Our Basketball Federation is pushing to award the Jordanian citizenship to non-Jordanian citizens in order to allow them to play for our national team.
Let me start with some basics. On the club level (like Zain did), the club has the freedom to buy and sell whoever player they want because the team represents only the club, and you can argue about how much that club represents the country. In the NBA you can have a game where there are more non-US players on the field than US players. Same applies for European football and many other sports.
However, on national level, players have to be citizens of that country. They represent it in different games and their people stand behind them in support.
What our basketball federation is doing, is treating the national team like a club. They're even arguing which players deserve the citizenship more depending on their position on the field.
So imagine, all what you need to become Jordanian is to play in the right position in a basketball team.
Imagine a Jordanian citizen who doesn't speak your language, doesn't know the country and doesn't understand the culture.
You can argue that half Jordanians are not originally from Jordan. True. But they fled to Jordan from Palestine after disastrous wars and they share a very similar, if not identical, culture and language and heritage and history.
You can argue that the US gave hundreds of millions of immigrants green cards and citizenship. Absolutely True. But they have to be fluent in English and should have lived a considerable time in the US before becoming citizens. I was totally with giving our previous Chinese Taekwondo coach, Mr. Chen, a Jordanian citizenship because he's lived many years in Jordan and spoke Arabic pretty well. and neither his origin or race should stand against that.
You can argue that being Jordanian doesn't give these players any additional privileges they didn't have as Americans. Probably true. But that doesn't make it right to award them the Jordanian citizenship.
Maybe I'm thinking too highly of my country but to become Jordanian you need a little more than play basketball. You need to feel somewhat loyal to the place and to love it, and to feel attached to it even if you found one million wrong things about it, and I don't think that for someone who lived a few months in the country he'll able to do so.
This whole thing is making me feel one thing: cheap. Dirty cheap.
I sent an angry e-mail to the federation (their e-mail is : email@example.com ) and you're free to contact them if you have anything to say.