ordan faces increasing regional challenges, including terrorism and narcotrafficking in combination with the delicate relation with Syria, as well as the difficulties of improving concrete relations with Iraq, and the need to have strong economic and political ties with Saudi Arabia. Yet, the most critical challenge that is arising is addressing the risks in Palestine with the rising potential of chaos and the growing issue of the succession of Abbas.
In facing these increasing regional challenges, Jordan must also acknowledge that internal challenges are no less critical that the regional ones. Economic hardship and socio-political frustration are increasing amongst Jordanians, and are creating growing negativity amongst a wide range of people. It is critical to counter this negativity by building a positive perception and making people feel that change is taking place to inspire hope and aspiration amongst Jordanians.
The process of budling positive perception is not an easy one, it requires superb communication skills which in this current government are virtually non-existent. The public narratives are still based on the repetition of clichés and empty, unconvincing promises. Even Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh has not been able to create any positive impact out of his speeches, including his recent speech to students at the University of Jordan.
The milestones for creating a positive atmosphere are guaranteeing human rights and liberties as well as generating hope for a decent life for people, putting an end to the sense of marginalisation and exclusion that many are suffering from today. It is important to remember that the future of any society depends on its ability to adapt to change through its systems. Therefore, it is necessary to pursue changes in the political system and to understand the purpose and objectives of these changes. Clarifying the goals will ensure focus and make the process easier, but the pillars of successful change are engagement and participation of the people affected through inclusion, guaranteeing human rights and liberties, as well as creating hope for a decent life for people.
The Royal wedding of HRH Crown Prince Hussein was a presentation of the young Prince and an image of the future. The wedding helped grow his profile in the political scene, paving the way for change linked to the future. This represents an opportunity to build positive perceptions, it just needs political determination and continuous follow-up on implementation to guarantee a good start to the new phase.
The multilateral challenges that Jordan is facing require a strong government capable of dealing with internal challenges, re-building the official Jordanian narrative, and re-bridging the gap between citizens and government. On a regional level, a new diplomatic approach is also needed, where open relations with all protagonists in the Palestinian scene and improved relations with Saudi Arabia are at the top of the state agenda. This also requires a new vision for the security approach from countering dangers of terrorism and drugs to politicly achievements on a regional level, as security in the region is the path to improving and rebuilding relations.
Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh