Chairman of the Senate Faisal Al-Fayez, contacted me in response to my previous article on Al-Araby Al-Jadeed’s website, in which I referred, to a video clip in which he talks about political reform as affluence for the political elite in Amman, in his call, Al-Fayez confirmed that what he said did not fall within the counter-position of the committee’s outputs or the political reform project, Rather, by induction of the reality in the governorates and the real priorities of Jordanian youth, he sent me the full video of the discussion, confirming that the context of the discussion was not an objection or reservation to the outcomes of the Royal Committee.
Although Al-Fayez’s speech was clear in favoring economic priorities, especially combating youth unemployment over political issues, however, his call and explanation are important in the context of not confusing what he says with the front that was formed against the outputs of the committee and feared the political reform project or doubted the seriousness of the state in that, In conclusion, the man was – according to the context of the conversation – describing reality and general youthful trends in it.
Returning to the question: Is political reform really affluence and demanded by only the political elites in Amman, and if the Jordanian youth in the governorates are not concerned with it or care about it, as far as they are concerned with the issue of unemployment, daily life, and insurance of the life basics?
The answer to that is complicated; On the one hand, it is true that the vast majority of young people are concerned with economic conditions, this is clearly demonstrated by the polls of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan on an ongoing and definitive basis, it is a phenomenon not only in Jordan, and it is not related to the youth, as it is an Arab phenomenon, but rather a global one and it relates to the vast majority of people all over the world, who are concerned with managing their daily economic lives and service matters, not political.
However, on the other hand, there is a necessity for the state and the youth together in developing a political and partisan life capable of integrating a large proportion of young people into public work, for many reasons, including what is related to the worrying gap between the young generation and decision-making pivots, and the escalation of youth protest movements in the street during the previous years, away from the frameworks of general political action, Including that many economic problems are linked to societal, cultural and economic transformations, and all of these require the presence of youth leadership elites that participate in building economic options and policies, in legislative departments (the House of Representatives), the government, and even in local government concerned with improving services and investment conditions in the governorates.
In addition to all this, the reluctance of a large percentage of public, political and partisan work is a negative phenomenon and not a positive one from one angle, and from another angle, this is related to the lack of feeling the usefulness of this work in terms of political change and improving living conditions, However, this – on the other hand – does not negate that there is a noticeable surge for the younger generation for political work and to stay away from feelings of frustration and marginalization, but they are waiting for the right opportunity and a safe political environment for that.
On top of this and above all points mentioned, it is necessary to point out here that tens of thousands of Jordanian youth have received training, within the activities of civil society, in the past years, on public and political work, and they have skills related to that, but the political field was not ready, therefore, they find the most appropriate option for them, either the street or abstaining from political activity, and when appropriate and effective opportunities become available to them, we will find that there is a good demand, which is also related to the ability of political parties to develop their capabilities, programs, and discourse to engage with this generation, and the decisive readiness of the state to move to this stage.
In summary, no one can deny the priority and importance of the economic issue, but the theory that prevailed for a long period that this priority contradicts the political priority is a catastrophic and dangerous theory, Because it neglects the role of young people, their ability and the possibility of their effective contribution to promoting the public debate, conveying their concerns and problems, and expressing their interests through legal frameworks and within state institutions and not outside them!
This article was published in the New Arab Newspaper