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Jordan: Day of Anger Protests

Inspired by protests in Tunisia, the Jordanian Twitter community rallied around a “Day of Anger,” announced January 12th and held January 14th after Friday prayers. The rallies were held around Jordan, focusing primarily on rising prices, but also addressing political disenfranchisement and concerns with Prime Minister Samir Rifai's government.

Reports estimated approximately 400 people in each of the cities of Amman, Irbid and Karak, with about 200 protesters in the city of Dhiban. These protests were held despite price decreases on several food staples announced this week. The protests were organized by Baathist and leftist opposition parties, but they were widely discussed and anticipated by unaffiliated members of the Jordanian public under the Twitter hashtag #angryJordan.

Ali announced on January 12th:

Let's express our opinions. Get out what is inside us. #AngryJordan is the official hashtag for JORDAN ANGER DAY on friday! #Amman #Jo

Jordanians then spent two days tweeting both serious and lighthearted complaints about Jordanian politics and culture. Laith Younis wrote:

It makes me angry how ppl still talk about falasteeni/Urdoni (Palestinian/Jordanian) issue! GROW UP WE ARE ALL HUMANS #AngryJordan

Yazan Shawabkeh added:

Our Government, Where's the change ?? #AngryJordan

The government was by no means the only target of angry tweeters such as Abdulla Shurbaji:

It makes me angry how taxis think they own the streets in jordan #AngryJordan

Rawan Aziz wrote about an annoying habit:

I hate the fact that everyone litters, ever heard of a trash can? #AngryJordan

Quickly, the conversation turned to whether it was appropriate to air Jordan's dirty laundry without providing feasible solutions. Ali Dahmash tweeted:

Why use this #AngryJordan ? Want to end the problems facing us in Jordan, then suggest solutions, complaining alone doesn't help #jo

Farah Filasteen agreed:

Dear Jordanians, quit with the #AngryJordan hashtag. It's giving you a bad name. Be peaceful!

Hanin Abu-Shamat tweeted:

@AliChubby @AliDahmash @khaledmhakim I am not against #AngryJordan, I just hope we can direct this anger to the people who can do something

LumaQ supported the national venting session:

#angryjordan doesnt have to be criticism.its ok to vent, venting is a form of healing,form of releasing frustration,vent away @laithyounis

Others discussed whose responsibility it is to make changes. HazemZ tweeted:

Personal initiative alone wont imprv poli participation&econ conditions.Frustration stems from lack of sense of ownership #AngryJordan

Omar Tahboub was skeptical that protests or tweets could accomplish much:

Sorry angry Jordanians, but venting on the govt does not bring prices down! Let's grow up and not expect magic from govts #AngryJordan

While Ali Dahmash was one of many to propose increased personal and communal initiatives:

#angryJordan My fellow angry Jordanians,why don't we begin the change by helping our local communities &the less fortunate, empowering them

Other tweets focused on the events and participants within the marches themselves. Islamist opposition members had at first indicated that they would participate in the Day of Anger demonstrations, but decided to postpone and hold their own protests on January 16th instead. Tarawnah reported:

Islamists postpone their participation in tomorrow's #AngryJordan rallies till Sunday. Always 2 days late to the party! #JO

Many users posted videos and pictures of ongoing demonstrations, and were eager to post the results at the end of the marches. Naser K tweeted:

demonstration ends peacefully,all who were “worried” for us & Jordan can rest their minds #angryjordan

Anwar Haddad wrote:

@Shusmo: Glad #AngryJordan ended peacefully, Reform wont come frm Gov alone, Jordanians&Gov have 2 work together, let's work on #BuildJordan

And after all was said and done, angry Jordanians were still angry at one governmental institution: the official press, which did not cover the marches. Fadi Qadi wrote:

#Jo news websites done a good job covering Friday's marches- don't be fooled you wont find anything in Al Rai [the state-run newspaper] tomorrow about #angryjordan

He added later:

Not a word of news on Friday's marches on Jordanian government news agency Petra. Alhamdullilah-tweeping is still an option #angryjordan

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