The 50 minutes it takes for me to work home from work are some of the best minutes of my day; here I have time to take a break and just let my thoughts fly wherever they want to go. Despite the heave traffic accompanying me all the way along Al-Madeenah Al-Munawwarah Road, these 50 minutes are where I switch my brain off along with any internet or mobile phone connection. In spite of their liberty, my thoughts – perhaps inspired by the surrounding traffic – return and revolve around two questions; why is there no public transportation system in Amman, and why do human beings build cities that are designed for cars only? I mean, in a country where it seems every citizen (in West Amman) can afford his or her own car, how come there are no money for building a public transportation system? How come the King, concerned for his subjects, never thought of creating one, or rather, how come the citizens never demanded one from their leaders?
They say the in future cars will be running on electricity, water, bio fuels, you name it. Is this really the best we can get? Is the car really the best means of transportation the human brain can deliver – so brilliant that we keep on copying the form and only replace the content? Is the car the climax of human development? Walking along the roads in Amman I hope not. I sincerely hope that my or the future generation can invent a better solution; a solution where the human being is included. Where the city is a place of being, not escaping from. To get there, we have to rethink our entire way of living. We need to reconsider our society and the way we produce, use and reuse our environment, our natural resources, our fellow human beings. This is not only a task for engineers and chemists, but urban planners, doctors, journalists, business managers and teachers have to come along and contribute to the building of society.
It’s a long way. Until we get there I will encourage everyone to leave the car once in a while and walk home; take a break and let your thoughts fly!