Sophia's Peace Work

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Only the "worthy" get Residency? Yeah, right!

My boss just bought an expensive apartment here in Amman ... I think it's pricey enough that perhaps the Jordanians will grant him the much coveted residency (If you have the money and are willing to invest in Jordan, you have no problems getting residency and staying in the country).

I laughed at him and said "The last person who needs residency, get's residency!"

His response was, "This is what happens when you plan ahead."

This made me angry and I started to argue with him. Considering all the Iraqis who are struggling here in Amman, I thought he wasn't appreciating the fact that he comes with more advantages than other people .... as if it is only "planning ahead" that gets you what you want.

According to him he worked hard and struggled when he was younger, lived in poverty and by denying himself then, planning ahead and working hard ... he has achieved his standing now all of his own accord."

I don't deny any of this. He has worked hard and he has planned ... but he had help in all this and he didn't start with some of the disadvantages that other people had. His family was educated and certainly not poor. He was able to travel to the U.S. years ago when it was easier to get into the U.S. Certainly he had to overcome obstacles, but it wasn't all his own doing.

This all comes down to one of the oldest argument: poor people resent the unfairness and abuse of those with wealth and power; rich people assume that the poor are just poor because they "don't work hard enough" and that their poverty is all their own fault.

Don't get me wrong, my boss is not rich ... but nor is he poor and struggling like so many Iraqis here in Amman.

A friend here in Amman told me the other day of an Iraqi Christian family she met in Amman ... several of the men in the family were killed in Iraq and the family was given an ultimatum to clear out or face a similar fate. How can "planning ahead" help you in a situation like this? I suppose as Christians who had been living peacefully for years in a majority muslim country, they should have seen this coming and dropped all their ties to their own country and cleared out years ago?

Anyway, I like my boss and I think his heart is in the right place most of the time ... but sometimes he says the most thoughtless stuff.


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