Arabeyes: Jordan's Open Air Toilets

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The picture above was taken by Jordanian blogger Sha3teely, whose office provides him with a bird's view of the action going on outside.

هذه الصورة مأخوذة من شباك مكتبي المطل على الشارع الخلفي لمبنى الضمان الاجتماعي ونشاهد هنا رجلان محترمان بفرغان العدة قبل مراجعة الضمان.
“This is a picture taken from the window of my office which overlooks the road behind the Social Insurance Department. We see here two gentlemen emptying their bladders before entering the building to complete their paperwork,” explains the blogger.
لا يكاد يوم ينقضي دون أن أشاهد أحد الناس المحترمين “يزعتر” بنص الشارع. صراحة أصبحت هذه الظاهرة مقرفة إلى حد بعيد ومحرجة جداً. والمشكلة أنها تحولت إلى عادة سكّانية. فقد يكون الشخص محترماً جداً “يعني زلمة كبير ومحافظ ولابس بدلة” ولكن ليست لديه مشكلة في أن يتبول في منتصف الطريق في منطقة مزدحمة ومأهولة بالسكان. قبل يومين شاهدت شاباً قرب الدوار الثالث قام بالاصطفاف بجانب الطريق ليتبول. وقد صدف ان كانت هناك أم وابنتها يمرون بقربه. ولم يكن عنده أي مشكلة في ذلك… يعني صراحة صارت الشخة عنا زي البزقة على الأرض.
“There isn't a day which passes without me seeing one of those gentlemen ‘doing it’ on the street. This phenomena has become too disgusting and embarrassing. The problem is that it has become a habit among people. The person may be very respectable and dressed properly in a suit but will also have no problem of passing urine on the street in a busy part of town which is inhabited by residents. Two days ago I saw a young man parking his car next to the Third Roundabout and getting out of his car to pee. It happened that a mother and her daughter were passing by. He had no problem with that. To say the truth, peeing on the street has become as simple as spitting,” explains Sha3teely.

Although incensed by the practise, Sha3teely comes up with suggestions to curb this phenomena in Amman.

أولاً أن قد لا ألوم الكثيرين على التبول في منتصف الشارع. فقد يكون الوضع متأزم بحيث أن الرجل قد يذهب إنتحاري في سبيل إفراغ مثانته. ولكن هناك دائما حلول وبدائل.

1- حاول أن تجد أقرب مسجد، فندق أو مطعم، إعمل حالك زبون وخش على الحمام على طول.
2- حول ان تجد شجرة أو حائط يسترك وتأكد من أن جميع الزوايا مغلقة.
3- لا تشرب سؤال كثير إذا عندك مراجعة في إحدى الدوائر الحكومية.

“First of all, I don't blame many who pee on the street. Some people could be in a situation where they are ready to become suicide bombers just to be able to empty their bladders. However, there are always solutions and alternatives.
1. Try to find the nearest mosque, hotel or restaurant and pretend you are a customer and head directly to the toilets.
2. Try to find a tree or a wall which will provide you with privacy and make sure you are covered from all angles.
3. Do not drink a lot of liquids before visiting any of the governmental departments.”
نرجو من أمانة عمان الكبرى النظر في هذه القضية بجديّة ومحاولة توفير حمام أكشاك صغيرة في الشوارع والأماكن العامة. مع إني أشك أنه شعبنا راح يستعملها، لأني شبه متأكد إنه الناس راح إتشخ برا بجنب الحمام مش داخله.
“We hope the authorities in the Greater Amman Area look into this problem seriously and try and provide small public toilets which can be put up on road sides and public areas. I am, however, doubtful that our people will actually use them as I am confident that they will pee outside and not inside the toilets.”

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