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Jordan … teach it how to fish, give it a hook

THE Makkah Summit came at a time suitable for changing the direction of public wind in Jordan — from the toxic wind that would have devoured the kingdom to the fresh spring breeze that reinvigorates this friendly country.

Jordan deserves support and its leadership has been courageous in standing by its principles aligned with its people in order to absorb the anger sparked by minor remedy of the sensitive economic situation in the most sensitive surrounding in terms of security, politics and demography.

Unquestionably, the start of the populace movement was spontaneous and purely Jordanian. This is due to the fact that the one in need recklessly acts to ensure that his need is satisfied.

Without a doubt, vultures tried to take advantage of the situation by dragging into the issue either the weak souls within the Jordanian community or foreign parties which fish in troubled waters for objectives known to everyone.

For instance in this crisis, we hope to see our friendly Qatar performing its role in supporting Jordan — the same way that other friendly countries — Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates — have done, instead of launching its mouthpiece, Al-Jazeera, to incite sedition.

Once this is achieved, it will complete the circle of support for a country which is important for Gulf national security before that of the Arab, because any threat faced by Jordan is a threat to Qatar and the remaining Gulf countries.

After this summit, the ball is in Jordan’s court which will undergo the actual test for its government to start working based on the golden economic principle: “Instead of giving a man a fish, show him how to catch fish.”

Hence, it is vital for King Abdullah II, who has been the spokesperson of his people in the past weeks, to direct the new government towards building an economic base, utilizing the important geographic location of Jordan, and benefiting from the Gulf financial aid to diversify income sources as well as develop industrial, agricultural and services.

It is vital to boost local production and open a new export market by utilizing solid relations with Europe and the West, in addition to opening the doors of Jordan to Arab and foreign investors.

After the recent crisis, it has become clear that there is a need to develop the economy. Flexibility in laws is the ideal solution for Jordan. In fact, it is the solution to the problem of Arab countries considering the high percentage of educated youths and initiatives that need moral support more than financial support.

A well-established government is not required to buy fish for its people from the funds it has received. By doing so, it is merely postponing the crisis which will intensify in due course. Instead, it should quickly come up with initiatives to implement productive projects to absorb the high unemployment rate.

This should be the new approach. Jordan should follow many examples from the international community, including South Korea which went through the crisis that it is currently facing. Actually, South Korea was poorer than Jordan, but it worked day and night to join the ranks of top international markets.

We firmly believe that Jordan is capable of becoming an economic tiger in the region. Therefore, all eyes are on its government in order to put the horse in front of the carriage to start the development process.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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