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What does Independence Day mean for Jordanians?

May 29,2021 - Last updated at May 29,2021

Jordanians celebrate on the 25th of May every year an occasion that is considered the most precious in their hearts. On this day, seventy-five years ago, the independence of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was declared. Perhaps on this day and in the midst of our celebrations of the great victory, we cannot help but remember the martyrs of Jordan and their great sacrifices, and remember with pride what our fathers and grandfathers have achieved in terms of victory and achievement in service for our homeland of Jordan, and the concerns of our Arab nation. Congratulations to us and to our youth for this great legacy that Jordanians have accomplished, under the leadership of the distinguished sons of Hashem, who gave this country great care and consideration. They stood by their generous people to move forward in order to lay a solid foundation for a nation that has become a symbol of security and safety. They built edifices and raised buildings, and worked diligently to instill love for the homeland in the souls of people who pledged to God and promised their leader to exert great and precious efforts to keep the flag of Jordan fluttering high and healthy over the people.

Independence for Jordanians does not only mean removing the oppression of colonialism and military dependence on foreign nations, but it also entails all the principles of liberty, justice, equality, freedom of expression, respect for opinions, regardless of religion or belief. This day of Independence is a day for all Jordanians. It is a day we celebrate to honour the development of a strong Jordanian human being, who is competent, educated and moderate, who can stand on his or her feet with all steadfastness and strength, and overcome challenges, for the sake of dignity and the future of the homeland.

Independence also means building solid institutions serving education, health, security and economy, as well as achieving a balanced and peaceful growth. Jordanian hands have maximised the achievements of a comprehensive and moderate Jordan, with its balanced local, regional and international ideas and policies that achieve our best national interest.

Certainly, independence is not measured by numbers only. If we look at the superb achievements in the compulsory education sector, Jordan has made qualitative leaps in building many educational institutions in a short period of time. And for higher education, the achievements are nothing short of spectacular, as today our Jordanian scientists and researchers are truly working at the global level, making remarkable contributions to society, not only here in Jordan, but around the world. Jordan has become the go-to country to provide Arab and regional markets with highly qualified graduates, who are armed with leadership skills and able to build and develop, achieve progress and prosperity. Indeed, from the beginning of our nation, a founding principle has been “The human being is the most precious".

Independence also carries with it the responsibility of the Jordanian state to deal with so many challenges and obstacles that arise to affect our environment, our health, and the stability of our region. We have stepped forward to provide asylum in many historical periods for our neighbours in unstable or unsafe conditions. We have applied our premise of "The human being is the most precious" in many circumstances, ensuring that Jordan can always serve refugees with responsibility and humanity, and with international standards to maintain their dignity. We have done all of this although it has stretched our economic resources and often created difficult political situations but God — the Almighty — always guides the decisions of the Jordanian state to serve humanity and crowned it with success.

A core part of this service to humanity entails the central issue of Palestine.  Jordan has always supported Arab issues, which are overwhelmingly supportive of Palestine. The Hashemites, throughout their honourable history of defending the rights of the Palestinian people and their right to self-determination, have constantly advocated for support in all international forums, despite opposition from many quarters. 

On the seventy-fifth anniversary of the independence of our beloved Jordan, we can only pray to God that we celebrate soon, the independence of Palestine, with the strong support Jordanian Hashemite, considering that the Palestinian issue is the main concern of the Jordanian state and Jordan's policy.

Happy Independence Day for Jordan and for our leader.

The author is president of Yarmouk University and he contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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