The number of writers, artists and media workers who ran for the Jordanian Parliament in its previous sessions did not, in total, reach the number it reached in the current session, as it exceeded 20 candidates.
The number of candidates from writers, artists and media workers constitutes about 2% of the total number of candidates, which reached 1717, including 5 women, 8 poets, two novelists, two plastic artists, an actress, and 6 media professionals.
Previous experiences say that writers, artists, or even media professionals have no chance to succeed in previous sessions, as a number of them have been nominated in previous sessions, among them are: novelist Salem Al-Nahhas, researcher Nimer Sarhan, artist Rawhi Safadi, poet Aisha Al-Razim, storyteller Hoda Fakhoury, and poet Hani Al-Kayed, storyteller Fakhri Kawar, journalist Toujan Faisal, and journalist Nabil Ghishan. Only a few of them could reach the parliament, such as Kawar, Ghishan, and Faisal.
Novelist Ahmed Tarawneh says that the cultural issue is essentially absent from most of the assignment books directed to the government.
Human rights and journalist Dr. Muhammad Al-Awaisheh disagrees, saying that it is a positive phenomenon for the educated to stand up to parliamentary work, because it has become necessary for the creative voice to rise in light of the decline of official interest in them in previous years.
The head of the Jordanian Writers Association, lawyer and poet Akram Al-Zoubi, explains the necessity of the presence of cultural representatives in the House of Representatives, considering that culture in its essence “is not a specialty”, and the presence of intellectuals and creative people in the legislative authority “is very important”, because culture is linked to every detail of daily, social, economic and even political life. With what the intellectual possesses of a visionary sense towards the future, and a real and realistic deal with the daily and the living.
As for the researcher, Muhammad al-Bishtawi, he attributes the reason for the intellectual’s absence and the weakness of his presence under the dome of Parliament to his “marginal” role in society, because he lives in an “isolated area”, and when he decides to run for elections, he will not leave the framework of theorizing with theses related to enlightenment, revival and criticism, while the public’s attention is focused on issues. Demand and subsistence, which made the voter see in the theorizing of the intellectual a distance from realism, in addition to the fact that the logic of parliamentary elections is based on social, tribal or regional, and it is rare to bias culture at the expense of the clan.
Culture and Big Issues
Al-Zoubi expresses his happiness with the presence of about 10 members of the General Assembly of the Jordanian Writers Association among the candidates, pointing out that the Association will strive with all its capabilities to stand in support of its members.
As for the candidate, the poet Alyan Al-Adwan – who is the head of the Jordanian Writers and Writers Union – he denies that the basis of his electoral campaign depends only on the voice of the “clan”, but on the balance of cultural and volunteer work and his bias in his writings and his positions with people’s issues and national identity, and his readiness to serve intellectuals, culture, art and artists. He describes culture as “a standard of progress and advancement for peoples.”
Artist Juliette Awad believes that the role of culture does not stop at the purely creative side, but extends to major issues, including national concern, Palestine’s concern, resistance to normalization, cultural, educational and health concerns, youth and women and their rights, the right of the child, and freedoms. It denies that the role of the representative is a service. Rather, he should be educated about his legislative and supervisory role.
And the novelist candidate, Dr. Nahla Al-Jamzawi, agrees with her, confirming that the role of the deputy is to achieve justice, freedom, equality and decent living, and on the cultural and literary level: to convey the voice of the Jordanian writer, defend his right to freedom of expression, and improve the creative living conditions, as he expresses the spirit of the nation and its civilization.
The absence of culture in the programs
Al-Tarawneh criticizes the candidates of writers and artists that their programs are devoid of cultural concern, and he says that there is no reference to cultural concern in the programs of the candidates, and he asks: If the stakeholders neglect it from their programs and priorities, then why do we blame the non-interested candidates for not paying attention to that, and why is we blaming the government for neglecting it? that matter.
It is mentioned that throughout the life of the Jordanian parliament, no representative has come forward to fight the battle to reach the dome based on a cultural program, for culture is an unpopular commodity and does not market its owner under the influence of the economic, social, political and other program, and this makes everyone look at it with half an eye, because they believe that culture cannot be Carry a filter to the dome of Parliament.
Fine artist Kamal al-Din Abu Halawa says that the program for any candidate stems from the issues of people and the environment in which he lives, and is distributed on a number of social and economic axes. The artist’s advantage is to focus on the cultural aspect and carry him to the “legislative chamber”. The important thing is that when the writer or artist arrives to parliament, he will remain “the guardian of his cultural and artistic cause.”
Aggression agrees with him regarding his work in Parliament if he is successful. The role of the parliament is related to legislation, and there are many legislations related to culture and the arts that have been “outdated and drank”, and need to keep pace with the changes that have occurred in culture, not as “texts” but rather everything related By our way of thinking, our behavior, and our means of progress, and the mission of the MP is to improve the legislative conditions and conditions for knowledge and enlightenment, and “everything we practice, whether required or legislative, is related to culture.”