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Our Own Way: Music Video for Syrian Refugees in Amman Jordan

April 6, 2016

The following music video was produced/directed by Collective Consciousness productions and stars rappers Taiyo “Siraj” Davis, Ahmed Habjoqa, Ali and entails authentic stories from the Syrian victim population residing outside camps in Amman , Jordan. We see the majority of videos by NGOs made within camps, this is the voice of the silent majority who comprise of the 4 out of 5 Syrians living outside the camps in Jordan. It also includes an introduction by community activist, Ronald Moon. This creation has been published in Middle East Rising and its tittup has caught the eye of many.

Our Own Way Music Video

Ronald Moon Huffington Post

The determinants which propelled the creation of this plucky music video lay in the lack of awareness of the public via the dearth of transparency in the media, toward the suffering of these innocent humans whom are stigmatized with the word, refugee. The preceding word, ‘refugee,’ tacitly implies via its frequent usage, that these guiltless victims of war have lost a bit of the legitimacy and worth toward their own humanity, by being conglomerated into such categorical tautology. A plethora of videos, the majority, upon Syrian victims – I prefer to employ the word victim- in Jordan, are not on the teeming 4 out of 5 Syrian victims residing outside of the main camps in Jordan, who are without the basic succor and life replenishing services provided within the camps. This video however, is a bugle call with key notes from the voices of the majority outside the camps, that are coerced to patiently endure conditions of penury no conscious parent would willingly accept for their own precious children, and no rational and kind human heart would nod at for any human.

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World Politicians and the international public fall prey to such media sanitation and government censorship of the reality of the Syrian victims’ lives. The mainstream media attempts to control, gate-keep, or supervise the real-life stories of calamity and adversity, and injustice, of these human thralls. For example, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson -in a brief time reminiscent of the Anglo Zanzibar War – quickly visited Amman, Jordan ,  venturing to Zaatari refugee camp, and callously formulated a sudden all-encompassing resolution for the Syrian crisis in Jordan based on that perfunctory trip alone. And this video presents a retort from those Mr. Carson did not visit.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-surprise-jordan-visit-carson-calls-for-refugees-to-settle-in-middle-east/2015/11/28/5e1eaa38-95d3-11e5-a2d6-f57908580b1f_story.html

Ben Carson visit to Jordan

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It is indeed a gossamer hypocrisy that we advise and coerce these priceless human victims to flee war zones so as to not be falsely arrested or bombed or shot as an insurgent, yet when they do, we reciprocate by classifying and admonishing them as sub-humans or possible ‘terrorists’ appended with very limited protection of human rights while coercing this human flood to reside in utter degradation within barb-wired camps without electricity to have their human spirit exploited, their dignity insulted, and to be atrophied in their own development toward education and life conditions and opportunities. They remain in a stagnant stasis of unknown repatriation and development, while the world offers brief apologies and compendious offers to share food at wedding ceremonies, while enjoying that which these victims have been mercilessly stripped completely of, equal rights. It’s brazenly disgusting and any religion, race, culture, nation, economic or political ideology, organization, society, or media establishment which doesn’t recognize or nod in agreement to the preceding caustic yet honest declaration; is either one which supports complete hypocrisy, or is no longer a viable entity for human kind! Or quiet simply a scurrilous instrument of empire!!

A second impetus for the spawning of this music video, is the assistance contributed by the international community is both insufficient and also being pocketed by extractive institutions and corrupt individuals, thus not reaching the intended target, the Syrians who have crossed the Jordanian border hoping to survive. American selfishness and lack of concern is gossamer. America is not accepting more Syrian refugees as other generous nations like Jordan. Yet one of its smallest states Wyoming, from 50 states, has twice the GDP, 11 times less the population of Jordan, and is about the same in physical size. That’s completely not fair, it’s called the racism and cruelty of empire! To place pressure upon empire’s outposts rather than its own motherland. Such meretricious relationship is not of nurture, but indicative of that relationship between a mother and a feral child like the Russian boy Vanya Yudin who could only chirp like birds. Such preceding outstanding premise warrants the absolute  and unquestionable suspicion as to whether the West’s efforts to liberate or benefit the Middle East, are indeed sincere. Especially, since the West is commonly identified by the international world population as the culprit in causing the political turmoil which has tragically launched this tidal wave, and others, of fleeing human victims. The West needs to accept more refugees and address its Islamophobia.

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refugee-map

Additionally, the aid granted by the ignominious West for Jordan needs to be closely supervised and more effective stipulations or control mechanisms attached to those allocated funds are wanting. The West is blindly transferring resources for the Syrian victims in Jordan to a Tammany developing nation with a very unsettling past of corruption.

  • The protests in Jordan since 2010 have demanded such reforms to thwart the modern Boss Tweeds
  • Two former Chiefs of the Jordanian Intelligence, Muhammad al-Dahabi and Samih al- Battikhi were convicted of corruption.
  • A relative of the royal family was also charged and convicted of corruption
  • Leaders of Jordan’s main Bedouin tribes sent an open letter accusing Queen Rania of corruption.
  • One of Parliementary members, Laith Shubailat , accused the King of Jordan of corruption pointing toward the latter’s valuable land appropriations and shares in the Rotana Group.
  • Former Mayor of Amman, Omar Maani, was arrested for corruption.
  • Poet Haider Mahmoud wrote a poem warning of the proliferating corruption only to be fired and stigmatized as a trator in state-run media.
  • Former minister, Adel Qudah, former JPRC director general Ahmad Rifai, the prime minister’s economic adviser, Mohammad Rawashdeh, and business tycoon Khaled Shahin were incarcerated for corruption in regards to the Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company
  • The Anti-Corruption Commission of Jordan has capitulated and admitted it is severely under-funded and under-staffed.
  • There also exists a consensus ‘on the ground’ among NGO and government employees, the regular population, and numerous others that the donated money is ending up in the Tammany pockets of individuals and individual companies, rather than Syrians.

Another circumstantial indicator of this virulent corruption is the severe lack of transparency and follow up of cases by NGOs within Jordan, who slyly refuse interviews (even when questions are provided with notice) and not answering or returning phone calls for pleas of exigent help and service to Syrian victims in Jordan. Worse, no explanation is returned for such silence and circumvention. However, any pphianthropis or donor with money is met with a Fort Knox reserve of blandishments.

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This obvious corruption must yield. Cases of corruption have not surfaced recently in such prior frequency not because it has dissipated into oblivion, but because the normal Jordanian people are becoming inured -rather than courageously protesting and reporting- into becoming accustomed to it as a norm for Jordanian society. They are additionally afraid to suffer the doctrinaire government’s price for standing against corruption. In consequence, human victims I have interviewed and aided for 6 continuous years ultimately suffer in unthinkable anguish while I witness corrupt Jordanian officials’ children living like Param Sharma of Instagram’s “ItsLavishBitch” , speeding through streets in their parents’ lamborghinis, in a version of Amman Drift , while pathetically whistling at young women.VOMIT!

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The region’s volatile security is also dangerously endangered by the discreet yet palpable winking at extremist groups and extremism within Jordanian society. A 60 to 70% sedulous population demographic of Palestinians angry and bitter, while hopeful of regaining Palestine by violence through an Islamic liberation theology (similar to the FMLN in El Salvador) and a incompetent and crooked government bent on ascertaining tangible returns on the exacerbation of the Israel/Palestine conflict; also allows such recruiting and logistical arena for extremist groups and, a breeding ground for such extremism. Hatred fills the air in Jordan like an innocuous gas awaiting transformation into a Substance N of the Nazi regime. And it is spread throughout the Jordanian education system, a place normally reserved for tolerance and non-violence.

Students at Sands National Academy in Khelda , Jordan

Sands National Academy

Students at Sands National Academy in Jordan

Students at Sands National Academy in Jordan

Students at Sands National Academy in Jordan

Students at Sands National Academy in Jordan

Students at Sands National Academy in Jordan

Students at Sands National Academy in Jordan

Students at Sands National Academy in Jordan

Students at Sands National Academy in Jordan

Teacher at Sands National Academy in Jordan

Teacher at Sands National Academy in Jordan



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The education system is not the sole culprit. Also,  a sundry of Parliamentary members such as Hind Al-Fayez demand and push for a better and closer relationship between Amman and Hamas, while I have witnessed Hamas operate with near impunity in front of the security apparatus within the Hashemite Kingdom. Additionally, the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization outlawed by the majority of Arab nations as a terrorist group, is a recognized and powerful fact here in Jordan. And both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have connections to government and security personnel here as well. I’ve seen it. We, the perspicacious and genuine, all apprehend it.It is only denied by the naive or the poker players here, like a Baghdad Bob in the 2003 Iraq War.

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baghdad-bob-no-infidels

Some within Jordan, may peruse my above comments and maliciously castigate me in quick retort for my comments about unerring Hamas and the perfect Muslim Brotherhood. I only counter that I do not bash the right of resistance to oppression or occupation or the right to practice one’s own religion in a spiritual or fundamental manner; but I absolutely condemn indiscriminate hatred, bigotry’s repression of free thought and tolerance, discreet extortion and financial fraud, falsely accusing innocent journalists and free-thinkers of being spies or traitors, claiming the deaths of innocent Palestinians justifies the death of Israeli or American or any nation’s children, condemning the Jordan government in a pipsqueak ambivalent voice while simultaneously employing and manipulating it as a means of intimidation, victimizing or neglecting other refugees at the expense of channeling aid and funds to Palestinian refugees, discrimination, and worse. Al of the preceding I have emetically witnessed by the aforementioned’s constituents. I castigate anyone or any group or any religion or any nation for not allowing a single individual to be HUMAN! To be different and honest. To dare hold a mirror up to a Medusa of hypocrisy. Although I have glanced at some of the ‘good’ in the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, I’ve also seen activities within Jordan by the aforementioned organizations which deeply disturbs me. And such prior organizations will NOT garnish the transition from exclusivity to inclusiveness, necessary to win the political gambit of legitimacy and recognition they aspire toward, unless they seriously change their desultory course.

PM Calls for Better Relations with Hamas

The extremism in Jordan not only derives from its noticeable presence allowed by the security apparatus of Jordan such as the now popular Jabhat Al Nusra, but is persistently perpetuated by its education system as well. According to former Ministry of Education official, Zogan Obiedat , the ideology of ISIS / DAESH is within the school’s textbooks. MEMRI research fellow Z. Harel notes such ideology extends in the universities and also highlights through his astute research an interesting diametric relationship observed in both schools and universities, that see-saw status entails the vehement repression of critical and free thought while ISIS / DAESH ideologies proliferate at favor. I add that after 6 years of working as an observant teacher in the private international schools within Jordan, that I not solely concur, but append that ISIS / DAESH ideologies are routinely regurgitated and steadily propagated by faculty with liberty, at these schools as well. Pun and oxymoron intended.

Eg. An anile colleague and biology teacher named Nura Abboud of Sands National Academy commenced a conversation with me about the Jordanian soldier, Ahmed Daqamseh, who shot innocent Israeli children crossing the border to Israel from Jordan, on a school bus. Because I declared he was not a hero, but a villain, and anyone who kills Israeli or Palestinian children is a villain; she consequentially spread the venemous rumor throughout the school that I was an Israeli spy.

In response, the female hall monitor called me DAESH in front of other teachers after Nura’s childish verbal chronicles throughout the school and the schools principle , Naima Al Momani , responded to Nura’s artifice by directly approaching me face-to-face and stating in a caustic voice that all of us Americans were the REAL terrorists. 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XcFjg5oqD0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1koyPZ8nlrY

Ahmed Daqamseh

Nura Abboud

Sands National Academy

I give an Ameen and two thumbs up along with my toes to  Al – Ghad  and Jordanian writer and educator, Zuleikha Abu Risha, who has stated that the presence of such virulent and dangerous ideologies are apparent and serried to the curricula of Jordan schools , and school faculty, and that a state of emergency within the  Jordan education system exists and palimpsests should be immediately created.

Her words,

“The poisoned Islamist tree, planted in the 1960s, has borne fruit – in the form of an educational system that opposes creativity and asking questions, sanctifies the past, does not deviate from its [rigid] path, detests logic and anything new or innovative, levels accusations of heresy, and incites to hatred, violence, and killing – to the point where students have become robots who recite prayers to keep themselves from harm, instead of investing efforts in finding solutions.”

I fear and tremble that if things are not changed, the preceding status quo will only ignite a powder Jordan and risk her neighbors’ and donors’ pristine security consequentially. It will definitely not suffice the criteria for David Cameron’s Golden Thread Theory.

Former Minister of Culture, Sabri Rbeihat, stated:

“Many politicians ignore the fact that the problem today lies in the emergence of a new culture that hates life, celebrates death, and attacks and quickly eliminates anything symbolizing liberty, life, and happiness.”

Jordan Protests

Jordan Intelligence Chief in Jail for Corruption

Bedouin Tribes Accuse Queen of Corruption

Jordan King’s Uncle Convicted of Corruption

Jordan fight Against Corruption Too Small

Mayor of Amman

OPPOSITION PROTEST ON THE CORRUPTION OF THE COURT OF KING OF JORDAN

Syrian victims in Jordan are also impersonalized, dehumanized, due to a rising xenophobia against them and an insufficient and inadequate, or unwilling ,education/media infrastructure to reinforce humanity and stem this racist movement within Jordan. The Jordanian culture here due to labor competition, rising education and housing prices, an ailing economy, and increasing polygamy creating jealous and scorned Jordanian wives;  have concocted canards which deserve to be labeled part of Jordan’s culture due to such myths’ acclaim in Jordan. These tales include the preposterous idea that the meager clothed Syrian beggars are mostly liars, thieves, or potential terrorists. On the contrary, I’ve interviewed those supposed liars, thieves, and potential terrorists to test the veracity of such societal accusations. The preceding current fables have as much veracity as the myths that beer warms the body and using cell phones on airplanes causes airplane crashes. The Syrian victims are indeed legitimately anguishing in penury! To add, these Syrians have no more extremist thoughts, or connections to insurgent groups, as the average Palestinian Samaritan with  Hamas or Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad, and so on.The Syrian victims in Jordan suffer unwarranted stigmatization in addition to their physical hardships. Due to people who use 10% of their brain.

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The Jordan Times, the government’s pundit mouthpiece which echoes and vomits what it is only allowed or fed, has loudly condemned corruption in the Hashemite Kingdom though has remained cricketing silent to challenging the above aforementioned social canards about Syrian victims in Jordan. It is very repugnantly noticeable that the Jordan Times doesn’t report, not even briefly, on the actual conditions of hardships of the Syrians within or outside the camps. Instead it sticks to loudly trumpeting the Kingdom’s contributions while synchronously chiding or condemning  the international community’s blank stares and reticence, while also table pounding and roaring for more money. Additionally, this literary charlatan occasionally has been caught deceiving its audience in favor of heralding Jordan’s government, sustaining its own loyalties while alleviating any suspicions of a lack of patriotism as in the McCarthy times, at the expense of lowering the dark shroud of nationalism’s bigotry over the harsh Syrian reality on the ground by denying the refoulement of refugees which later was proven true, comically attempting to assert Syrians in the Zaatari Camp are holding continuous demonstrations which have resulted in deaths and imprisonment and deportations not because of the preceding’s camps horrid conditions (which Jordan’s UNHCR rep Andrew Harper even admitted in an Al Jazeera article, is a place he would not live in) but because of the  incredulous myth of terrorists among the Syrian population in Jordan. I can only retort. If you desire the Jordanian reality, read the Jordan Times. The majority of us humans in the world need not click its links. I advise the average and below of intellect to search for a more accurate tabloid.

AndrewHarper

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DAESH / ISIS Ideology in Jordan School Textbooks

DAESH / ISIS Curricula in Universities and Schools in Jordan

Finally, as Ronald Moon declared in the introduction of this video when asked why he capriciously released his own youtube video, “it’s reality.” But reality, sincerity, and honesty; traits ideological systems uphold as an apotheosis to the definition of character, are sometimes, maybe even often, not appreciated in developing nations. There are pernicious entities within Jordan, which shamelessly seek to atrophy free speech and thought via extra-judicial means of deportation, torture, harassment, discrediting bloggers and journalists, and false imprisonment. They in consequence, are guilty of the torment Syrian victims and others within Jordan endure.And they also, like octopuses that indulge in eating their own species and itself, stop the progress and destroy the international esteem of that which they claim to love and espouse, Islam and Palestine and Jordan.  A new globalized world.

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My conclusion.

In order to diminish corruption which detrimentally affects the aid to Syrian victims and reduces the public’s faith in Jordan’s government, to lower the extremist threat within Jordan,  and to protect Syrians within Jordan; the following should be considered:

  • The manipulation of foreign aid to Jordan to coerce cooperation and protection of modern values and human rights for its citizens and ‘asylees’ and to ‘seriously’ battle extremism. The internet censorship and press freedom has been slowly deteriorating every year in Jordan. No one can report the truth. 
  • More supervisory mechanisms for the aid to Jordan against extractive institutions and individuals.
  • More serious reforms against extremism within the education, government, and security institutions within Jordan. More cooperation between intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Also, these extremist entities within the aforementioned sectors of Jordanian society not only threaten Western interests, but are diverting funds away from asylees/refugees to their own pockets and recruiting asylees/refugees into Jabhat Al Nusra or Daaesh recruits. 
  • A large media campaign to place a human face on Syrians and to admonish and to abolish corruption.
  • More jobs and educational programs for Jordanians along with heightened interational investment dependent pon achievements above. 
  • Require religious sheikhs to be licensed within Jordan. 

We can not say it is ‘their’ HILL and ‘their’ laws when they cup their hands out in cadging demand for OUR tax money. Not when the extremism embroiled within their lands find its way to our shores! To our infrastructure. Human rights are NOT cultural, national, nor religious, they are HUMAN.  And every prudent nation across this beautiful world MUST abide by these norms or such horrid microcosms of civilization, order, security; will potentially and inevitably places us all in harm’s black and white grasp.  Regardless if they temporarily serve a purpose to our National Security directives, there are heuristics which must be enforced for aid we give to other nations.

Please like, share, and enjoy the video.

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