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.
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:
Some perspective: Gas (Oct 90) in #Jordan reached 0.35 Dinars (JD) per liter from Dec. '08 to Apr. '09. Tonight, it's up to 0.8 JD/liter #JO— Hazem Zureiqat حازم زريقات (@hazem) November 13, 2012
All of the Jordanians I know have been complaining about unbearable price increases for years, this might have been last straw.— Yousef Munayyer (@YousefMunayyer) November 13, 2012
The Jordan protests are about fuel prices yet the King's supporters themselves turn it into a question of the system with their reflex. #JO— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) November 13, 2012
This protest in #Jordan is significant so far because of the rare display of open defiance of King Abdallah http://t.co/dcp3Dsol— Yousef Munayyer (@YousefMunayyer) November 13, 2012
Who'd have thought that raising fuel prices would spark protests in Jordan? That never happens, except always.— Marc Lynch (@abuaardvark) November 13, 2012