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UJ celebrates 47th anniversary of Karameh Battle

By Suzanna Goussous - Mar 26,2015 - Last updated at Mar 26,2015

AMMAN — University of Jordan (UJ) students marked the 47th anniversary of Karameh Battle on Thursday, stressing that dedication to building the country is a sign of true patriotism.

During a ceremony organised by UJ’s Student Union, Mahmoud Abu Wendy, a retired Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) officer who fought in the battle shared some of his memories.

“In 1968 just like today, we lost our martyrs — the martyrs of our land, Jerusalem, Jenin and Golan.”

“We are proud of our martyrs, who taught us that land is something to fight for. If we don’t fight for our country, we don’t deserve to be living in it,” he added.

“After we lost the [1967 Arab-Israeli war], our Arab Army restored the pride that was lost then,” Abu Wendy said.

He recalled the prominent events that took place during the battle and skirmishes fought by JAF that showed real courage until victory was achieved.

On March 21, 1968, Jordanian soldiers repelled an Israeli attack on the small town of Karameh in the Jordan Valley, whose name means “dignity”.

Eighty-six Jordanian soldiers lost their lives in the battle and 108 were wounded, while 250 Israeli soldiers were killed and 450 were wounded.

UJ Dean of Student Affairs Ahmad Owaidi said the Karameh Battle is “immortal in Jordan and in Jordanians’ memories”.

“It is a day to honour the heroes of the Jordan Armed Forces, who were led by the Supreme Commander, the late King Hussein,” he added.

Thursday’s ceremony included screening of videos and pictures from the battle, an exhibition of military photos and private battle photos, in addition to a performance and march by the JAF band on campus.

“So many of our soldiers have been lost in battle; Muath Kasasbeh is our most recent martyr. We should all honour his memory and face death with our chins up,” Abu Wendy added.

“I remember when I was on a mission, a friend of mine was stationed in a specific position. At dawn, the enemy occupied his position. The soldier immediately called the command centre and told them to bomb his position,” the retired serviceman recounted.

Abu Wendy said the soldier’s last words were: “Kill me and the enemy. They must not be allowed to set foot on this sacred land.’”

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