[Note: The bulk of this post was written earlier today before Mubarak stepped down. It just goes to show you how quickly things can change on the world political stage.]
Tonight Jordanians and Egyptians in Jordan took to the street to celebrate the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Cars jammed the streets and there was jubilant beeping and shouting as if a giant wedding procession were taking place. Fireworks went off in various neighborhoods. Hours earlier Jordanians were rallying to demonstrate against Mubarak and in support of the Egyptian people.
Jordanians took to the streets in subdued numbers the day after Hosni Mubarak made his confusing pronouncement of relinquishing power but remaining President of Egypt. After Friday prayers, protesters marched from al-Husseini mosque in downtown Amman. The demonstration was peaceful and the mood of onlookers was curious and hopeful. Friday shopping went on as usual as the rally progressed several blocks through downtown.
Despite grave predictions about Jordan being the next Middle Eastern country to face widespread unrest, chanted slogans mostly focused on the situation in Egypt. “The whole world are Egyptians!” “Last night will be the last night!” “No more Mubarak!”
However, some chants did call for the ouster of the newly appointed Jordanian Prime Minister. They recalled his stint as ambassador to Israel and called the question if he might even be a double agent. But as one local bystander remarked, “They don’t know what they are saying, they just want to say something in the streets.” Security personnel walked interspersed with protesters. Police cars blocked off traffic at key points along the route and followed the crowd down the street. Candy apple vendors and an old man selling rice crispy treats gave the whole thing a bit of a feel of a parade rather than a political protest.
Now that it is official that Mubarak has stepped down there will be a moment of celebration. The hopes and prayers of many are for a change for the better. However, one can be certain that the road ahead will be a bumpy one for Egypt. Will the inter-faith goodwill displayed between Copts and the Muslim Brotherhood persist? Will the military prove to be a just and fair intermediary until a more stable government is formed? Only time will tell. But tonight the people celebrate. In Egypt, and in Amman, and perhaps around the world. And perhaps some take comfort in the ancient wisdom that, “By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.” Let us pray that justice will prevail where greed has previously been at work and that the new government of Egypt will truly work for the people.
As for Jordan’s small rally today, here are a few pics:
Filed under: Egypt, peace | Tagged: Amman, cross-cultural experiences, Egypt, Egyptian protests, Hosni Mubarak, Jordan, Jordan Headlines, Jordan Protests, nonviolent protest, peace, Politics | 1 Comment »