Morsi or Mercy?

An afternoon in Amman, the sky trembles of summerheat, the air is dusty. Wild flowers tempt me to smell and pick them at the side of the road. Walking back home I pass the Egyptian embassy. Something is going on… A truckload of soldiers steps out. Demonstrators are gathering. Busloads of them, arrive. Men, women, children.IMG_3691 Someone yells through a megaphone: ‘Allahu Akbar, Morsi, Morsi…’ The call to prayer sounds. While I find my way through the crowd, the demonstrators stop and one them starts to sing a prayer. The tone of his voice soft and trembling, for a moment everybody is silent, praying or even daydreaming. Until in the building at the next corner someone puts up loud music. The latest local top of the pop. A peaceful gesture of protest against Morsi protesters? Tolerance in Jordan seems at a high level considering the enormous amount of refugees they are hosting here. ‘It was not like that in the beginning of the Arabic Spring,’ a woman explains. ‘Jordan has been learning, also from the developments in the neighbouring countries. Every Friday there are demonstrations in the centre of Amman.’ I am asked to take a different way. Men are in the frontline, then there is a small gap and then the women are there. ‘We hear usually about demonstrations on Facebook,’ says one of the women. She is dressed in black, wearing a white scarf and so are her friends. On top of her scarf she wears an orange umbrella hat to protect herself from the relentless sun. It seems like a preferred gadget, her friends wear a green, pink and yellow one. It shows a fusion of values that demonstrates the mingling of more conservative attitudes with modernity. IMG_3677
The talking between people is interrupted now and then by collective yells and singing. Meanwhile a local television crew is interviewing people here and there. Even though it is a demonstration the air breaths a sense of peace. I feel completely at ease. A women approaches, grabs my arm and explains that she is here to support humanity. ‘Did you see what happened in Egypt today? I am actually not from the Muslim Brotherhood, although they put the information on Facebook’, she says. ‘I am here to support freedom.’ Since this early morning hundreds of Morsi supporters appear to have been killed or injured in Egypt, as the government is evacuating the two main squares violently. In front of the Egyptian embassy in Jordan I notice that many women carry a bottle of water and I ask them where I could get one. They explain to me that the Jordanian army, who is protecting the Egyptian embassy at the same time actually hands out water for free. A Syrian friend who has been in Jordan since a few months, already told me about this phenomenon. He is deeply moved by this hospitable gesture and found that this originally is an idea of Queen Rania. Due to the tolerant response of the Jordanian government, Mercy and Morsi supporters go hand in hand.

Over Esseline van de Sande

Opmerkelijke Ontmoetingen Wondrous Encounters
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