Amman: The Jordan Report & Women’s Rights in Jordan

View Pictures

After “escaping” Iraq, we have spent four days in Amman. Our focus has been on women’s rights and the Palestinian issue. Amman has been an oasis even though Jordan finds itself literally “between Iraq and a hard place (Israel).”

The Jordanian economy is in trouble due to wars on both sides. This is in spite of liberation of the government by its Hasitemite King Abdullah. Jordan is doing many things right but is still dependent on U.S. aid.

We have been ably assisted here by Leila Deeb, who knows everyone in Jordan, or so it seems. She has arranged interviews, transported us and educated us on Palestinian and women’s rights issues. We hit the ground running on Monday morning, covering two press conferences at the Royal Cultural Center. The biggest issue was the “decapitation” by Israel of Sheikh Yassin, the 67 year old spiritual head of Hamas. That occurred Sunday night, and a press conference was held by a female Jordanian government official. Since it was in Arabic we are unclear as to what was said, but “Israel” and “Mossad” were mentioned regularly.

We actually went to video an event held upstairs. Irene Khan is Secretary General of Amnesty International and they kicked off their “Violence Against Women” initiative. Attended by Queen Rania, it featured speeches by two Arab women who were victims/survivors of violence. The symbol for the initiative is a handprint, and Phil got great video of the Queen placing her handprint on a huge banner. We and others followed suit, and afterwards we interviewed Ms. Khan.

Later we interviewed Amal Sabbagh, Secretary General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women. Her government agency is responsible for recommending legislative and policy initiatives that empower women. Jordan is the leading Arab country, in liberalizing rights for women, and Queen Rania is active not only in Jordan but throughout the region on this issue. The Jordanian National Commission for Women collaborates with a variety of private and public women’s rights groups.

We interviewed Ms. Issam Aboul-Hadi, President of the General Union of Palestinian Women in her home. She told us of the plight of Palestinian women including those still living in camps. We also interviewed Jafar Tukan, an architect from Nablus who told of how Israeli soldiers had decimated his family’s historical residence. While he didn’t agree with suicide bombing by kids, he did help us understand the emotions behind it. He also said that Islamic Sheikhs advocating the same were not in the mainstream.

Two nights ago we attended a service for the late Sheikh Yassin held at a tent set up next to the Palestinian Embassy. You’ll enjoy the video of a quiet gathering of friends and dignitaries.

Yesterday we got a great history lesson on tape from a professor, a negotiator at Madrid and former Jordanian Government Minister. Kemel S. Abu Jaber is a true intellectual who knows his history and can defend his thinking, especially as it relates to the Palestinian issue.

We have had a great and busy time here in Jordan, but yesterday, after 60 days of effort, we received our Saudi Arabia visas, so we fly there today.

We will be back here to interview many Israeli experts next week.

View Pictures

Comments (1)

CliffordApril 14th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share ideas.
Great site, keep it up!

Leave a comment

Your comment

The Roots of War is powered by WordPress | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)| Partnerprogramm Theme