Democracy in Jerash

Jerash, Jordan.  A small town to the North of Jordan’s capital city, Amman, on the way to Syria. The city of Jerash contains fantastically preserved Roman ruins, which tourists, including my friend and I, traveled to see. We stayed overnight in a small four bedroom hotel, and while exploring the city at night, saw no other westerners and acquired countless stares from the locals. Jerash is one of the more remote places I’ve traveled to in a foreign country. The hotel caretaker was an immigrant from Oman, and that night he wanted to practice his English with us.  Not an atypical request when traveling.  Mohamed Morsi was just ousted from his presidency in Egypt a few weeks before our trip, and the caretaker from Oman was quite peeved. He explained to us that if democracy were to take hold in the Middle East, you have to allow the elected President to complete his term.  For better or for worse.  “If you don’t like him, that’s OK. Don’t vote for him at the next election, but you can’t stage a military coup every time a president isn’t doing exactly what you want. Like in America, the election of Obama was close, but the voters that didn’t vote for him peacefully accepted the outcome. They will wait and vote for someone else in four years.”

The ideas of voting and democracy are not bound by country, creed, or culture.  Maybe it was right to oust Morsi, or maybe it wasn’t.  I don’t personally know everything that happened in Egypt.  But, the ideas of fair elections and the rule of law are in the forefront of the minds of many people across the world.