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Too Little politics, a lot of nostalgia!

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Eng. Saleem Al Batayneh

To the bewilderment that dominated my manners to select a title for this article, I have felt feeble as I do not master writing techniques whereas the decision to write is passed in order to uncover the nostalgia of moments and memories about what we conceal and hesitate to reveal. Therefore, I have found that writing about other issues far from politics constitutes a breathtaking opportunity.

Though bread is kneaded with politics, hunger, poverty, and unemployment are related to politics, and injustice is subordinate to politics, and everything we write is from the subjugation of politics, the existence of politics and the increase in its dose is what guarantees venting and the release of muffled steam; otherwise, the result is an explosion.

The temptation is clear, and the incentives for preoccupation with political affairs are endless. We need these days to raise the slogan of a little politics and a lot of nostalgia, which seems to be an obituary for an old time that we loved and adored, and in our view, it was a time of miracles. The future is more uncertain and the reality is less romantic than we think; thus, the attachment to notebooks plagues of the old days is in an attempt to run away from the frustrations of the present moment.

Our political writings have exhausted our minds, and we can no longer comprehend what is happening because it has become bigger than our thinking and vision.

What is happening today is the outcome of our ignorance of what happened and our tolerance for excessive intake of measurements as agreed. This is all the offshoot of a lack of awareness of plans that succeeded in terminating our dreams! Rather, we have become more occupied with ourselves, and we preferred to be preoccupied with minor matters and everything that is prohibited! We lost everything and did not fight the battle right! The recipient here is not allowed to object or merely express an opinion; he only has to say that we hear you.

Why do we mourn so much over the beautiful time (the time of political virginity)? The expression is always a reference to the distant past which we lost one day, a day when there was a dream and a project for a state that we gather on.

Who among us does not know and feel nostalgia for the past? Nostalgia is a random pain that no one asks for permission, and the majority of Jordanians today live the pain of alienation inside their homeland! That is the pain of nostalgia. Jordanians try to bring back memories of the past whenever they have the opportunity. Nostalgia for that ancient time means that we have failed miserably to convince people of everything that happened and what is happening at present.

Jordan today is more concerned, and honourable Jordanians do not love the past for its beauty only but rather because they see their image within these memories as it is very difficult for memory to retain what did not touch their hearts and what touches the heart often lives within the heart itself.

Certainly, I do not want here to compare our current miserable situation nor to arouse nostalgia for a past that ended with a kind of reminiscence as many in Jordan cut off the past, stripped it of, forgot it, and replaced it with corrupt tenets and ignorance of our future! Our chests have become smaller, and we lost confusion and the ability to be flabbergasted! The mind has limited capabilities to absorb everything that happens, what we see, and what we hear. Unfortunately, we have been put into plays and parodies so that they brought us and understanding that homeland is not geography.

The truth is that it is the rhetoric of silence and not acquiescence in silence. There are those who remain silent and do not speak out about the truth that goes through their minds for fear of the consequences. Silence in the midst of this chaos is a virtue, and the hoped loss of hope will be closer to a shriek in a valley. My feeling here is that I want to seek refuge in silence, perhaps in intercession and rhythm outside the flock contexts! Allow me to cite what the German philosopher Nietzsche wrote to his sister Elisabeth (I became silent because no one could understand my speech!).

Thinking about our uncertain future may be an obstacle in retrieving what we think is past pleasure. Utopia carries an optimistic view of a better future, but nostalgia may make the present (dystopia), that is, a more uncertain future. Those of you who watched the famous movie (Nostalgia) in 1983 by Russian director Andrew Tarkovsky feel yearning and nostalgic for another place and another time.

The question that arises again: Why do we need nostalgia about the past? Why do we go back to remember events that have passed for many years, not a few? We don’t remember things as they are! Rather, as we want it to be, and living in a past whose events and people we are familiar with, and that may be a means of fearing the future.

Time has changed a lot and has become shrouded in ambiguity. We do not understand it, and perhaps it does not understand us easily. A person is by nature the more advanced he is in age and successive times in his existence, he becomes picky because he learned what he could and knew what was destined for him; therefore, he became selective.

We used to say tomorrow, and here we are without tomorrow, where were we and what have we become? Where were we in the sixties and seventies, and where are we in this reprehensible time? We had trips and tours as we possessed the cornerstone of knowledge and the keys to knowledge. Jordan was hailed in the seventies of the last century as the best Arab country in terms of education and health, and a competitor to many countries in the world. Brilliant names appeared in Jordan in various fields. Today it is ranked last in everything, the most terrifying thing is for intellectuals and competencies.

Unfortunately, Jordan today is between a bright yesterday and a gloomy present. If we want to accurately describe the next stage, we can say that we are going to a stage whose features have not yet been defined. For many years we have been absent, watching others shining.

How beautiful is the last clip of the song (The Time Has Passed) by the late Umm Kulthum as she sings (And we want to go back to the old days, Say to the time, go back, time!!).

Al Batayneh is a former member of the Jordanian parliament