanian legacy is a true adventure in human development with a track record of ongoing success in meeting all the difficult and perplexing challenges that Jordan faced over its almost three quarters of a century as a viable independent state.

Jordan was a phenomenal display of astute management of sovereignty, notwithstanding the scarcity of its resources and the difficult political challenges faced as many of the Arab states tried to flirt with nationalist and progressive movements that got most of the Arab nation into a quagmire of defeat, failure and sheer loss of energy and resources. Yet, throughout all these years of disappointments, setbacks and frustration, Jordan somehow never forget that its people must remain resourceful, productive and advancing.

Could one ever forget that it was His Majesty the late King Hussein Bin Talal, the truly magnanimous and chivalrous monarch, who steadily and courageously guided his country and his people to a half century of ongoing human and cultural development and economic well-being? Oh, Jordan and King Hussein had their enemies all around them and no one ever was ready to envy Jordan's geographical setting amidst a sea of hostility, jealousy and greed. Nor were the animosities of a newly entrenched aggressive Zionist enemy right across the border, a whirlwind of failed Republicanism, Arabic style all around and the tragedy of having to absorb most of the victims of the birth of this new hostile neighbor, simple hurdles that just happened to bump into Jordan as it sought to find its rightful place in the international community of forward looking states. Jordan was the little peon that everyone used to think would be either swallowed up by one of its giant neighbors or gobbled up by all of them, just so Jordan would not continue to make them look ridiculous in their different surface renditions of political or sociological orientations. But, in the end it was Jordan that came out to be the shining beacon of hope and inspiration to most of the people of most of the Arab states and not just the surrounding states around Jordan. Amid all the disastrous blunders and misguided judgment of tyranny and repression, Jordan welcomed two thirds of the Palestinian refugees and told them, in true Arab hospitality style, Jordan is also your home and your country and you are just as important to us as the indigenous Jordanians. The Jordanians, monarch and people, opened their arms to their Palestinian brothers and embraced them with full citizenship and honored them by restoring their dignity after having gone through the trauma of forced relocation, death, starvation and torture. While most Arab politicians sang the word of freedom and liberty and reinstatement of the Palestinians, Jordan gave them a home, gave them a hand and most of all gave them their hearts.

How ironic and truly valorous that the weakest of Arab states had the biggest and warmest heart that spoke very little and delivered more than most of the Arabs put together. For sure, many of the Palestinians, who used to feel hostility towards the late King Hussein will realize that, if there was anyone who really cared about their plight and expressed that feeling – not with rhetoric and sob stories – but a place they can call home. In remembering all those years of agony and frustration as our leaders took the nation from one defeat to the next, one remembers how it was the Jordanians, who warned of the coming of the attack of the Israeli forces on June 6, 1967, it was the leaders, who were calling wolf, who turned out to be the lamb. The Jordanian Arab Legion, defended the City of Jerusalem house by house and block by block, fighting with their meager battle gear, compared to the Zionist enemy, who had the numbers and the equipment and the wolves became the disgrace of the nation lost in the deserts of Sinai, while their commanders have yet to recover from the partying and dancing of the night before. It is all history now, yes, but, we should never forget that the Jordanian troops fought to the last man for keeping what ever could be kept of the nation's honor. Otherwise, we have not given history its due and we have not done our brothers (and sisters) in Jordan the justice they deserve for all the sacrifice that Jordan gave to keep the honor of the nation upheld.

This observer could never forget that sad day in New York in the 1967 Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, when HM the late King Hussein delivered a 15 minute speech that truly underlined what the agony and frustration that had set in within the hearts of most of the Arabs, which could have been averted had mind prevailed over senseless emotions and had our leaders for once asked themselves, why am I doing what I am doing, and what good truly comes out for the people out of what I am doing? In Jordan, the Jordanians got true to the heart leadership that truly knew what needed to be done in war, but no one listened, and knew how to take the olive branch and provide the peace that the people of Jordan needed to overcome the despair and the sadness of uncalled for defeat after defeat after defeat, brought on by careless leaders, who have wasted the resources of their people and the blood of their misled youth.

With the untimely death of His Majesty King Hussein, Jordan is again blessed with young and understanding leadership. King Abdullah must have comprehended his father's visions better than anyone else, for it was based on this comprehension that the father decided to turn the challenge over to one who must continue the legacy he worked so hard to establish. Jordan understands that empty rhetoric is not the right path to success, no matter how loud it is broadcast. Success only comes with rational minds, hard work and honesty with one's self. That is the story of Jordan for close to three quarters of a century and that is the legacy of the House of Hussein. Welcome to your other home, King Abdullah, welcome to Yemen.