Dec 26, 2013 | 22:11

“No, man! Just push in the other direction,” a youth told a person helping him push a car stuck in snow off Wasfi Tal Street in Amman during the recent snowstorm which hit the country.

“Yallah, a little bit more and the driver will make it to the main street,” he told the man whose head was covered in a red keffiyyeh.

As the man moved and his face showed, the youth gaped in shock.

It was the King helping him push the car.

It was the third day of the blizzard dubbed Alexa, which dumped more than half a metre of snow on some parts of the country, and up to one metre in areas like Ajloun and Sweileh.

King Abdullah was in between meetings and visits to concerned departments and various parts of the country to gauge the needs of the people and concerned authorities when he saw the motorist desperately trying to make it to the main street.

The King discovered that day that municipalities lacked machinery to clear snow and keep streets open during blizzards, which usually strike Jordan at least once a year, ranging from mild to severe, like the one witnessed earlier this month.

The King thus asked that bulldozers be made immediately available to municipalities, but there were none in the local market, not even in the Duty Free Zone in Zarqa, according to officials familiar with the issue.

Then contacts started to find the nearest destination to provide Jordan with the needed machinery; it was the United Arab Emirates.

The issue then was to fly them to Jordan as soon as possible, particularly since winter is just starting and another storm might hit any time.

Knowing of Jordan’s search for the needed equipment, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, offered to present the machinery and, more importantly, to fly the equipment to Jordan, in a show of support for the Kingdom.

Such brotherly gesture prompted the King to express appreciation for Sheikh Mohammad as well as UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan by receiving their gift at the airport.

The King followed up on the issue from A to Z, which comes in contrast to the work of other officials during the storm.

Minister of Municipal Affairs Walid Masri was very critical of the performance of some mayors and municipalities for not preparing their teams for the storm and for not communicating with his ministry.

He reportedly said that some mayors switched off their phones at the most difficult of times.

It is a source of great shock that such elected officials should shirk their responsibility of helping those who elected them during such dire conditions, while the head of the state is doing his utmost to help, by chairing meetings of senior officials, by following up on citizens’ needs through meetings with them and their representatives, and even by the symbolic gesture of pushing a car stuck in snow, just as many other good Jordanian citizens would do and were doing in times of need.

The three-day blizzard left us with some lessons. One is that next time citizens head to the ballot boxes to elect mayors, municipal council members or parliamentarians, they have to choose wisely to ensure that they do not elect elitist individuals who think they are above fellow citizens, but people who are there in times of need.