Jordan: Societal Criticism through Humor

Jordanians will tell you that they are not known for being a happy people. On occasions such as a football victory, with cars honking and shouts of joy, onlookers will point out that, unlike a typical day, Jordanians are smiling. Participants of the hashtag #Jordanianlies are out to prove the stereotype wrong. #Jordanianlies features statements Jordanians hear that are often untrue. Thus, the hashtag uses humor to point out faults in Jordanian society. While the majority of #Jordanianlies posts center on gender relations, work situations, and everyday life, a few have ventured into political criticism.

Ammar Haider posted the slogan that the Jordanian government used to promote participation in November's parliamentary elections. Humorously calling it a lie, he suggests that the government was not so interested in listening to popular demands:

سمعنا صوتك #JordanianLies

Let us hear your voice.

Ola Eliwat also poked fun at an announcement related to November's elections:

#Jordanianlies هذا وقد شهد الأردن عرساً انتخابياً مثالاً للديمقراطية والنزاهة نفاخر به العالم من شرقه لغربه

Jordan has just witnessed a wedding, an electoral model of democracy and integrity of pride for the world from East to West.

Ola Abu Salim took aim at the police, posting:

الشرطة في خدمة الشعب! #JordanianLies

The police are in the service of the people.

Aya Al-Musa criticized a similar slogan:

#JordanianLies النواب في خدمة الشعب

The members of parliament are in the service of the people.

Hazem Dmour joked:

#JordanianLies ما في اي فساد بالاردن ابدااااااااااااا

There isn't any corruption in Jordan eveeeeeer!

Ahmed M. Khalel was skeptical about the government's desire for political competition:

#JordanianLies الحكومة بدها معارضة و أحزاب

The government wants opposition and political parties.

3TonMantis was similarly doubtful of the government's agenda for reform:

#Jordanianlies الاصلاح السياسي والاقتصادي

Political and economic reform

Yazan Mousa questioned Jordan's political designation by Wikipedia:

#Wikipedia: #Jordan is a constitutional monarchy with a representative government. #WikipediaLies #JordanianLies

Ala Awaysheh was appreciative of the humorous discussions:

At this stressful time all around.. it's so good to see Jordanians breaking the stereotype of we are not funny ppl #jordanianlies is a proof

And Yazan Shawabkeh, originator of the hashtag, agreed:

Thank you all #JordanianLies for funny tweets, and thanks for retweets, yes #newfact2011 All the Jordanian are funny, thanks again :D #JO

Within a few days, Jordanian tweeps added a new hashtag, #JordanianDreams, featuring things that Jordanians would always hope for.

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