Jabal Amman: the birth of a Ammani street market (and intelligent t-shirts!)

5/8/2005

First Jabal Amman Friday Steet Market

I just came back from the first Jabal Amman Flea market (or rather street market). Very interesting experiment. Although it was still quite hot around 4 in the afternoon, there was quite a lot of people on the Fawzi Malouf Street, which was transformed by the Jabal Amman Resident’s Association (JARA), into a unique urban experience that we haven’t seen in modern-day Amman before.

First Jabal Amman Friday Steet Market First Jabal Amman Friday Steet Market

Today was the first time this activity was held. From now on till the end of summer, the market will open every Friday from 10 am till 9 pm. I am pretty sure that this will be drawing Ammani and expatriate crowds every week, especially if the organizers manage to keep it interesting and varied.

First Jabal Amman Friday Steet Market First Jabal Amman Friday Steet Market

The scene was quite colorful, with small stalls set up on both sides of the street. A small stage for musical performances as well as a street cafe with a few tables were also set up. Most of the stalls were selling Jordanian handicrafts, art, soap and so on (a lot of it of the kitschy type I must add).

Young an old were there. The atmosphere was relaxed. It is just amazing what a great potential Amman has for such street activities. Here we are in mid-Summer, but the weather still allow for pleasant outdoor afternoon activities.

Thumbs up to JARA and its chief instigator Zeid Goussous.

First Jabal Amman Friday Steet Market

The t-shirt surprise

My ‘coolest stall’ vote goes to Omar Tabbaa t-shirt stall. Every now and again, one comes across something in Amman that expresses the creative spirit of Amman’s up and coming generation.

Such creative glimpses are too few and far in between in Amman. But Omar’s t-shirts must be the coolest design idea I’ve come across in Amman for a long while.

First Jabal Amman Friday Steet Market

One back t-shirt simply says ’7afartali’ in white letters. Hafartali (written ’7afartali’ in true Arabic-SMS-Internet style) mean something like “vulgar, uncool, commoner”, which is a term used by affluent west Ammanis to describe a certain type of young males from the not-so-cool parts of town.

Another t-shirt pretends to be that of the ‘Swaqa Prison Football Team’. Hilarious. Then there’s one with a ‘logo’ of the Marka International Airport (Amman’s old Airport in Eastern Amman).

First Jabal Amman Friday Steet Market First Jabal Amman Friday Steet Market

Then there’s the ‘Abdali’ t-shirt, adopting the London Underground logo for Amman’s most famous bus station (soon to be removed to another part of town).

Not only are Omar’s t-shirts funny, but they also carry some social/urban commentary. They are a good reminder that Amman is more than Abdoun (Omar manages two well know restaurants in Abdoun by the way :) ). The East Amman-West Amman rift is a depressing reality. While parts of western Amman are audaciously reflecting a globalized, glitzy and liberal image and attitude, the largest parts of city are the dusty, chaotic and poor reflection of our ‘developing world’ reality.

The urban experience of many of western Amman’s residents almost never includes any ‘excursions’ into the eastern part of town, except perhaps when we take a plane from the Marka Airport to Aqaba :) .

I ended up buying a cool red t-shirt with the Atari logo and the world Atari written in Arabic. Many of us 30-something’s grew up with Atari as our first introduction to the world of video games and computers. The retro-colloquial concept of that t-shirt is spot on.

88 Comments

  1. Karim Arafat says:

    this is really impressive. i shall look forward to it in the coming weeks.

  2. Ameen Malhas says:

    Hi Ahmad,

    A couple of comments, the two girls in the background of the second picture are two of my best friends in Amman, thanks for breaking my feeling of ‘ghurbeh,’ I just wish you had done it sooner since I’m leaving back to Amman in 12 hours.

    Omar has been my friend for years, as we practically lived together in Tucson, and we spent many hours concocting random business plans, and trying to get free satellite TV through programming DSS cards.

    But seriously, on topic, really cool, I love the urbanization that Amman is experiencing culturally. Ofcourse our sprawl has to be dealt with and planned better, but the critical mass needed for cultural/city-life events has been reached, and events like this should really be more common.

    As more Jordanians start heading home from abroad, we will start seeing more and more of these influences from bigger cities (New York, London, LA), and I hope we will in parallel be attempting to brdge the cultural and financial divide that afflicts our great little country.

    Thanks for the report.

    PS As I was writing this comment, I got a call from my friend Wasim who was actually in the street fair when he called. :)

  3. Lina says:

    This is AWESOME!!! I can’t wait to go check it out myself. I never knew there was such a thing as JARA, what a wonderful concept and association to have. Jabal Amman never seizes to amaze me, and give more and more reasons to be my favorite part of town.

    As for the T-Shirts, I always thought we needed such a thing everytime I go shopping for some cotton basics! I mean, you go to any cool nice store, and they have all these T-shirts with phrases and logos and words that are so alien to our culture… It’s so great to see someone being creative and with such initiative to do something so different yet so Ammani.

    Thanks for this post Ahmad! I will be sure to tell all my friends ;)

  4. basbooos says:

    why am i not in amman now?????
    i think i’m going to let my family get me one of these t-shirts.

  5. Jordan: Amman Flea Market

    Ahmad Humeid is very excited to introduce to you the First Flea Market in Amman.

  6. [...] rdan Global Roundups Ahmad Humeid is very excited to introduce to you the First Flea Market in Amman. While Isam is enjoying his time at Wikimania and Roba finally made it to the Dead Sea. [...]

  7. natasha says:

    I just got off the phone with my mom and asked her to send me one of those “7afartali” shirts;) thanks for the excellent report Ahmad. I’m glad to see such an event happening in Amman. Too bad, I’m on a different continent right now:(

  8. jameed says:

    Why didn’t I hear about this? Good thing my wife is staying for another Friday after I leave. I too want a “7afartali” and a “Swaqa Football Club” T-shirts…actually do they have one that says “Hatash”?

  9. Roba says:

    YAY! Now I’m really, really excited about going. The pictures are wonderful and very “appealing”. And LOL, that’s my friend’s behind in the first picture…

  10. Salaf says:

    How many Atari games where sold in Amman….few hundreds at the most! THAT’S NOT ALL OF US 30-something !

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  12. Imad says:

    We’re pleased at all the positive responses from all of you. We’re going to be present at the JARA street market again tomorrow Friday 12th Aug.

    If you’ve bought one of our t-shirts and you’d like to be on our website, e-mail us a photo of you wearing it and we’ll post it. Our e-mail is info@teeshirtat.com and our website is http://www.teeshirtat.com

    The 4 of us behind this idea (Imad Shawa, Zeid Qursha, Faisal Tabbaa and Omar Tabbaa) would love to hear anyone’s feedback on our teeshirts.

    See you on Fraiday!

    Imad

  13. Humeid says:

    I said ‘many of us 30 somethings’ not ‘all of us’. Anyway, the name Atari stood for anything to do with video game entertainment. I remember going to downtown Amman after school (mid 80′s) to copy cassettes containg computer games. The guy who worked there called the ‘Atari’ tapes.

    I never owned an Atari game console myself. I was introduced to it through my childhood buddy majed who had one.

  14. Salaf says:

    you talk about East Amman as it is some “Hunga Bunga” Land. Dont you work in East Amman?

    also why do you Sensor the comment section…… sho …khayef?

  15. Yara says:

    Hey Guys, i was at the JARA market yesterday with a friend of mine (The Girl who wanted TABARBOUR T-shirt,and she means it!!) and was impressed! i have nt seen these T’s before, and i believe u have one of the coolest inventive ideas i have seen so far ( in Amman that is) but i do believe ur on to a movement to introduce an old 3amani culture (or is it??) and my personal fave. was “Fareeg Sijen Swaga” i giggled all the way home!!anyhow . . am impressed guys . .keep up the good work! and people of 3amman Spread the word we need talents in this city . .

  16. A very Ammanish flea market

    Amman this summer is absolutely wonderful! There’s just so much going on- concerts, festivals, sports events, and even flea markets.

    Today, I went to my very first Ammanite flea market, JARA, with it’s lovely little wooden chairs, a mosaic of Jord…

  17. Hala says:

    Thanks for this post, Ahmad! I am so sad I can’t be in Amman to witness this myself. Like someone else said, I think I’m going to have to get someone from my family to get me a ’7afartali’ T-shirt, fo sho! Some American friends have been asking me what 7afartali means today, and I have been explaining.. It’s interesting what you uncover when you have to explain your culture to someone else.

  18. Ziad says:

    That’s so awesome… well from ur blog my friend, my sister from the USA wants me to get her a “7afartali” T-shirt.. guess i’ll get one for maself too…

  19. Anne says:

    I’ve just returned from my first visit to this flea market. What a pleasant experience! It was so relaxing to wander up and down the street — the vendors were so unpushy; also many were prepared to bargain and come down in price. I was short of time this morning, but I’ll definitely be back.

  20. Dan Foley says:

    Omar’s a friend of mine. We lost touch when he moved to New York. I wasn’t sure if he had gone back to Jordan or not so I thought I would look him up. If any of you are still in touch with him, please give him my email address. Tell him it’s Dan from Denver. danfoley2000{AT}yahoo.com

    Thanks in advance, Dan

  21. samar atef says:

    hi all,im lookin at the site&wondering,will my collection of antique radios sell at jara?cause i was waiting for a chance like this,its cool,to do a bas6a kind of market,so,any answers from devoted customers of jara??

  22. RASHID ALHAMID says:

    HELLO ALL
    AS MUCH AS I LIKE AMMAN TO BECOME ALOVELY CITY , I SEE IT MORE AND MORE THAT THE PEOLE OF AMMAN ARE GETTING AMERCANIZE . I CANT FIGURE OUT WHY JORDANIANS ARE SOO MUCH IN LOVE WITH OTHER CULTURES AND WITH THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AS IF IT IS THEIR OWN

  23. Julian says:

    I would like to thank you all for these comments about JARA market. As a devoted member of JARA (Jabal Amman resident’s association), the market was really a great experience. Last weekend was the last one for the market for this season. We will be openning again next year starting April/May (it will depend on the weather)
    As for the vendors, so many interesting items, i agree that the T-shirts were so original…
    If anyone is interested to be an active member with JARA please let me know… we have several other interesting projects for the area.

    As for the americanized part, I do not think that Mr. ALHAMID got the point behind JARA or the market. I am ready to give any information needed! and English Language is a universal one and its the way the world communicates its not only limited to Americans…

  24. mohammad says:

    guys, pleaaaaase i need to find omar 6aba3, i need to buy a certain t-shirt, and that is veryyyyyyyyyyy important matter, please help !!

  25. I love flea markets.

  26. [...] Culture Amman’s Clash of Cultures A Valentines Day Fadfedah and/or Rant Mosalsal 2ordoni Jabal Amman: The Birth of a Ammani Street Market Home Tradition of Ka3ek and Ma3moul Olives Olives Amman’s Urban [...]

  27. Imad says:

    JARA Market opened again last month and will continue every Friday through October I believe.
    The cool teeshirts (7afartali, Swaqa Prison, Cubbles Only, and the all the rest) are there every Friday. So to answer mohammad’s comment: visit JARA or e-mail info@teeshirtat.com

  28. beepop says:

    is this flea market still on? please give better details where located. thank you

  29. GlobeTrotter says:

    I’ve heard all the hype about the ‘flea’ market in Jabal Amman. Checked it out last week and man was that a surprise…..
    I mean lets be honest here the place simply sucks. It’s a black-hole of pure boredom. There is literally nothing to see OR do. The only thing that caught my eye was this platform with some shaggy guys making noise that they call music and even that was plain tasteless. I know you may think I’m a bit harsh BUT you people are lucky critical media doesn’t yet exit in your country. I feel sorry for the neighbours who have to put up with this crap EVERY week!

  30. Noor says:

    GlobeTrotter,
    It’s funny that you’re claiming that you know what “Critical Media” is. What you did is insult the efforts of a large group of Jordanians that are very proud of what they have accomplished at Jara Market. Instead you choose to dismiss the path of simply” critically” saying what you disliked and linking it to your taste. Generalizations like “tasteless”, “sucks”, and my personal favorite “It’s a black-hole of pure boredom” are far from intelligent criticism I’m afraid. And maybe it’s a surprise to you but “We People” do indeed have our OWN form of “critical media” in regards to your statement; “doesn’t yet exit in your country.” Maybe we don’t insult officials or directly attack individuals when we don’t like their actions like what you might be used to but we believe even criticism should have class and purpose to it, without hurting people!
    Respectfully,
    Noor

  31. Ahmad says:

    Noor believes that verbal criticism should not hurt others.
    Does she know (or even care to) that the vast majority of residents in the Jabal Amman neighborhood are furiously annoyed by that so called (flea market). They are actually enraged by the disturbance this market is inflicting on their originally calm and quiet neighborhood. People in Jordan usually rest on Fridays not move next to bazaars!
    Globetrotter might have sounded a bit harsh but what you are doing to these residents (I’m assuming Noor is an active member in this Jara thing) far exceeds the harm in his words. In the States one could get jailed for being so inconsiderate.

  32. Mike says:

    It is stunning how Amman Municipality, with all their claims to civilized modernity, permitted such a market with obvious disregard to sensitivities of a very conservative middle eastern population. Plainly, human rights in Jordan is an empty rhetoric that is often used to obtain foreign aid. This is a fact but one needs to be a bit more than a tourist to realize that.

  33. [...] ing my dental ‎treatment.‎ On the only Friday I had in Amman, I was able to make it to Jara Market, a ‎market that is located in my favorite Ammani spot, Jebal Amman. [...]

  34. [...] ing my dental ‎treatment.‎ On the only Friday I had in Amman, I was able to make it to Jara Market, a ‎market that is located in my favorite Ammani spot, Jebal Amman. Though I am ‎no [...]

  35. amman_sucks says:

    Amman sucks! YUCK!

  36. Anna says:

    Can anyone translate to me what “Fareeq Sijen Swaqa” means? I’m Greek and dont speak arabic fluently yet i just started learning the language at uni….

    Shoukran

  37. Humeid says:

    LOL..

    ‘Swaqa’ is the name of a place to the south of Amman. ‘Fareeq’ means team. ‘Sijen’ means prison.

    Jordan’s most famous prison is located in Swaqa. If you say that someone is going to Sqaqa it means that person is going to jail!

    Thus, this parody t-shirt is for the Swaqa Prison (football) Team!

  38. Jamil Goussous says:

    hi guys
    who ever said amman sucks is ignorant and is probably not a Jordanian.
    Jabal Amman is one of the best areas in Jordan for tourism.
    i was just wondering if anyone knew if the jara market is still going on, now that it is winter. i was thinking of renting a table there, i have a couple of ideas.
    i hope i get a reply soon abou if the JARA market will be open this or next friday.
    thanking you in advance

    ps. noor you are right about what you said, whoever doesnt like jordan can just leave it, there is a saying i love: JORDAN – LOVE IT, OR LEAVE IT!
    pss. Mr. Zaid Goussous, the cheif instigator of JARA, you are a man with brains! (he isnt an uncle, just a far cousin to my father)

  39. Ramzi says:

    people who hate amman aren’t ignorant. amman is a pathetic city where social injustice reigns. of course to realize that you (jamil) need just a bit of common sense so I don’t really blame you

  40. Zade says:

    Whereever we go and come back, we still carry that divide in our blood. This is pathetic. Everyone to blame, and more the ones who get to see how other people leave all their differencies aside, color, language, and even religion for the sake of their people. But us no, we stick to everthing that keep us UN-UNITED.

  41. Triptych says:

    Brilliant,

    The backward insularity of those who are against the market is both infuriating and sad. Culture is about being alive, it is about having people together, learning, sharing, understanding, integrating, relating, LIVING. There is so little of that in Amman, yet when someone has a great idea to facilitate all these things it evokes a savage conservatism in people. What frightens them, what threatens them? Something venal and hateful; ignorance. Step out of yourselves and look around. JARA is beautiful because it animates, brings life, it brings bustle and energy. But then again, I guess some people would prefer for humanity to hide in shame the shadows of piety and puritanism.

  42. jarajara says:

    It came to my attention last week that over 40 families of the old residents of Jabal Amman who live within the area of the JARA flea market sent a desperate request to many officials, including the Mayor of Amman, begging to take immediate action towards ending this market. They mentioned in their request that the market has invaded their day of rest, their privacy, and turned their quite area into a traffic chaos. The irony of the matter can be summed up in the following points:

    1. The flea market is stirring up activity and noise during people’s rest day,
    2. The flea market should have an exit at a different end to facilitate movement especially in case of emergency. In addition, an exit away from the entrance, will create more space for visitors to park their cars,
    3. Flea markets worldwide are open to all . JARA limits admission to selected number through boncers who filter admission leaving out upset and disappointed young men hanging out amongst the homes of the neighbourhood showing bad behaviour and using obsinities to express their dissatisfaction for being unadmitted to the market,

    JARA is a good concept provided that it sheds away prejudices against its visitors and be held amongst people who support it rathar than those who feel it has been done against their will.

  43. Mike says:

    40 families in one neighborhood ignored? WHAT A JOKE. I find it scary how these ‘backward’ countries undermine their own people.
    Glad I’m just visiting

  44. Alex says:

    I cant agree more with Mike, its typicall ammani behaviour some folks with influence had this idea and said what the hell lets do a flea market in Jabel Amman, never caring for those who lives there…
    and then when residents of that area complains no one is listening and you say amman doesn’t suck !!!

  45. the arogant one says:

    It is really sad that such actions are conducted inspite the rejection of 40 residents in the area. Where is the clear vision of the new mayor of Amman? I guess it is just a big lie. God help those in the area. Long live” Ammani democracy” !!!!

  46. THE WOUNDERER says:

    Thats really scarey when people try to turn a blind eye to things. A petition signed by 40, yes forty families living next to or within 50-100 meters from the nuisance known as JARA flea market. Noise, congestion,traffic jam,teenagers hanging out in the neighbourhood causing trouble and using obscene language, children and grown ups urinating in places they shouldn’t next to resident’s homes, cars blowing their horns, garrages of residents blocked by arrogant drivers thus obstructing and limiting the movement of the residents, … etc..etc.. and guess what ….all this on Fridays … the rest day of all thosr poor working population of the JARA neighborhood. A cry for HELP to all to stop this nonsense kown as JARA flea market .

  47. Jordan Immigrant says:

    I live in the neighborhood, and I love flea markets but let me explain what has happened since the market moved in. Bottles and garbage are thrown in the street in front of my house (and sometimes over the garden wall). Traffic is a mess, even worse now that the Mayor has decided we don’t need Rainbow Street for cars. Last night I had to listen to very lound banging, knocking and clanging til 2 am – yes I checked the clock – as they broke down site, and Thursday nights it is the same as the site goes up with all those booths. Last summer someone kicked in my car window the night of the market. Suddenly porch lights and metal gates are being stolen from our homes. And yes, the young boys hanging out are not exactly an ad for good behaviour. If you think the residents don’t suffer for everyone else’s enjoyment, you’re wrong. Again, I love markets, but they belong in places where they don’t impose on the rights of residents to live without late night noise, parking and traffic congestion, garbage and vandalism. No one asked us if we the residents wanted this, or cares now in the 3rd season that we are suffering. I understand ElWeibdeh market closed out of respect for the residents there. Too bad our esteemed “representatives” in the JARA club don’t respect Jabal Amman residents as well.

  48. Sawsan says:

    The Jabal Amman Residents Associatuion claims that they are there for the interest and development of the area and its residents. It amazes me why the interests of the 40 residents in the area were not taken into consideration? I can not see how such a market will help ” spreading the spirit of cooperation among residents and in preserving the old buildings of the old neighbourhood of Jabal Amman” I am quoting a paragraph in an email sent by the Jabal Amman Residents Association last month. Both objectives have not been served by this flea market, thus this market should close. I feel so sorry for those residents suffering from JARA flea market.

  49. [...] A little debate has flared up on a post I wrote almost 2 yeast ago about the Souk Jara flea market in Jabal Amman. I see it this debate as part of Amman coming to grips with the concept of urban life. Change can be painful and it creates new kind of friction. Go have a look.. [...]

  50. bambam says:

    Funnie …… so you managed to dig up a post from 2 years ago to complain ?
    40 families ….. petition ?! now with the amount of foreigners complaining here about it, i wonder where did you get that news from …..

    now understandably the location isn’t the best, but people have you realized the amount of activity that jabal amman experienced in the last 2 years, never mind that it became one of the most popular nightlife spots in jordan. Especially the area down the road from jara.

    so don’t pin down all those things on JARA ! !!!

    For the record i didn’t notice any bodyguards but that was last year
    as for the quality of things there, its not really the point of the place.
    PEACE !

  51. Onzlo says:

    I think both sides have some fair points on the issue of JARA market, maybe the residents of the area, instead of calling for the market to be permenantly closed – which would be a loss to all Ammanis, especially those who make a living out of the market – can come up with some sort of alternative suggestion? There must be some suitable location for a market in the Jabal Amman area, perhaps even an empty plot of land which can be turned into a ‘village plaza’ type thing and the market can be held there? Both sides need to compromise

  52. Onzlo says:

    Mike, I see you have been \’just visiting\’ Amman for more than a year… Isn\’t it time you just [edited] and leave us to enjoy our backwardness in peace?

  53. Spiderman says:

    Poor blogger thinks these comments are part of “a change process” that Amman is experiencing. Someone ought to explain to him that there is a huge difference between debating certain development polices and COMPLAINTS because a bunch of authoritative thugs are forcefully imposing their plans on a peaceful residential neighborhood.
    It is true that sometimes living in 3rd world countries with “backward” laws can seriously effect one’s judgment but that by no means should prevent them from, at least occasionally, using their commonsense.

  54. MIke says:

    onzlo…….. just read your comment.
    [Edited] You must be damn proud. [Edite]

  55. Humeid says:

    Kindly keep you comments here civil. I moderate this blog and I will simply not allow abusive stuff.

    Spiderman: if you think comments on blogs are so useless why are you wasting your time commenting here?

    An urban issue like Jara needs debate to arrive at a solution. Calling the Jara people “thugs” just misses the point.

  56. THE WOUNDERER says:

    Guys,

    Guys,

    Read the article on JARA in the latest issue of JO magazine. JARA is a great concept but not in a quite residential areas and not on a Friday. Why not move this flea market to Mahata Street or even better,within the vicinity of the Citadel where tourists can enjoy the market, visit the Citadel, and enjoy the wonderful view of Amman. There is ample of parking, no residents to be disturbed. That is one solution I can think of. Anyway, thinking of solutions and alternatives should be the job of the esteemed “representatives” in the JARA club whom we have heard nothing directly from !!!!

  57. Mike says:

    >>>>>
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>
    >

    DO U SEE ANY “ABUSIVE STUFF” HERE?
    BE FAIR

  58. Spiderman says:

    Humeid: I never said comments on blogs are “so useless”. Please carefully read posts before you comment and don’t take things personally when critisized.

    And regarding calling the Jara organizers thugs….you have to know that anyone who bullies a whole neighborhood in spite of majority opposition is by definition called a thug.

  59. Humeid says:

    Spiderman,

    So what did you say? Your saying that I, the “poor blogger” who “lives in a 3rd world country”, is so mistaken to consider the debate here as part of a “change process”. And that someone should “teach me”.

    I am constantly amazed by people who just wander on blogs with such an attitude: calling people names and posturing as “all knowing”.

    Complaints, policy, problem. Call it what you want. People still want to debate it and, yes, this is healthy.

    I am also interested to know about you ‘majority’ statistic. Where did you get it from?

  60. imad says:

    solution:
    To keep Fridays peaceful, make the market on Saturday.
    To keep noise down, no banging allowed between 9pm & 9am for setting up the stalls.
    As for fear for residents’ property from random citizens, that’s the police & the municipality’s responsibility = more law inforcement. A few extra cops roaming on foot is the answer, not shutting down the event.

  61. Sandra says:

    Spiderman: how about u go educate yourself. If you are sensitive to urban issues as you claim to be, you would find the thread of comments here as a valuable source for understanding the reaction of urban users to modifications in urban space.
    The first comments to this section were made in 2005, hello? “process”

  62. Grendelkas says:

    I have to say, I live in the area (although admittedly not right next to the hustle and bustle of the market – closer to the ‘poor and working population’ part, as described by The Wounderer) and I love JARA. In fact, very few people live right on the street where JARA is held, so I’m guessing I live just about as close as some of these 40 families. I have a friend who live directly on that street, and he doesn’t mind it much either. I don’t deny the possibility of complaints, but why does it have to be so black and white? Why is it ‘thug’ vs. ‘poor neighborhood’? Where is the possibility of compromise? Ok, people who have a right to complain have done so – let’s tackle the issues that are brought up and see if there isn’t a solution. I am not a representative of JARA, just a resident of the area (and I have been for the last 7 years). But I believe the people behind JARA, in trying to create something, have the right idea. But it is a work in progress that needs to be cleaned up to ensure that neighbors’ civil rights aren’t compromised, or else moved entirely.

    The biggest thugs here are the ones who decide to attack people in order to claim their own political biases. I’m not going to go into the worst ones – it’s simply not worth it. Meanwhile, concerning the comment of Jordanians wanting to become Americanized, that is another discussion entirely. There is nothing particularly American about a street market. To suggest that JARA compromises human rights is ludicrous, and really takes the debate way out of context.

    There are plenty of lads who live on (or near) that street and I believe that they’re the ones who are hanging around during the market. I don’t believe that bouncers should have the authority to tell people they’re not welcome as they’re likely to do so to someone who might live in the direct area, which isn’t right (last year they tried to do as much to me and I was just going in to help a friend set up a stall). But if the bouncers are going to be there, they need to be watching out for people trying to urinate in the wrong corners, etc.

    Frankly, and I say this as a proud Jordanian, people here complain an awful lot – nay-saying is a national pastime. People tend to complain that there’s nothing to do (I learned in grade school that only bores get bored – I find that to be true), and then when someone takes the initiative to create something to do, it inevitably gets blasted. Progress (and I do believe JARA is a sign of progress) requires change, and change is likely to rub people the wrong way. If the idea is right, and the heart is in the right place (and again, I believe it is), let’s help make it better.

    There are a number of things worth changing. Traffic is a hassle, particularly with the Rainbow Street renovations, but there are potential solutions for that too. If people are doing things like peeing against the buildings, why not set up porta-potties? There should be cleaning crews as well, ensuring that no litter at all is left behind.

    I believe that JARA and the local residents should sit down and air any complaints. What about compensation for the families that are affected? What about providing them with free stalls or financial compensation? I believe that people feel entitled to more involvement, if nothing else. I’m sure that JARA makes some sort of profit off of sponsorship and its stalls. Where does that money go? Perhaps a portion of it should go to those seriously negatively affected.

    It is worth noting that happenings like the market are what bring attention to the area, which in turn leads the things like the Municipality wanting to beautify the area. This, in turn, helps raise the assets of homeowners in the area. The process is like growing your hair after a bad haircut – it takes time and tends to be annoying as all hell, but it’s for the best.

    The problem with my own suggestion of JARA and local residents sitting down together is the fact the only representation that I am aware of for the neighborhood as an entity is JARA itself.

    I know that some here are likely to disagree with me, which is fair enough. I’m all about hearing the rebuttals that are on the way, but healthy debate is likely to go further than all-out bashing.

    Finally, hats off to the likes of Triptych, Bambam, Onzlo, and of course Humeid. Also, and although we don’t share the same view, hats off to Jordan Immigrant. I truly believe that the very fair points of Jordan Immigrant need to be taken into consideration. If no compromise can come, and the residents (not JARA) decide after discussion that there is no solution, then it should be moved or ended entirely. But for years I have wondered why people will use such forums as a place to drop fodder that just gets in the way of discussion.

  63. THE WOUNDERER says:

    Grendelkas, I like some of your comments and suggestions. It seems some are trying to come up with a possitive approach, and why not. But there are certain facts we should look into. There are 40 residents who are not comfortable with the whole issue ( please read article in JO magazine). Those concerns should be looked at seriously not ignored ( by the municipality and the “elected” representatives of JARA) . flea markets are NEVER organized in a residential area, usually you find them in a large lot of land or a parking lot …. NEVER in the midst of populated residential area. As mentioned in JO magazine, one resident complained that the JARA organizers “order” him to move his cars from their private garage …. isn’t that outrageous ???? The more this problem stays unsolved, the more bad and hostile feeling it will create . If the solution lies within the closure of the market , then let it be. It is the right of people to live peacefully within their homes. A right granted by the Jordanian law. ofcourse there are people in the area who are in favour, but how about the 40 residents ???

  64. Spiderman says:

    Sandra, the case here is not an issue of education. It is an issue of ethics, something obviously you’re not very well acquainted with.
    As for the start date of this discussion I assure you people in the neighborhood started their complaints a bit before that.
    BTW I have no objection against blogs and dialogs, I just feel very irritated when whole web pages of opinions by radical ‘thugs’ under the guise of open-mindedness, just like most of the commentators here who think that no one lives in this land but them.

  65. Spiderman says:

    Wounderer, to you I can only say Thanks.

  66. THE WOUNDERER says:

    On turning Swayfieh and Rainbow Street into a PEDESTRIAN area

    It amazes me how unplanned decisions and actions are being made so often in Amman and each time with a much bigger negative impact. Turning Swayfieh and Rainbow Street into a pedestrian area is another very big mistake made by “the well exposed, intelligent “new mayor of Amman. Those two streets only needed bigger and cleaner side walks free of holes, properly paved streets, and lots of parking ( so does most of the streets of Amman) . It does not take a genius to think of it. Why should tax payers keep paying for the shambles of the municipality? Get your act together once and for all…

  67. THE WOUNDERER says:

    On turning Swayfieh and Rainbow Street into a PEDESTRIAN area

    It amazes me how unplanned decisions and actions are being made so often in Amman and each time with a much bigger negative impact. Turning Swayfieh and Rainbow Street into a pedestrian area is another very big mistake made by “the well exposed, intelligent “new mayor of Amman. Those two streets only needed bigger and cleaner side walks free of holes, properly paved streets, and lots of parking ( so does most of the streets of Amman) . It does not take a genius to think of it. Why should tax payers keep paying for the shambles of the municipality? Get your act together once and for all…

  68. Samar says:

    Interesting story. Could make a heading in the world corruption report.

  69. Samar says:

    …..Government corruption of course.

  70. Halim Abu Rahmeh says:

    Flea markets should NOT be in the midst of residential areas…. Move souk jara from its present location

    Check this link

    http://www.alarabalyawm.net/pages.php?news_id=24961

  71. Shireen says:

    … its only a market…

  72. The Good Samaritan says:

    Absolutely, its just a market ….. in the midst of a residential neighbouhood depriving the residents from a quite weekend ..etc…..etc….

  73. An optimist ... says:

    Bars, flea markets , coffee shops and restaurants in residential areas. No zoning but more mess !!!! Maani is in his ” ivory office” ignoring the details and for that matter, everybody …. What is going on to our beautiful city? Please remember we are not London or New York …… we are a conservative community and proud of it. Will the newly elected and appointed members of the Amman Municipality make a difference? Lets hope so .

  74. Dennis says:

    Hey..this is a nice article..gets a feel of the place..,nvr been there… first time visitor to this site too…liked the coverage..

  75. Realistic to the skull says:

    An Optimist, you should change your name to a pessimist , because nothing is changing or going to change. As for your question, the answer is obvious ….daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ………….keep hoping…..

  76. I can't take it any more says:

    JARA is back !!!! Another summer of pure agony . May the agony inflicted on us be transferred on those causing it

  77. what month will start the market.

  78. walla italian says:

    antonio dear

    the start market be will soon. there see you

  79. Phantom of the desert says:

    Where are the comments and the voices of dissatisfaction with this horrible and annoying jara flea market.

  80. Rasha says:

    Dears,

    anybody can tell me ay sa3a befta7 Jara fi ramadan w ay ayam ?

  81. zakaria says:

    Dear all

    ana kteer far7an 3la jara o kaman kteer sa3ed lel tajamo3 al latef hada, bas kan lazem yekon fe ra2aba 3la albaya3een, ya3ny ana lama ro7et a5er mara eshtareet menhom to7af bas la2eet wa7de menhom maksoura o mlaza2a, o hada kalam ma besser.

    ya reet yekon fe rakaba aktar 3la elghosh, o kaman el as3ar kteer ghalia.
    salam
    che fa nak

  82. scuba diva says:

    hey folks im from aqaba but im @ the u.s now i think im not much of an internet guy i bumped into this blog or whatever it is and i think it`s kina cool i think of droppin` by again am i welcomed or not !

  83. Enrique from Miami says:

    I am returning to Amman next month. Is still happening on Fridays? I was there last year and didn’t hear about it.

    Thanks.

  84. abraham linkolin says:

    jara market is one of the best market in the world i ever see, every one must visit old and old and sooooooo old things there.
    this market is museum .

    your friend
    Abraham linkolin
    usa

  85. florinda dadural says:

    i visit lovely kingdom of jordan in 6\6\2009 and i went to jabal amman.
    JARA MARKET make amman one of the best cites in arts.

    i love in jara maket the old stamps and the people are so friendly .
    thanks for mr. raid asali for the gift you give to my girl lee.

    dadural family
    cebu iland . philippines

  86. lioness says:

    I AM AN AMERICAN AND VISITED AMMAN FOR A MONTH IN NOV 2002 IT WAS MY FIRST VISIT TO THE MIDDLE EAST THE MOST FUN I HAD WAS DANCING AT THE FOUR CATS NIGHTCLUB WITH TWO JORDANIAND WOMEN I AM FEMALE THEY SAID I DID WELL WITH A COMBO OF EASTERN AND WESTERN DANCE OFF THE SUBJECT OF THE MARKET BUT JUST WANTED TO SHARE A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE BY A FREEDOM LOVING FEMALE PEACE

  87. imad says:

    moved back to amman this winter after 4 years away. is JARA still going on this summer?

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