“Muslims and Christians, citizens of various origins and affiliations answered the call. We live our lives together, a society of fraternity and compassion, like one family, we build our future fortifying generations’ ideals against narrow-mindedness and intolerance…” ~ King Abdullah II of Jordan
The video above is a message from King Abdullah II of Jordan that was delivered on 3 March 2015. This is an important message about persevering in difficult circumstances. Although this is a message to the Jordanian people, it is applicable to any people striving to advance their nation toward a better future “on the basis of justice, equality and equal opportunities.” It’s also a message about the core values of what it means to be a Muslim, or simply a decent human being. King Abdullah speaks of the larger “society of fraternity and compassion” to which some people around the world strongly identify with. The context of this message is the recent war with ISIL and the video released on 3 February 2015 that shows the barbaric killing of Muath Safi Yousef al-Kasasbeh, a member of the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
For translation from Arabic to English below we employed the services of Amira Rammah.
English Transcription and Translation
In the name of God, the most Gracious and Merciful.
And peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad, the great Arab prophet, descendant of the Hashimites.
My brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, my big one Jordanian family, peace, mercy and blessings be upon you from God.
I speak to you today and I know and I feel each and every one of you. I feel your concerns, and dreams for the future in light of the unprecedented events experienced by the Arab region in our contemporary history.
Today we stand facing the future to which we aspire and deserve; the future of our choosing we strive to build for Jordan ourselves, and not the dismal future our enemies, who claim to be Muslims, seek to impose through terrorism, which contradicts and goes against Islam.
There is no such thing as sectarianism, radicalism or extremism in Islam, for it is a religion of unity, peace and justice. Those who sought to kill, torture and violate the sanctities in the name of Islam, are its very enemies. Islam is holy and innocent of such deeds.
The transformations we have witnessed in the past few years in our region, as well as the current challenges facing the world today put all of humanity to a hard test. You, Jordanians, with your open minds, awareness and refusal to have your sons and daughters be the fuel to greed, dark ambitions and agendas that do not represent your humanity, are the safety valve and the first line of defense for this country.
The whole nation spectra is gathered to protect the homeland. Muslims and Christians, citizens of various origins and affiliations answered the call. We live our lives together, a society of fraternity and compassion, like one family. We build our future by instilling ideals against narrow-mindedness and intolerance in our generations; and by arming them with citizenship initiative, ambition, excellence, love of labor and delivery and the rejection of violence, which run counter to our values and our morals and all that represents us. The essence of our faith is the sanctity of life, and respect for self and others.
I assure you that Jordan has been and will always be strong over the decades in the future. Jordan proved to be stronger and bigger than all the weak people, who are waiting for any opportunity to attack, or harm our homeland in various ways and means. Each time we were tested we came out stronger. Today we are stronger than ever. With adversity the true colors of Jordanians shine as they face hardship and unite in the midst of crisis.
My brothers and sisters, our strength and pivotal role in the region and the world is not a coincidence. It is the result of Jordanian long standing hard work and perseverance, which put Jordan on the map of excellence and achievement, and raised high the banner of Jordan in various fields. To this day we stand strong and united among all the sectarian and ethnic conflicts and disputes, and above all, terrorism. Jordan enjoys safety and security, as they are crucial for the basis of life, and we do not compromise nor waver on these principles. Our state is built on the rule of Law. In this all citizens live with dignity and equal rights and opportunities.
We are Jordanian, and our military holds our Arabic values ever since it was founded. We take pride in being an Arab people and army. Never have we cringed when faced with hardships. Jordan is the land of the resilient and the dedicated. Jordan carried the banner of the Great Arab Revolution, bore the responsibility to protect the honor of Jerusalem and its holy sites, as well as the causes of the nation and humanity. We hold the values of tolerance and moderation. Our martyrs paid with their lives in defense of the message of Islam, and to defend the Jordanian soil and the dignity of its people. They are our idols and heroes to be commemorated by every Jordanian. So, you are entitled as Jordanians to be proud of your achievements. Whoever has this history should be proud and look forward to a promising tomorrow.
But do not forget to be proud by producing and achieving and not by bragging. To build a distinct society requires faith in our abilities, all of humanity’s achievements began with dreams, and they were realized through ambition, determination, dedication and perseverance. Success is built under the auspices of talents and abilities, and the adoption of promising ideas, and support of entrepreneurship, perseverance, respect, and the ability to overcome failure.
We are in this together. Despite all the challenges, we are continuing to strengthen our democratic progress, and the development of our society. We are involved in the deepening of active citizenship on the basis of justice, equality and equal opportunities. These are well-established principles in the Jordanian conscience.
My brothers and sisters, as I talk to you now I know that generations of the Jordanian people are listening, some are the grandparents who laid the foundations of our society, and some are fathers and mothers who carried banners to bring modernity and to keep the Jordanian Flag flying high. Young people are the hope of Jordan, and their knowledge, ambition and patriotism that precede all other considerations. Our future is bright and Jordan deserves all the best. Therefore, to every Jordanian I say:
Hold your head up. To every young person achieving success, to each child learning a new word, and to every teacher carrying the noblest message.
Hold your head up. To every Jordanian working hard and giving to his homeland.
Hold your head up in Amman, your capital, which embraces the sons of one united country and unites all the free Arabs. Your capital which became a reference and a destination for all Arabs.
Raise your head as you have raised the Jordanian flag in each province, city, village, and desert camp; as you have embraced the oppressed, sheltered them, and shared with them everything you can when they were expelled from their homes.
Hold your head up, because you raised the flag of Jordan in the fields of humanitarian work in the affected parts of the world.
Hold your head up, because you have the heart of an eagle. O, you brave Jordanian, you accept responsibility and sacrifice; and your heart is always for your country and your nation.
Hold your head up, because every Jordanian family has a member like Mu’ath (the Jordanian pilot killed by ISIS).
Hold your head up, because the whole world respects you as you have built this country with your hands, and wrote its glory and history to be a bright title for our nation, and to be a monument for the whole world to see.
More importantly, raise your head to look to the future which embodies our high aspirations. We can achieve greater by far. Every child, young woman, soldier, every mother, family, neighborhood and city has enormous capabilities that can be served to realize dreams each one of you has. My fellow Jordanians, this country is destined to be the greatest.
May peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.