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The source of Jordan’s river of discontent
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
In an interview last year, King Abdullah of Jordan admitted he can do only so much to end a deep cultural practice known in Arabic as wasta. One in 3 Jordanians, for example, works for the government, plum work often gained through favoritism, such as a tribal connection or even bribery. For nearly a week, tens of thousands of Jordanians took to the streets in protests that, while initially focused on economic issues such as a proposed income tax, ended up venting public frustration with wasta and the lack of a meritocracy in business and government. read more


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