lib·er·ty /ˈlibərtē/
Noun: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life the quality or state of being free:

a : the power to do as one pleases
b : freedom from physical restraint
c : freedom from arbitrary or despotic control
d : the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges
e : the power of choice

At this very moment, 16 Jordanian men are held as prisoners of conscience at various locations in Jordan. They lack the most basic types of freedom, the most tangible,  they have no power to act as they please as they are physically restrained from doing so. They were demanding political, social and economic freedom for the people of Jordan, and they lost their personal physical freedom as a result and response. The oldest is Soud Mohammad Al-Ajarmeh at 53 years old, he’s been detained since the 15th of July. The youngest being Abdelmahdi Awajin at 22 years old, he’s been detained since the 8th of September.What I want to highlight in this post are 2 issues. The first being an informative one, for those of you unaware of the level things have reached. The men are:

1. Soud Mohammad Al-Ajarmeh  – since 15/7/2012
2. Mo’en Al Harasis – since 8/9/2012
3. Mohammad Alr’oud – since 8/9/2012
4. Hussein Shbeilat – since 8/9/2012
5. Abdelmahi Awajin – since 8/9/2012
6. Khaled Al Harasis – since 8/9/2012
7. Bassam Alamayreh – since 8/9/2012
8. Mohammad Alma’abreh – since 8/9/2012
9. Ahmad Aljaraysheh – since 8/9/2012
10. Abdullah Mahhadin  – since 11/9/2012
11. Fadi Masamreh – since 12/9/2012
12. Hisham Al Sarhan – since 8/9/2012
13. Ibrahim Dmour – since 10/9/2012
14. Ra’ouf Habashneh –  since 10/9/2012
15. Odai Khatatneh
16. Mohammad Al Natour

The charges vary between what translates to “tearing down and weakening the Jordanian regime”, ”illegal assembly”, ”attempting to change the constitution”, ”inciting regional feuds” and a few others. Charges that I personally find much more reasonable to accuse the regime and government of rather than these men, as we citizens can barely tear down a wall without getting an approval from some governmental entity let alone have the strength to tear down the regime by simply ‘speaking’.

 The retardation portrayed in arresting people for simply speaking surprises me, but is most understandable! Most of those detained,with all due respect to their work and determination were simply protesters, they were not working on major action plans with anything that can seriously threaten the country. An expression a fellow column writer expressed his surprise at such charges by wondering whether our regime is so brittle and cardboard-like that it feels that it is weakened and being torn down by a few words in a video or over a loudspeaker at a demonstration. They should feel that they’re being undermined and threatened by the change in mentality and by a huge dose of courage, but certainly not feel threatened by a group that came together as a reaction to the governments’ and regime’s actions as opposed to a group that came together to actively act.

Having said that, one has to mention the lack of knowledge we have on a collective survival approach. Our work and movements are pushing forward names to the forefront of our media and gossip sessions and creating ‘stars’. I’m not sure how to express this well, but we aim to get out of our bubble to just go into another, another bubble with maybe less people in it, only a more transparent one, so that people in all the other surrounding bubbles can see us. Those who can’t see us because of being in a distant bubble can hear us screaming in the distance.  As much as we think we’re being effective with this approach, I’m not sure we are.A real collective effort is truly due at this stage, and I am quite aware that none of us have the answers or the methods. We’ve been brought up well to walk the path of individual escape, most of us don’t know what sacrifice tastes like, sacrifice that is devoid of ego boosts and indirect paybacks, real sacrifice that leaves you with nothing.

I can simply quote articles 7 and 15 from our constitution and tell you that we can lean on them, but as one dear person discusses with me constantly, constitutions count in real sovereign countries, not in ours.

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