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I've recently read a post of Roba who was clearly criticizing the Jordanian theatre scene. Well, she built her opinion after watching a low quality play at Masrah Il-Thaqafeh in Amman.
I think Roba went by herself to see the actors and their "artistic" performance, but my experience of Monday was quite different.. I was normally walking down University St. (Irbid) when I was surprised by a big crowd standing in the middle of the road and on the sidewalk in front of Gloria Donuts.
I came close to that crowd and asked one of the guys about what was going there..
He answered with a shining smile: Masra7yeh
At first, I've thought he was kidding me, I'm quite pessimistic and I suppose that's more probable to see a fight or a theft attempt in Irbid's streets, anyways, the guy was right, that thing looked like a theatre play with two guys and three women putting on their techniques in stage acting.
I've watched some acts for nearly ten minutes, all-amazed by the big group of people who were recording the play with their mobile phones and by the many cars that stopped to know the reason of all that mess.
Yesterday, I read on Alrai newspaper that the actors were not allowed to enter Yarmouk University, in which the play should have been performed, the university's security guards refused that without giving any reason.
I don't know if people were there by chance, curiosity or interest, (a Service driver sincerely told me: We thought they were psychopaths) but I'm sure they had more audience in this way than by the usual unknown performance in the university's theatre which no one attends.
And it is not wrong to have more theatre plays in our streets!
The lives of the young refugees of Clarkston, Georgia, have drastically changed since their first meeting with Luma Mufleh, a Jordanian immigrant from Amman, and now a multi-million Hollywood movie will tell her story to the world.
In Clarkston, soccer is not only a game, it is a political issue. Last summer, Clarkston's Mayor has issued a decree to ban soccer in the city fields, he said he will only allow baseball in his city; the difference between his city and others is the high percentage of refugees that Clarkston hosts, most of them escaped from wars in countries like Kosovo, Liberia, Gambia and Iraq.
As you can imagine, these refugees are not so estimated by original citizens, who think their American lifestyle is in danger after the new coming traditions, even soccer was accused to be something stranger and threatening, this was the time Americans discovered their fear of soccer .
When Luma Mufleh had first known about the refugees' community of Clarkston, she filled all the buildings of their quarters with Arabic, English, French and Vietnamese posters, announcing the creation of a new soccer team, the Fugees . Surprisingly, 23 young kids were present on the first day of training, a relevant number if we take in consideration the economic difficulties of their families; this was a good step to offer some technical training to the children rather than playing barefoot in empty lots.
Coach Luma, as she is called by Fugees boys, remembers when she was playing volleyball in her high school of Amman, she hated her coach because of their toughness, but after fifteen year she reveals she model herself after her school's coach, other sources of inspirations, she said, are Malcolm X, Mahatma Ghandi and Luma's grandmother that taught her to take care of others.
Some rules are imposed by Luma to all Fugees' players: good grades, short hair, no drugs, no alcohol or getting girls pregnant. If you break a rule you will be off the team. She also offers an incentive: a pair of Nikes to anyone with straight A's.
Luma's rules and training built a better life for these young refugees, now the Fugees have a respectable second position in their division, performing better than their European-trained opposing players and elite wealthy clubs. Luma has also opened a cleaning service named Fresh Start after knowing that some of the players' moms were without jobs.
The efforts of Luma Mufleh will be soon revealed to the world by a Hollywood movie, in fact, after a huge bidding war, Universal Studios acquired the right and offered a $3 Millions and a new, modern green field for the Fugees, and it's only a matter of time before we can see Luma's amazing story in the cinemas.
- New York Times article that made Fugees story famous, by W. St. John
- Ending up with more than a dream coming true : Jordan Times Article by R. Husseini
- Jordanian coach starts refugee soccer team: In the Jordanian Blog Mental Maihem
IMPORTANT: YOU CAN DONATE TO FUGEES FAMILY THE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION OF MS. LAMA MUFLEH HERE.
In my last Arabic post I've talked about my conviction of evident frauds in the municipal elections. I have also noticed that I was the only blogger to explicitly say that, most of the others did not report anything on these elections and some of them had different opinions, which I hope they represent personal convictions and not acts of auto-censorship.
"Oh my God! They are coming!"
All's well that ends well! Municipal elections in Jordan ended blissfully, if we take apart some healthy political bagarres between Bani Rusheid and Bakheet, we can state that everyone is happy and definitely there are no losers; starting from Islamists who are trying to regain some of their lost popularity.
After seven hours into voting, the 'Front' came with their decision to boycott the elections, a scheduled and well-thought political move that allowed the Islamists to withdraw the elections, say goodbye and to mantain an optimal reputation. The decision aided them in regaining a little part of their popularity, and in any case, two IAF candidates won mayorship and several others seats on municipal councils.
On the other side, leftists, panarabists and communists, who represented historical opposition and government's old enemies, got 24 unexpected seats, and some of them become mayors of the biggest cities of Jordan including Karak and Irbid. It's also interesting that Irbid's new mayor, Mr. Tell, who was 'accused' to be the candidate most cuddled by the government, is one of them.
The third part is represented by our respectful government, all we know the government is always happy, this time because there was a democratic wedding. It seems that the other 992 seats were won by the powerful government's party.
Although all the persons I cited above are sure there were some strange actions, too many Jordanians with the same name and thousands of illiterate soldiers; no one can really accuse government of illegal actions, at maximum we can say the government's style was unethical but the funny thing is that there is nothing outlaw.
On my side, I invite political scientists to go into more depth on Jordanian municipal elections, I'm sure this is the first time a government takes so open actions in aid of some candidates without breaking the law, this is a case without precedent.
"I would have voted for Abu Hudeyb"
After ten days of reflections I've came up with a sort of theory, I've tried to answer myself how alleged 'fraud' may be legal? Let's study what really happened in municipal elections.
All we know that some Jordanians are illiterate (roughly 5%); the law permits illiterate people to vote by pronouncing the candidate's name at loud voice. Are the army men punishable because they voted as illiterate? No, this is totally permitted by law.
The voters' lists are published months before the elections. Everyone is invited to denounce any irregularities on the lists, otherwise they become official, and this is what happened in Jordan.
So we can say that the right choice for a legal fraud is to interpret laws as they are better for you.
The second rule is to work against your enemy, not against all the others. If you can choose between different candidates, choose the most popular candidate not supported by your enemy, even if he is not beloved by you, he will be the most appropriate choice.
The third rule is a good dosage of debunking and not the old-fashioned cover-up; everyone watched huge buses carrying hundreds of soldiers, in front of you or on Al-Jazeera there are no problems, it's their right to vote!
Most important condition for the legal fraud theory: The main enemy does not represent the majority, at the contrary; there are a lot of people who do not sympathize for him and they are available to be with you this time.
These are the guidelines for a legal fraud, patented in Jordan, they are now available to all the other governments of the world.
Last week I've read an article of Marc Linch, he talks about the difference between Jordanian and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, anyway he did not refer to the difference between Jordanian and other governments, all we know our government is thousand times more intelligent and slick of others!
... And our government is always right.
أقسم بالله العظيم أن انتخابات أمس كانت في قمة الشفافية، لا أحد يمكنه أن ينكر... عمليات التزوير أمامك (عينك عينك) وكأنه الوضع طبيعي، مئات من الجنود ألزموا على إدعاء الأمية والتصويت علنا لصالح مرشحين معينين. كل هذا كان يجري أمامك في وضع النهار، تزوير علني غير مخفي!
بالأصل ماذا كنا نتوقع من الانتخابات؟ إذا أردنا النزاهة فوالله كانت نزيهة والقوائم ذات الأسماء المكررة كان معلن عنها قبل 3 أشهر! إذا أردنا الشفافية ها قد وجدناها فوالله أمس لم يكن شيئاُ مخفياً فالحافلات أملأت البلد! أما إذا أردنا الديمقراطية .. نعم الديمقراطية.. فلا بد أن يستجيب القدر!
الحركة الإسلامية في لحظة غضب قالت "إنها لمذبحة للديمقراطية" أنا أقول في لحظة صبر أسواء مما قالت الحركة الإسلامية مئات المرات؛ أنا أقول "أمس فكرت حالي في سوريا". نقطة.