Jordanian bloggers came together to mark the second Blog About Jordan Day on March 12, an initiative started in 2008 by Qwaider, who, this year, encouraged people to participate in the day:
It's blog about Jordan day, a time to take a few minutes, out of your busy schedule -saving the world- to give Jordan, the country that is as unlikely to exist as the universe itself. Yet, it's there, and it's loved. And despite all the dark disadvantages, and horrible challenges, Jordan and Jordanians press on, and take on major challenges, to displace a spot among the stars
Many bloggers opted to take part in the event by posting photographs, like Jordan Journals below:
Jordanian and expat bloggers wrote about Jordan's perks and advantages, about its problems and future, and some were inspired to reflect on their personal attachment to the country.
The Arab Observer, explained the importance of the occasion:
It is like a national holiday where sentiments of nationality and patriotism are spread in the air, mostly with appreciation for the achievements and prospects Jordan has
As I walk through the street of Amman
Exchanging greeting and smiles
Noticing ambition in youths’ eyes
Being supervised by people who’re old and wise
I deeply sigh at the lovely sight
And realize that Jordan’s name had been carved on my heart
Ammar, from Confessions of a Vegetarian Shark, wondered “why Jordan seems to age much faster than it should, as signs of early dementia are creeping into the collective psyche:”
“See Jordan, isn't a cabinet position, and loyalty to Jordan, shouldn't be measured by how many government positions are held by a clan, a city, or a cardinal direction. Jordan isn't a farm, not a principality, it's not a bank or an ATM machine, not a supermarket, not a postcard, it's not a hotel, and it certainly isn't a never ending chain of intellectual experiments.”
And on the question of what Jordan is and isn't, Hareega evaluated the national mood:
“Whenever we realize that we actually have to work a little bit with no immediate gain on the horizon we get discouraged. We don't get democracy. We don't get patriotism. We think of it as a song and a flag and not as concept of self-sacrifice for the sake of others living in the same land”
People who complain about everything here without actually doing something bug me just as much as those who don't want to admit we have problems. We do, there's nothing wrong with that as long as we're willing to do something about it
But it wasn't all criticism. Some bloggers personalized the occasion by reflecting on their positive experiences in the country. In the words of Kinzi:
Where else would every person you meet have a cousin in every city you’ve lived?
Where else does everything stop the first rain of the season and even adults are seen drinking it in outside?
Where else is ‘pita bread and hummous’ a daily delight and not an expensive exotic delicacy?
Where else does one word of badly spoken Arabic elicit a roomful of oohs-aahs and encouragement to learn more?
Where else can you call for help from a creepy groper and have five men pounce on the wayward-handed one?
Where else can you walk by a neighbor you never met and they invite you for tea that minute?
Layla, from Caledoniyya, concurred that Jordan has a bitter-sweet taste to it:
Complex yet imbued with a beatific simplicity; hectic yet vastly empty; freezing damp yet equally arid, it is a country of contradictions, and if she had been a contestant on one of my favourite guilty pleasures, Jordan would be the ‘ugly-pretty’ girl on America’s Next Top Model.
On the occasion, Mohammad Badi extended a welcoming hand to his non-Jordanian readers:
If you’re not jordanian or even not an arab you will live in peace and also you’ll have the respect and the love from all, because we are in jordan one family muslims, christians and others living and sharing our feelings, dreams and thoughts with each others without no intolerance or bias.
Hope for positive change propelled some bloggers to write down their dreams for the country:
As much as I love this place and can always find something good to say, I know that the changes that need to happen can happen. One of the reasons I stay is that I want to be a part of such changes, even if in the smallest capacity. That's my hope. – Southern Muslimah
I dream that our country will have honest elections, and that our people will select their representatives based on qualifications and not nepotism or JD 50 bribes – Hamede
As Jordanian bloggers now await the next BAJD in March 12th, 2010, it would be interesting to see if their styles for commemorating the day will remain the same. Will there be more criticism? More praise? More hope? BAJD 2010 will answer these questions.