“Good fences make good neighbors. What about bad ones?”

A wall or fence gives a definition to a relationship between 2 sides in more than one way. It gives rights to those standing on one side that cease to exist once they move to the other. It helps people maintain their distance from what is not theirs. It breeds respect between those on opposing sides… UNLESS… Its a wall of hate!!

Walls of hate reflect the inner monster in those who construct them to those they mean to oppress, rule, separate from and degrade. The most stark example of a wall of hate is the one that represents the epitome of hate (in my opinion at least), the zionist entity’s apartheid wall declared illegal by the International Court of Justice back in 2004.

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Another wall of hate, yet less grotesque and much smaller, is that built by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed forces in Mohammad Mahmoud Street using immense concrete blocks and seems to be directed not at anything but the revolution of the egyptian people and their continued struggle for freedom and justice away from SCAF’s clutch on power.

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Here in Amman we have walls of hate as well and while they seem much more common and less of an assault on public daily life, they remain just the same: walls of hate. I can’t take a picture of the security walls outside the british or american embassies as photography around them is prohibited but they qualify. Make no mistake about it: That much security is based mainly on fear and in the case of those two countries that fear comes from the feeling of having done something wrong. The governments of these countries have done a lot of wrong all over the world, and our region, with all its oil, has seen them wear the mask of the saint while they are well known by the people to be the devil.

The wall of hate that has provoked this writing is a rather small security wall (aren’t they all) outside the British Council on Rainbow Street. Whenever I pass by, I can’t help but think: How much fear does it take to build a barrier outside a cultural center? How much disrespect do those working on its administration have for the people they mean to “communicate” with?

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Its not like the average foreigner fears being in Jordan or that we feel any hate or resentment for them collectively. No. Its those in power in those countries who unjustly perceive the average Middle Eastern as a threat to their citizens regardless of evidence to the contrary. I personally do not recall a single terrorist attack on a foreign institution in Jordan. Do you? Even our moment of tragedy and terror did not involve a foreign institution, it came from outside and was directed at Jordanians! Its The message this wall means to send: You, as a citizen in this part of the world are not to be trusted. You are less!

And you know what makes it worse? The fucking drawings on the wall. While all the walls above have been drawn upon by those who mean to defy them this one displays the “art” of the perpetrator and to add insult to injury the “urban artist” writes the words British Council using Arabic letters. Again the mask that is meant to conceal the fact that those who took the decision to build this wall think less of those outside it and act accordingly. And to find further evidence of that you only have to look as far as the door at the high-tech security room reminiscent of the those used at intelligence offices not cultural centers.

Some of you will find this wall acceptable and some might even find it nice and colorful and pleasant.. as for me I can still remember Rainbow street without this hideous abomination! Back when times were more forgiving.

P.S. Since we are talking about walls Pink Floyd’s – The wall seems to me like a good song to end with.

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