The ‘bastard’ son

11020311Baghdad: View from the Sheraton Hotel, 1990.

As I try to pinpoint the exact time this so-called ‘ISIS’ group started to appear in the Middle East, I notice an escalation in their activities after the 2003 invasion on Iraq; 607 % rise of annual terrorism attacks (28.3 attacks per year before and 199.8 after). I am not at al denying that terrorism did not exist before that, but the whole invasion was based on false grounds (WHAT weapons of mass destruction?!) & having one Arab terrorist at that time did not mean all Arabs are. I also came across a very interesting thing someone said about ISIS: “ISIS is the bastard son of the American invasion on Iraq”. 

          Let us indulge in the truth of this statement for a little bit. This ‘son’, born out of an illegal illegitimate unfair inhumane rape, was raised by a violent father, who raped Iraq, and left her without ANY single resource to nurture the product his rape produced. The son grew up to: 1) hate the West, but get funds from it as after all, they are still his father 2) hate his mother because she has nothing and cannot afford to give him anything, hence this son does not belong to anyone nor does he have anything to lose, his mother is already ruined and he does not fear death. The son grows up, his extremism in thinking grows along with him, there is no education, no stable economy and no country that he feels he belong to. The oil and the products which his mother richly produces and used to generously distribute it without cost to her neighbours, are now in the hands of the father who continuously steals it or gets it under the co-operation of his son. Currently, the mother is now old and exhausted with an illegitimate son who has gone wild and does not love her as her previous legitimate loving sons and daughters did. Sadly, she is all alone to deal with him, she and her fellow Arab neighbours, will have to control this monster now before it produces more and more of ISIS kind. They also have to keep an eye on the father, who still seems to have an intention to rape more and more and produce more ‘bastards’..that is if he haven’t already did.

يا جماعة.. أكلنا يوم أكل الثور الأبيض 

The dark box

That is where I think we as a society are trapped. In this small, gloomy dark box. No one is trapping us (well, you could say some policies are), but we play the biggest part. Our own ‘norms’ and ‘cultural habits’ have gotten way out of hand and I say this now without doubt, we functioned better 30 years or more ago. Nowadays, we just think we have developed, you know with our cool digital gadgets, international companies all around the capital city of our country, shopping malls which have ‘international’ outlets (OMG!), food franchise (OMG we can now eat what they eat in the USA!)….etc. This is all good and beneficial for tourism, the country’s economy and stuff (maybe, I don’t know how that is going for us), but that does NOT mean at all that we are now a developed society and most importantly a ‘civilised’ one. You can build commercial buildings which are up-to-date with the latest technology in every neighbourhood, and still that does not mean we are the city that never sleeps, or that we are the country which is blooming midst an erupting volcano. We, and I emphasise WE (because I sometimes fall in the same trap of thinking) need a reality check. We NEED to wake up and realise that we have still not changed, our public policies are still the same, our ‘traditions’ (& I use that word with a lot of care because I am very proud of my traditions as an Arab but believe we are misusing them) still enforce taboos on us as an effective community and our judgemental selves still serve as an obstacle to many many aspiring citizens. The reason I write about this, is that each week, and by every seminar I attend while I study at uni, I am reminded of how many steps, or rather miles, we have to go forward before we even reach that stage where we can START by calling ourselves a developING society. Today, my two seminars were about sexual violence and the importance of children’s views. The former was a rough topic with so many grim stories about women who were sexually abused and did not report it to the police. But then, you can see a hopeful increase in women reporting and the fact that marital rape is illegal in the UK. This made me think. How many women would dare to go to a police station in your country and report an allegation of rape against her husband? Law 308 in Jordan allows a rapist to escape a conviction when he resorts to marrying the victim..how would then marital rape be taken seriously?…The class went on discussing ‘touching’ and ‘groping’ of women in pubs/clubs, and how it is really a neglected issue, and that if it happens at a place of work, it is then taken seriously, but when it happens in a place at night, it goes unreported and ignored. Here I thought, what a funny thing..they are fighting to increase reports of sexual harassment in clubs, and to decrease the victim blaming(where was the victim and what was she/he doing), while we only focus on asking the victim what did you wear, why were you there, what did you say, how did you act?. I remember I was 13 years old once and walking with my sister in a public place when one guy threw his other guy friend on my sister so he would bump right into her, she was maybe 11 at that time. There were a lot of people around us, and I never forgot what they did. They stared at HER, what she wearing, or what she was doing. Not him, they did not blame him. I guarantee you that that boy grew up to believe that publicly verbally harassing females is OKAY, and that it is not his fault if a girl walks past him. When child law’s turn came up, I was really surprised as to how much detail they are researching and putting into application in the UK to give the child his/her own rights, and how they are trying step by step to lessen the abuse children might be facing. How many cases have we heard of child abuse in schools? in homes? in neighbourhoods? the bullying, the cyber-bullying ( new NEGLECTED issue), smoking, hookah serving..etc. (don’t get me started at how the smoking laws are STILL not applied in Jordan, and I am starting to get really furious at the MPs, who legislated the law, but do NOT abide by it). A short discussion also went around about sex education and how it needs to be implemented in cirriculums even more. I thought about that, and concluded that this ‘taboo’ perspective we have towards the topic ruins the basic relationship between males and females from a young age. Younger adults end up being ‘educated’ about it through the television or the internet (which can definitely be misused, especially by hormonal teenagers), and that is one of the most dangerous things. It would not be wrong if doctors visit all schools and explain the biological perspective, and then a child psychologist/expert would explain the social aspects of it. It is better than leaving a child confused and resorting to other sources. A ‘conservative’ society does not mean that children (who grow up to build the next generation) should be left in the dark, at an age where they want to know everything, and the only route is google, or talks with their friends. I hate comparing between countries, nevertheless comparing societies. I understand that societies have been constructed differently, and I told you at the beginning of this blogpost, I wouldn’t trade the cultural traditions and norms of my country with any other. But I want to say this, because I do not want to keep living in the bubble that my country has developed and is blooming just because we pride ourselves with having Dominos Pizza or a Starbucks drive-through. I want to be proud of my country because it progressed with time, is able to change unfair laws that are outdated, is consciously aware of the dangerous situation that primary/secondary schools are going through, serious about community reform and capable of tackling and improving the huger obstacles which face cities & villages, and not only the capital city.

The missing piece of the puzzle: Arab Christians

coptic-christian-exodus

I have always believed in Arab unity, you know that we should all be one in the face of our ‘enemy’. I think I was living in la la land, as when the world became ‘smaller’ through social media, I realised that not everyone thinks of himself/herself as Arab first, but they introduce themselves according to their religion or political party or cult. Some, and I will use the word ‘majority’, think that Arab Muslims are the only ‘real’ Arabs in the Middle East and that Jews and Christians are just immigrants or people who found themselves surprisingly in the Arab World. I will not talk about Jews in this blogpost as that religion has been long gone from our part of the world, sadly of course. I will talk about Christianity, and how if we keep moving in the same path, it will follow Judaism’s eradication from the Middle East.

When I first visited the Western part of the World, and got into conversations with people of my age, I realised that 99.9 % are not aware of the existence of other religions in the Middle East except Islam. You could blame the media? the politicians? school curriculums maybe?. but you could also blame us Arabs.

Christianity as a religion started off from Palestine, hence Arab Christians are as original as it can be. There are more than 13 million Christians residing in the Arab World, but day by day this number is decreasing, and media outlets remain silent on what could be a very dangerous phase. The exclusion of Christians from their homes and countries is one of the most under covered stories globally and they are, as a puzzle piece, missing, with no hope of being found ever again. I am not saying that the recent wars and disasters that the Arab World has been facing did not include everyone, it did. It is killing any human with a human heart without asking about his/her religion, but it is also leaving Christians with no where to go. In Syria, tens of thousands of the 2 million Christians are seeking refuge else where. Just recently, Musil, a city in Iraq, was attacked by militants who knocked on Christian doors (after their neighbours outed who was Christian and who was not) and told them that if they do not convert to Islam, they will be beheaded and their women will be taken as slaves.

The largest Christian population in the Middle East is in Egypt, with more than 10 million people who define themselves as Copts. There have been also countless attacks on churches, homes and areas where these people reside. I have read comments saying: ‘let them get out of here!’ or ‘we have no place for foreigners in our countries’.

WHAT?! How can a person who claims to be a doctor in Islam, call ARAB CHRISTIANS foreigners? Christians have existed since the Middle East was created, and they have been living hand in hand, in the same homes as Muslims, since the ‘Arab’ world have been created. What is also extremely wrong, is how the media portrays the situation. They insist on calling the Arab World ‘Muslims here, or Muslims there’. They do not acknowledge that there are OTHER religions in the Middle East, even if they comprise less than 10%. It is also EXTREMELY disheartening when you see than NO stable country in the Middle East called for a demonstration or at least a moment of silence and mourning for all the Christians who have been forced to leave their homes, or for all the churches which have been torched, or for Saudi Arabia which does NOT allow churches to be built and arrests any person who it knows is holding a bible. Do you know what the ARAB WORLD called for today? It called for a demonstration to condemn the cartoons published in the Charlie Hebdo’s most recent copy. YES! They think that a stupid magazine which publishes stupid cartoons which offend ALL religions and that should be ignored, is MORE important than ARABS who are being murdered because of their religion. Well, do you know that the killing and exclusion of Christians who are FIRSTLY arabs, insults Prophet Muhammad more than a bunch of stupid drawings in a newspaper that probably no one ever reads if you did not make a big deal out of it? Don’t you think that the Prophet would be more insulted if he knew that HIS people are being silent about the massacres which are happening to their fellow neighbours?! HE is the Prophet of PEACE, and WE ARE ONE, AND SHOULD NOT BE DIVIDED.

Why should you feel closer to Muslims in Burma, in Indonesia in in in…..and not Christians in Syria, Iraq, Egypt…etc? They are, and YOU are, Arabs. (not my intention to say you should not sympathise with this or that, EVERY human deserves sympathy empathy and support, but that should not be based on religion or nationality)

One last note, if Christianity continues walking on the same road it is currently on, then we know the destination. It is the death of millions of Christians, and the birth of a new kind of refugees in Europe: ‘Arab Christians’. The Middle East would be ‘functioning’ with one religion only, and Israel would be completely able to build its country on one religion also (Judaism). Because you know, you were able to create a whole region based on one religion and you killed and excluded every other ideology, then why shouldn’t they be able to do the same?

٤ أحرف: م ع ا ذ

معاذ الكساسبة..اسم لم نكن نعرفه قبل أيام، و نفضل جميعاً اذا بقي معاذ يُعرف كطيار من دون اسم مثل باقي العسكريين الذين يحلقون فوق سماء الوطن دفاعاً عن هذا البلد و عن شعبه.
أيقذنا خبر سقوط طائرة يقودها عسكري أردني البارحة..و منذ تلك الساعة لم ترمش أعيننا قلقاً على أخونا و نسر جيشنا، معاذ. بعد ساعة من اطلاق الخبر، أصبحت صور أسره تنتشر كل مكان و تقشعر أبدان كل من له ضمير.
في أقل من ساعتين أصبح اسم معاذ على لسان كل أردني و كل من يتابع أمور البلد. أصبح اسم يكتب فيه الأشعار و النصوص و القصص. لقد أصبح معاذ رمز للأردنيين و تذكير مؤسف اننا دخلنا حالة حرب مع الارهاب و التطرف.
كنت أفكر قبل يومين بالعيد و كيف سنحتفل و نضيء المدينة و البلاد التي تجاورنا تغرق في الدم و الدموع. لم أكن أعرف أن في ليلة الميلاد المجيد سوف يُسلب فرد من جيشنا و فرد من رجال وطننا. كنت دائماً أعتقد أن الإرهاب و الحرب و أسير كلمات لا تتماشى مع ‘أردن’ و أننا نروج للسلام و السلام فقط، فهل هذه ضريبة البلد و الجيش الذي يساعد اللاجئين على الدخول؟ و الذي لا يستخدم سلاحه الا ليدافع عن نفسه و لم يشن أي حرب؟
يا معاذ..يا نسر السماء..يا صقر من صقور سلاح الجو..يا ابن الكرك..يا ابن بلدة معركة الهاية..يا من أسقطوا طائرتك و ليس همتك..يا شريان قلب الأردن النابض..يا من تضحي نفسك من أجلي و من أجل عائلتي و من أجل بلدنا الغالي..يا من تسببت بدموع الكثيرين في هذا اليوم بسبب وجهك البشوش و قلبك المحب للحياة و التضحية..يا شمس من شموش الأردن ..يا معاذ..لتكن العناية الإلهية معك فلا يوجد أقوى منها و لتبقى همتك عالية و عيونك بارقة، فأنت في صلواتنا جميعاً و كلنا ننتظر عودتك الى احضان الأردن إن شاء الله.
ننهي سنة ٢.١٤ باسمك الذي يلمع في سماء الأردن..و متأكدين أنك بإذن الله ستكون بيننا عندما نستقبل السنة الجديدة.

يا معاذ يا كساسبة، تحية و شكر مني الى شخصك العظيم..و الى جميع أفراد الجيش العربي،
بالسلامة يا رب.

Au revoir 2014

This year reminds me of Fairuz’ song: “تنذكر ما تنعاد”. Hectic, chaotic, bloody, messy, troubled, unclear and devastating. These are the key words I remember when I go over the events of the year.

Speaking of the Middle East, did we really see THIS coming? the current continuous bloodshed? Doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, and one cannot help but wonder, what makes me so lucky that I am still away from it? What makes us, and the people we love safe from all of it, despite the fact that we are no longer thousands and thousands of miles away from war. but just a 3-to-4-hour drive? Ya Allah…I think we are so blessed to be living in this safe land, while the countries we once visited to have lunch or to cruise through Souk Al Hamadyeh, or to enjoy the sceneries in Baghdad, are no longer ‘visitable’.

One event which really felt like a punch in the stomach was the video footage from Mount Sinjar (where thousands of Iraqi Yazidis were running for their lives from the terrorists who entered their cities). When helicopters sent out food and supplies to those trapped on the Mountain, the helicopter would lower down to throw the boxes, and you can see people throwing their small children into the helicopter. OUFT!! Imagine, knowing that you have no chance in living anymore, and that you want to save your own children from the same fate. These people, more than half of them dead, will never know if their children got a chance of a decent life, where they went or if they ever made it. Painful painful, and we are not even those suffering. And yes by the way, their only fault was the fact that they belonged to a different cult/religion. THAT IS IT.

I can go on and list events which would make one feel dizzy, nauseus and hate life. but what is the point? 5 minutes later we forget it. We pray and forget. What can we do? I have asked myself this question more than 100 times this year, and I never found an answer. I will do what I can and pray pray that 2015 starts in a different way, a way that is more peaceful, with less hate, less killing, less torture. And that will only happen with a miracle from above.

2014, تنذكري ما تنعادي..تنذكري ما تنعادي..

إن كبر إبنك….فتشه!

Abu Alnoon

إن كِبر إبنك…..فتشه!

هاي “خاويه” موضه قديمة، اليوم فعلياً إن كبر إبنك فتشه لأنه ينتمي الي جيل عرص كبير، والظاهر الي عملناه في العالم وإحنا بعمره، رح يطلع على حباب عيونا هلأ 😜
لقطنا معه هذا “المدواخ” – غليون صغير منتشر في الإمارات -، وبعد تحريات وتحقيق مع الولد، عرفنا أصله وفصله ومنوين جايبه، ومين من صحابه بيتعاطوا كمان. المهم رفعنا الموضوع للمدرسة وطلعت المدرسة رأسها شايب من موضوع المدواخ الي منتشر بين صف تاسع لصف ١٢.
حكيت مع أصدقائي بجمعية لا للتدخين، وإذ يطلع “الأهل آخر من يعلم”، وإنه هذا المدواخ منتشر بشكل كبير جداً في كل مدارس المملكة، والجمعية عم بتحاول توقفه ومش قادرة، مع إنه إكتشفت كمان انه ممنوع بيعه أصلاً في الأردن من وزارة الصحة، ومحلات المدخنين الي عم بيبيعوه، عم بجيبوه تهريب، ولما واحد من هالمحلات حد يبلغ عنه، المحل بياخذ مخالفة ومقدارها “خمسة عشر دينار فقط لا غير”، علماً بأنه المدواخ والتبغ تبعه بينباع…

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Halloween: a ghost of social inequality in Jordan?

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So, local media outlets went crazy (still are :P) a couple of days ago when a decision came from the Jordanian Government to ban all Halloween parties which are to take place in this weekend (the 31st of October). Of course, people who love to swear and just randomly insult others had a ball. Comments read from : “بستاهلوا عبدة الشياطين” to “ليش الحكومة تمنع حفلة بس فيها تنكر?”.

The Government’s (more specifically the Ministry of Interior) released statement read: ‘All Halloween parties are to be cancelled in Amman as in the recent couple of years, these parties have proved to be troublesome and caused security problems’. In this statement, we have two issues, “in Amman” and “security problems”. Let me tackle the second one first. I am completely with this decision, if there are serious claims that a Halloween party at a hotel for example would be subject to violent attacks. I believe there should be zero tolerance towards these events especially when we are going through a very crucial phase of stability. I read that people disputed this ground of justification by saying: “وين الأمن و الأمان؟ و سيادة القانون ؟ و حرية الأفعال؟”. This is all true, banning parties and celebrations just because certain people oppose it and might react violently against people who are attending these events, is quite dangerous and jeopardises the whole construct of ‘freedom’. but again, the government did not ban private parties, and people who want to enjoy it can still attend parties, but without being public about it, at least not in this sensitive stage that the whole region is going through.

Some people compared it to banning Christmas. But here is the difference I see. Christmas is a RELIGIOUS event. When we compare Halloween to Christmas or to any other religious celebration, we are falling in the same ignorant pit that people who call Halloween ‘a devil worshipping day’. Halloween should not be put under a category which differentiates people. You cannot say these people celebrate Halloween because they belong to a specific religion. It is a Western yearly celebration which is known for kids in costumers going around the neighbourhood asking for candy(trick or treat), older people watching horror movies and a pretty busy day for costume making shops! That’s it. I don’t deny that some celebrate this thing differently, but I am also affirming that any party in Amman, especially in a hotel or a publicly known place, will NOT encourage ‘devil worshiping’. It is just people wearing costumes, eating, drinking or whatever. Banning it according to security reasons, is not the Ministry of Interior’s problem, it’s a society problem, and this leads me to discuss the first part of the official statement: “In Amman”.

Did you notice how the statement did not say in Jordan? it specifically mentioned Amman. Maybe because the past two years, Halloween parties in Amman witnessed attacks on 3 separate one, one where a fire was raised. Or maybe because this event is only known to Amman, as the traditions of the West quickly find a place to adapt there. The simplicity and peacefulness of wearing costumes in Halloween, is probably only known to Ammanis, or let us say those of us who are fortunate enough to have our eyes opened up to different cultures and traditions and celebrations (either through TV, or computers, or schools, or parents, or our ‘social class’). When you raise a kid up and he sees a carved pumpkin with a little girl dressed as a witch or a boy as superman, and he asks what is that? your answer is significant to everything. If you tell him/her these kids are doing a wrong thing, worshipping devils, a disgusting western celebration then they will  grow up to hate anyone and anything related to this, especially when it is only provided to one specific social class. However, if you tell them it’s just a yearly thing where people like to dress up and act like their favourite cartoon character/tv show..etc then they will probably grow up to enjoy it or just not do it without any hatred. How we define a thing is important, and calling it, LIKE MANY LOCAL NEWSPAPERS did: “a very weird celebration which is known to be celebrated by people who like to wear weird things and masks” does not derive positive reactions.

Also, I read a comment, and I liked it, no matter how controversial it is: “لازم إلغاء كل ما ليس متوفر لجميع طبقات المجتمع”. I like this statement because when you offer something to one class but not to another, hate and frustration will be produced. This leads to violence and a gap widened between two people who live in the same country. I am studying social inequality and its relation to crime now, so I will not be able to elaborate on this until the end of this year 😛 but I thought it is something to think about.

Other than that, why not start by calling it like I do: a yearly thing in the West where children dress up in very cute outfits and older people attend parties(like every other weekend) in very creative costumes.

I may have confused you a lot in this blogpost, but like Halloween, I am really very simple 🙂

An American Kerry over a ruined Iraq

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Image: US Secretary of State John Kerry looks over Baghdad. Source: Associated Press.

 

A photo emerged of the United States of America’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, travelling over Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, in a recent visit to the region.

As a Jordanian who have witnessed relatively nothing compared to Iraqis due to the aftermath of the American invasion on Iraq in 2003, I couldn’t help but wonder what might an American politician be thinking while he flies over a country, which was once an icon of civilisation.

Let’s put ourselves in his mind, his shoes, and his exact mental state at that moment his eyes hover around a country, now flooded with terrorism, destruction and extremism. He may be saying to himself: ‘Thank God we Americans exist to save Iraq from yet another dark future.’ That is the most obvious one. He might still think that Iraq needs that 2003 invasion again. You know, the 8-year invasion, which killed around half a million Iraqis. The 8-year invasion, which made hundreds of thousands of children homeless and orphans, and the 8-year invasion which not only turned off the beacon of light which lit the region, but also destroyed it. Kerry, as his speeches say, might be thankful that wise politicians like himself, and President Bush previously, exist to save the nation again.

He also may be saying to himself, that because around 5,000 service members from the U.S army died in that Iraqi war back in 2003, this time he will not be sending them on actual foot. This time, he will just manage the politics of Iraqis, airstrike their country, choose their leaders, finance their army, and take their oil. The most important thing is not to put more American lives at stake.

The least possible thought on his mind, but probably the most appropriate one on mine is: ‘Oh God what have we done! 11 years of war, and I still can only fly over the Green Zone (the area around the Republican Palace in Central Baghdad where security is very tight). The city looks so grey, so sad, so dark’. Yes, Mr. Kerry, you are right. The city, which you are now flying over, was a beacon of civilization. It was the city where everyone dreamed of visiting. Iraq was a country, which welcomed Arabs for free education. It had world ranking universities and stunning cities. I know Mr. Kerry, that you as a Western, believe in diversity and that Iraq needed you so you could bring in democracy. Well, did you know that Iraq’s first Minister of Finance was Sir Sassoon Eskell (in office: 1921-1925), a Jew? Yes, Muslims, Christians and Jews lived side-by-side, celebrated occasions, held authoritative positions equally and enjoyed coexistence.

You are right Mr. Kerry, Baghdad does look dark. The reason may be the constant bloodshed. Or the extremism that is costing Iraqis their army, their young men and women, their resources, their power, and most importantly their country.

‘What have we done’ is the most suitable expression Mr. Kerry, and whatever remorse you might (not) be feeling, is ineffective.

The future of Iraq is bleak, unclear and unhopeful. But I am hopeful that you and your colleagues will once do the right thing and punish those of you who initiated the original war on Iraq then help it prosper like it once used to, and just step away. That is what Iraq needs, a helping hand, and not a meddling one.

Beware the social swirl

You may say I think a lot about anything, when you read this, you might criticise my inability to see ‘humour’, or my complete lack of understanding of how the world functions. But when I see something that should be addressed, thought about and discussed, I cannot really help it. This piece is to discuss the footage, which went viral (compared to other videos released by the same channel) during the Eid holiday. The footage drowned my Facebook timeline; twitter was filled with ‘quotations’ and jokes about it, and was shared more than 200 times when a random guy published it. I read some of the comments before clicking on play, and the amount of mockery and bullying was so intense that I was intrigued to see what made my society so happy and so smiling!

A young male, probably in his late teens or early twenties, rocking a specific hair style and wearing a unique outfit (its Eid!!!), looks very simple and genuinely happy, was expressing how thrilled he is to be in “Abdoun” (he lives in Madaba) and that he was just with the person he loves, while pointing to a red bag that he said was a gift from his girlfriend. That is it. Yes, you heard me. The hundreds of comments were directed at him, and why? Because he was happy. There may be a dozen of issues, which would provoke any reasonable thinker as to why the whole footage and the comments are controversial. I will discuss, and pose questions I have no answers to, to two of them: The invisible social disaster that is ruling our communities and cyber bullying.

If you reside in Amman, you’ll be aware that Abdoun has been for a while now stereotypically known as ‘the’ place for the youth. With restaurants, coffee shops, game arcades and a shopping mall, the area is designed to be a destination for those who want to hangout. It is also known that it is not cheap. One needs a 10JD budget to only sit in a coffee shop and drink something (yes Amman is becoming that expensive). Hence, Abdoun started to be identified as the place to spend Thursday nights (the chaotic traffic would serve as evidence). Beware I am not trying to encourage stereotypes; I am just trying to make a point while explaining to you what Abdoun has transitioned to in the eyes of a Jordanian. This young man seems to be especially happy to be there, just enjoying his time with friends and family. However, some people found it appropriate to comment ‘is this the people who go to Abdoun?’ ‘ha-ha look at that hairstyle, he did it only because he is in Western Amman’. OK. So, just because someone is wearing a specific thing, or doing his/her hair in a way that you do not find ‘suitable’ to your standards does not really mean that he is trying to fit in ANYWHERE. Putting hair gel, leaving your hair long, short or whatever should not dictate the places you belong to. Seeing his ‘girlfriend’, or “AlHabeebe” as he called her, does not also make him desperate or allows you to backlash his every word. It saddens me that the people who mocked this, did not even come close to cruelly commenting on the guy who sexually assaulted a female, or the criminal who raped and married a young girl. The young man, probably reading your comments now, is a joke because he loves someone? Since when is that a place of mockery? Or is it because he did not do it in a way, which was ‘modern’, or fit into the picture the Westerns drew for us when it comes to love? I have seen videos of American/British/European men expressing their love and affection for their significant others, but I have not seen you commenting with such hate and cruelty on it.

I don’t know what the guy was feeling, does he see Abdoun as the place you need to be to fit into these stereotypical roles that define who is cool or not? If yes, then I blame the government, schools and us. We have widened the gap between Amman, Western Amman in specific, and other areas around Jordan. The relationship of both people here, there and everywhere is going backwards, and as we keep neglecting the issue, it will increase and eventually sabotage the whole construction of our society.

This is cyber bulling at its worst form. Imagine him reading your comments; is it really necessary that you spread your mocking laughs? Can’t you laugh within you? There should be laws to regulate this behaviour, because as I know it, your freedom to speak/judge stops when it overlaps with someone else’s right to a dignified life. The responses on the video may cause serious implications on the lives involved.

I personally salute him; he looks to me as sentimentally honest and proud that he is in love. Such a unique person in a society that is growing to prefer hate and violence to love and acceptance!