Interesting read on the reign of Talal of Jordan: “Jordan in Transition”

King Talal of Jordan is one of the personalities that always alluded to my interest; with little information available on the 11-month-reigning king, the figure remains mysterious on multiple levels. I recently came across a very interesting book, entitled “From Abdullah to Hussein: Jordan in Transition”, a book by Robert Barry Satloff (@Amazon). A chapter within the book discusses the short reign of King Talal, offers much more details on the historical background of the rewriting of the Jordanian constitution, and presents a much more comprehensive insight on the king’s history than I have seen before.

A limited preview can be seen on Google books here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=3-JWbAkLVbEC&pg=PA42&dq=King+Talal&cd=8#v=onepage&q=King%20Talal&f=false

I would disagree with the cynicism surrounding the constitution; though its technically right. The book highlights that Jordan did not become a democracy, but rather a pseudodemocracy. However, given current context, it seems that people on the outside (and sometimes the inside as well) mistake Jordan for a dictatorship or an authoritarian-ship; pseudodemocracy as a description shows: an element of democracy does at least exist. My view of Jordanian democracy is closer to “democracy-in-transit”, a system that is largely flawed technically, but practically – and for the time being only – generates freedoms.

  • Hamzeh N.

    Eyas, just checking your blog and I am very impressed with the effort you’re putting here. When I was 18 years old, I didn’t have the maturity and intelligence that shines through your writing, so keep up the good work and I hope there are more young Jordanians like you out there.

  • Hamzeh N.

    Eyas, just checking your blog and I am very impressed with the effort you’re putting here. When I was 18 years old, I didn’t have the maturity and intelligence that shines through your writing, so keep up the good work and I hope there are more young Jordanians like you out there.

  • Nayef Copty

    Eyas, clearly you are not following the local news here in Jordan. Don’t you realize there is a serious break down of flow and order in the country?

  • Nayef Copty

    Eyas, clearly you are not following the local news here in Jordan. Don’t you realize there is a serious break down of flow and order in the country?

  • @Nayef: I follow, and internally I am more impulsive and driven to change and criticize that many, many others.

    From Jordanian to Jordanian, an important point to communicate would be “what’s wrong”, in an effort to improve; and given our current situation, that is much needed. However, if you take a look at the context of 99% of the blog, I am primarily motivated here to counter often-baseless claims that put Jordan on the same level as corrupt dictatorships; and it certainly isn’t.

    The Jordanian people aren’t getting what they’re entitled to. Those in power, the “aristocracy” are certainly functioning (or ‘dysfunctioning’) in a way as to – directly or indirectly – abuse the people. But these are social issues, pertaining to tribal order, social structure, etc.

    I write most of what I write as a reaction to popular public opinions even in neighboring arab countries that it is the king or the constitution that is putting us in poverty, while in fact not one Jordanian I know sided against the king when he dissolved the parliament. So yes, we do have a breakdown in flow and order, but the cause of this breakdown, and you know it, is not an ancien regime established by a corrupt leadership, but rather a corrupt societal structure in itself, owing its existence to the woes of the 19th and 20th centuries.

    I hope that clarifies things.

  • @Nayef: I follow, and internally I am more impulsive and driven to change and criticize that many, many others.

    From Jordanian to Jordanian, an important point to communicate would be “what’s wrong”, in an effort to improve; and given our current situation, that is much needed. However, if you take a look at the context of 99% of the blog, I am primarily motivated here to counter often-baseless claims that put Jordan on the same level as corrupt dictatorships; and it certainly isn’t.

    The Jordanian people aren’t getting what they’re entitled to. Those in power, the “aristocracy” are certainly functioning (or ‘dysfunctioning’) in a way as to – directly or indirectly – abuse the people. But these are social issues, pertaining to tribal order, social structure, etc.

    I write most of what I write as a reaction to popular public opinions even in neighboring arab countries that it is the king or the constitution that is putting us in poverty, while in fact not one Jordanian I know sided against the king when he dissolved the parliament. So yes, we do have a breakdown in flow and order, but the cause of this breakdown, and you know it, is not an ancien regime established by a corrupt leadership, but rather a corrupt societal structure in itself, owing its existence to the woes of the 19th and 20th centuries.

    I hope that clarifies things.