A call for dismissing family names


Would dismissing family names save this country from much hectic?

Our heritage of tribal society has its toll on our evolution to a modern country. While building social organizations, governmental rules, individual rights are moving forward in a fast pace, we still see tribal laws and conflicts are holding us back.

For years we have been hearing consequent governmental officials declaring their intention of fighting corruption and ‘wasta’ in order to give fair equal opportunities to our citizens, but it has always been like blowing in a pinched ballon.

An authorized person in any governmental or private institution doesn’t just give a push to his close family relatives or circle of people that he knows, but he does make his preference based on family name resemblance that gives an indication of coming from a same city, same religion, or same race.

A common behaviour of us the Jordanians is to ask about family names at the very few moments of meeting a new person. And then, if the family name isn’t familiar enough to give the person the information he needs to judge the other as of the place of origin or kind of religion the other follows, we go by asking where are you from? and then, what is your religion?!

No one can deny that we still have some kind of prejudice and racism among us. It isn’t just between those of Palestinian origins vs those of Jordanian origins, or Muslims vs Christians, but also between nothern tribes vs southern ones, and even in between the same tribe.

A solution would be to just dismiss the family name. By changing the name in the indiviual IDs to hold (First Name – Father Name – Grand Father Name) only, instead of (First Name – Father Name – Family Name), we can clear out many problems instantly. A lot of prejudice and racism would fade away in no time.

Would this work?

Sure it would. I know that many would fight this move because of the support they get from their extended family enjoying being born for a certain family name, but a government decision, with a heavy advertising of the benefits of such move would level the objections.

How far is my dream of seeing us voting for our parliament officials based on their political, economic and social plans rather than their family name?!!

11 thoughts on “A call for dismissing family names

  1. Ali says:

    After the 1952 revolution in Egypt, the nationalisim started using the grand father name and stopped using the family name which was a disaster to the Egyptian community. The problem in Jordan is more cultural than social, I would not let anyone take away my name bacasue some offical can you use his powerful family name to get business done in this country.

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  2. well…i’m not sure that would really work…but in principle i wud support anything that fights tribalism and racism. we’ve had enough in jordan

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  3. lool you always identify the problem which i always agree with, but the solution you always offer tends to be off edge.a name is more than a name in jordan. it is a tribe, a family, it is a sense of identity and heritage. to take that away is to have a revolution on your hands.there are problems, i acknowledge that. but removing family names, the only real sense of identity the people have, is not the answer. we have problems but removing that identity is not going to solve them. we need to address the problems in an effecient and practical method of standard public policy. we need to change attitudes, not names. this goes beyond what’s written on your ID card. what’s next? arrest people if they ask you “what’s your father’s name?” it’s a slippery slope. a better way is to reform political parties until they are unified with strong political platforms. implement anti-wasta policies, and introduce political reform legislation. this alone can create an environment in jordan where people can no longer run on a platform based on serving their families, and the families are forced to vote for those who can serve them: political parties.

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  4. We should not mixup our priority,tribs ar not terminal disease.Without the tribs jordan will not exists today,and the feel that jordan is there country.

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  5. Ali, it is the first time I hear about the Egyptian experience in this area. How disastereous it gone?And it isn’t just some official that uses his family name to do business. It is a whole social attitude. One that should be addressed. Fadi, you are right, we have had enough. It is time to act. Nas, It is good that we at least agree on identifying the problems🙂.Yes, family name serve as an identity for many Jordanian in the meantime, but I believe that we can shift this sense of identity to follow an ideology rather than a family name. This shift can help raising individual sense of identity where a person get more pride in his own capabilities than on relying on a group of people that he only shares a name with. I believe that changing the attitude is what the governement has been trying to do for a couple of years now. Starting from the ad campain “3ala kadr ahel el 3azm”, passing with “Jordan First”, and now “We are all Jordan”. It sure does help, and natural social development does help as well, but all is taking place in a slow pace. Dismissing familt names would just give us the push we need. Hamede, Sure, Jordan as a country were built on a tribal system, but that was 50 years ago. The world changed since then. We are trying to build a modern country where the rights of each individual is sacred. Tribal laws are only holding us back.

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  6. The Observer says:

    Ali, it is the first time I hear about the Egyptian experience in this area. How disastereous it gone?And it isn’t just some official that uses his family name to do business. It is a whole social attitude. One that should be addressed. Fadi, you are right, we have had enough. It is time to act. Nas, It is good that we at least agree on identifying the problems🙂.Yes, family name serve as an identity for many Jordanian in the meantime, but I believe that we can shift this sense of identity to follow an ideology rather than a family name. This shift can help raising individual sense of identity where a person get more pride in his own capabilities than on relying on a group of people that he only shares a name with. I believe that changing the attitude is what the governement has been trying to do for a couple of years now. Starting from the ad campain “3ala kadr ahel el 3azm”, passing with “Jordan First”, and now “We are all Jordan”. It sure does help, and natural social development does help as well, but all is taking place in a slow pace. Dismissing familt names would just give us the push we need. Hamede, Sure, Jordan as a country were built on a tribal system, but that was 50 years ago. The world changed since then. We are trying to build a modern country where the rights of each individual is sacred. Tribal laws are only holding us back.

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  7. Ali, it is the first time I hear about the Egyptian experience in this area. How disastereous it gone?And it isn’t just some official that uses his family name to do business. It is a whole social attitude. One that should be addressed. Fadi, you are right, we have had enough. It is time to act. Nas, It is good that we at least agree on identifying the problems🙂.Yes, family name serve as an identity for many Jordanian in the meantime, but I believe that we can shift this sense of identity to follow an ideology rather than a family name. This shift can help raising individual sense of identity where a person get more pride in his own capabilities than on relying on a group of people that he only shares a name with. I believe that changing the attitude is what the governement has been trying to do for a couple of years now. Starting from the ad campain “3ala kadr ahel el 3azm”, passing with “Jordan First”, and now “We are all Jordan”. It sure does help, and natural social development does help as well, but all is taking place in a slow pace. Dismissing familt names would just give us the push we need. Hamede, Sure, Jordan as a country were built on a tribal system, but that was 50 years ago. The world changed since then. We are trying to build a modern country where the rights of each individual is sacred. Tribal laws are only holding us back.

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  8. ur right people ask that all the time when they first meet u, along with strange things like: whats ur horoscope?i think taking the family name out isnt the best thing to do, changing how people think is!when i’m with my best friend of 8 years, some people ask me: “where is she from?” to tell u the truth, she told me once but i honestly dont remember!!

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  9. Nas, It is good that we at least agree on identifying the problems🙂.Yes, family name serve as an identity for many Jordanian in the meantime, but I believe that we can shift this sense of identity to follow an ideology rather than a family name.”first of all it is a sense of identity for all jordanians, in fact for all people of belad il-sham. people will give up everything before their name. and it doesnt matter if you live in abdoun or in kerak, it is a sense of everything.to replace it with ideology makes a bad situation worse. “This shift can help raising individual sense of identity where a person get more pride in his own capabilities than on relying on a group of people that he only shares a name with.I believe that changing the attitude is what the governement has been trying to do for a couple of years now. Starting from the ad campain “3ala kadr ahel el 3azm”, passing with “Jordan First”, and now “We are all Jordan”.It sure does help, and natural social development does help as well, but all is taking place in a slow pace. Dismissing familt names would just give us the push we need.”like i said, the idea is to change attitudes not names. dismissing names is dismissing identity and people will fight and die for that identity. changing attitudes is the right way, it might take longer but if you do something right you can get there in 10 years. you do it wrong and it will set you back 50.and that being said, you can remove names from ID cards, but it will only strengthen the resolve of the people who will see it as an attempt by the government to strip them of their identities, which will only encourage things like wasta more than ever.and that being said, it should and will never happen for the simple the reason that if anyone was to suggest it seriously they would be laughed by the overwhelming majority of the country. and if anyone was to seriously implement it, they would likely not live long enough to see it happen.

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  10. Lammoush, I wonder how much would it take to change how people think. Where is your best friend from?😛Nas,How would repalcing the family identity of Jordanians to an ideology make a bad situation worse?“like i said, the idea is to change attitudes not names. dismissing names is dismissing identity and people will fight and die for that identity.”People do fight and die because of family identity NOW. I am not calling for using force to apply such a rule. A parliament concession should be acquired. An advertising campain should take place to explain the benefits of such a move. A survey should be conduct to measure the public opinion. “it should and will never happen for the simple the reason that if anyone was to suggest it seriously they would be laughed by the overwhelming majority of the country”Have you heard of Ghandi’s quote: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”

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  11. “How would repalcing the family identity of Jordanians to an ideology make a bad situation worse?”like i said…“it will only strengthen the resolve of the people who will see it as an attempt by the government to strip them of their identities, which will only encourage things like wasta more than ever.”“People do fight and die because of family identity NOW. “so imagine if the government announced it would remove family names from their id. as for parliament…lol a bill such as this wouldnt last 1 minute on the floor before being tossed out. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”…yeah the british…not the jordanian tribes.

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