Do the winds of change begin to blow in Jordan? At this stage it is still difficult to answer this question but without any doubt it seems that the effects of the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt are felt in the Jordanian street.
Earlier this week, the royal palace was surprised after 36 chiefs issued an announcement which included an unprecedented criticism of Queen Rania. These tribes are considered the power base of the monarchy and for King Abdullah this is a worrying development. In their criticism the tribal chiefs said she was "building power centers for her own interests". They also called for significant reforms in the kingdom. "We call for a modern electoral law based on consultations with all political forces in Jordan, enhancing freedoms and the formation of a national salvation government to oversee a transparent parliamentary election," the tribal heads added.
Speaking to Albawaba, a Jordanian expert, who asked not to be named, warned the tribes from escalating their criticism. "The tribes should be careful of their criticism and not to cross the red lines since they should be aware that if the monarchy goes, the tribes will fight amongst themselves." According to him, unlike Tunisia and Egypt, Jordanian society is "multi-cultural" and the monarchy is the "glue".
Meanwhile, the Islamists are trying to put additional pressure on the government. Prominent Jordanian opposition figure, Leith Shbeilat, sent a lengthy letter to King Abdullah II warning that the people will soon move from chanting socio-economic slogans to political ones, quickly progressing against the regime and its head, in the event of the "debaucherous governments will continue to exploit their people."
Shbeilat's message was titled "This is how we will keep the throne that Jordan needs for its stability."