The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Protests break out in Jordan, mention king by name


Almost two years after the Arab Spring began toppling dictatorships, Jordan is still there, ruled by a pro-Western Hashemite monarchy. There have been a number of will-they-or-won't-they moments since then, including right now.

As of this writing, protesters are amassing in Amman, the capital, in a demonstration that was initially sparked by cuts to fuel subsidies but have come to more directly address the country's governing system, including King Abdullah himself. For the moment, you can watch a video stream here.

Local media report protests in several other Jordanian cities. Demonstrations in the country's south have "become commonplace over the past year," George Washington University Professor Marc Lynch said, pointing to this article on "tribal dissent" in the kingdom.

Yousef Munayyer has been translating some of the chants on Twitter:

Oh Abdallah, Listen up, Change and Reform, its going to happen, its going to happen.
Oh Abdallah son of Hussien, where did the people's money go?
There's those stealing millions, and the rest eating plain bread.
If prices go up, we'll sleep in the circle, and the country will light on fire.
Freedom is from God, in spite of you Abdallah.

Political turmoil is common in Jordan, yet the country is stable and the king still in place. As they have many times before, this latest round of protests is inspiring debate among Middle East-watchers about whether this is Jordanian history in the making or just another bump in the status quo. Here's a sample: