Friday, January 25, 2013

opposition in Jordan

"They seemed to delight in tweaking the king. In the days before the vote, they had set up a mock Facebook election page with fictional candidates, with names meant to taunt Abdullah: They named one party the Poker list, after what Jordanians insist is the king's rumored gambling habit.
Sometimes, the men went to the roof of their clubhouse. There they enjoyed a view below of the leafy court grounds where King Hussein and his father, Talal, are buried. The men stared down and told stories of how long ago, families would be invited by the royals for feasts in honor of the birth of a child. But now they gossiped that the king was set to sell the land, even though his ancestors were buried there.
They could see the lights gleaming around Amman and dream of the democracy they aspired to: a constitutional monarchy in which power lies with a freely elected parliament and jobs are awarded by merit. As they bantered, all of them believed they could make a difference.
Still not everything had been easy. Said was arrested twice for participating in protests. The second time he was fired from his job as a laborer at Royal Jordanian airline. Even then, he received an unexpected confidence boost when the police jailed him; one of the officers, also an East Banker, told him in a tacit nod, "Keep your head up high.""