Friday, June 02, 2006

On Becoming a Citizen

Alright, so I'm a tad late with this post. Earlier this week, I finally became a dual-citizen. I think El 3atal was a bit perplexed by my desire to become a citizen of Jordan. He couldn't quite grasp why, when I had the American citizenship already, I would want Jordanian citizenship. The answer is simple, if my family is, I should be too. The kids have been Jordanians since we got here. My papers took a good bit longer. In part, that's because I had to be reviewed by the secret service. Once the review was done, I had only to run back and forth to what felt like every single governmental office in Jordan to process paperwork, obtain IDs, and get a passport. I've done most of this before, so it wasn't the shock it could have been. In fact, one day I should tell you all about the time I became officially my Father-in-Law's second wife. Quite an accomplishment for a Christian priest to have two wives... only through governmental error would such a thing be possible.

What was very interesting to me was observing the differences in the offices that I visited pre-Abdullah and post-Abdullah. I have to say that the King's donning of disguise has worked WONDERS on some of the offices. The time I mentioned before with the second wife issue was an entire day spent trying to get a family book so that El 3atal's passport could be updated. Literally, the process took 8 hours, 15 minutes of which was the renewal of the passport. When we went to update the family book with the twins, it took a few minutes. I noticed the same difference in both the attitude of workers and the confusion and frustration on entering the country after Abdullah overhauled processes at the airport. I can't say enough good things about the changes that I've seen in the offices I've visited. Unfortunately, that makes the distinction between the offices that have received a visit and those that haven't even more stark. Perhaps they should open an on-line suggestion box where you could suggest a governmental agency in need of attention. Wouldn't that be a hoot? I've got a background in process improvement and a sense of the absurd, maybe I could even head up a new office for this... After all, after my citizenship exercise, I've got a few suggestions :). At any rate, I'm happy to actually belong to this country that has become my home. It's nice to be legally residing here, it's nice to know that the family is all the same, it's just nice in general. And so, on becoming a citizen, I raise a glass of filtered water to Jordan and simply say...



At 12:20 AM , Blogger Philip (El3atal) said...

As a side note, I discovered a couple of days ago that Jordan too has the concept of Mahram, like Saudi Arabia. I technically had to "give you permission" to get a passport!

At 6:03 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

It doesn't surprise me. As I mentioned to you, at any point you could ask the government to revoke my travel priveleges (suspend my ability to leave the country), so why not get your permission before giving me citizenship. And, you might not want me to be a citizen of your fine land... Always best to give a choice. :)

At 3:06 PM , Blogger moi said...

Congrats yah urduniyeh! And if the kids and el3atal drive you nuts and you want to run away for a week or so, don't bother getting his permission, just grab your American passport and run ;)


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