Monday, October 30, 2006

Violence in Jordan

Violence is a part of our culture.

I remember the broken class doors, the one poor kid in each class in every school who everyone else would beat up every single day.

I remember a game which you might know, called Ja7sheh, where each team of 4 boys would bend over and one kid would jump over their backs one after another and start kicking them everywhere and the winning team is that which would not fall.

When I was a kid, a thief broke in the house of our neighbors and while trying to escape he jumped from the roof and broke his legs and was screaming of pain. I went down with my father to see what happened and I found about 20 people around him beating him up for half an hour although he was screaming of pain from his broken legs.

Whenever you're arrested for any reason, it's very normal to be beaten up in the police station and you can't complain even if you're not found guilty.

I acknowlege how beating students is acceptable in the majority of schools especially public ones in Jordan, not mentioning that it's also very common among Jordanian families, and beating varies from one to another. It frequently includes tying up children with ropes and beating them with sticks. There are children who have burned skins over their bodies and even develop physical deformities because of abuse inflicted by their parents, both the father and the mother and the older siblings.

Why do people beat their children? Many causes but none of them is a good one, including venting and frustration with life that more and more Jordanians are experiencing.

The decay of our moral values is also mentioned however beating kids was never against our moral or ethical values and it's time to make it one.

What's painful is seeing many intellectuals in Jordan, including my forensic medicine professors in college, supporting the physical abuse of children as a way of discipline. Here you know there's a problem, when the decision-makers are not willing to make decisions to protect the society.

Are children physically abused in the West? Yes they are but the difference is that this behavior is not acceptable and it is not something to be proud of, and the parents who abuse their children are questioned and punished as necessary.

Remember Suzanne Vega's Luka?
It's so easy to find a Jordanian Luka...


Anonymous said...

U just remind me of the Indian English teacher who hit me by a stick when I was in Grade 5 ….i refused to go to school unless my mom comes wiz me!

I couldn’t forget how embarrassed I was to be hit in front of my colleagues…Its really disgusting …I would immediately sue the teacher and would not rest until the school fire the person if a teacher hit my kid……..

The educational system is seriously horrible in our countries ….i have seen sick personalities and whenever I ask about their professions I feel so sad to know that he/she is a teacher!!!

Arab Lady said...

yeee forgot to use my account

supposed to log in using my name not anonymous !!!

anyways basita :)

Hareega said...

arablady sorry to hear about that experience, I'm totally pro- being strict with kids and punishing them when they do something wrong, but even that should be done in the right ways and not in public to avoid humiliation. Yalla hope you're ok now :)

Me said...

Great topic..i wish something can be done about it in our society! i am sad for all the violence and the non sense abuse and beating for children especially. Thanks for raising such concerns.

Anonymous said...

Hareega,thank God thay you're not practicing in Jordan or else who knows maybe you'd get a beating for inserting a needle in a patient's arm and giving him a sting!

joladies said...

child abuse (or any abuse) should be a definite no no in any country. Here, in Jordan, our most senior forensic pathologist is one of the leading figures against abuse so I am surprised at your comment Hareega. Did you know that the police have a Family Protection Department that deals with physical abuse (if the offender is from the family) and all crimes of sexual abuse? And that prosecutors, judges, health workers and educators have all be trained on how to deal with these cases. Of course so many are not reported for a host of reasons. Unfortunately the laws do not necessarily protect the victims of physical abuse. So get out and lobby your members of parliament. T

Anonymous said...

There is no excusde in the world to beat a helpless child. Children behave the way we teach them, and if they misbehave, then they learnt that from us adults. Children are a reflection of us, so before we start beating them up, we should ask ourselves where we went wrong in bringing them up.

Arab Lady said...

Honestly, I will change my perception of u man!! Kindly explain wut u mean by “the rights way”!!?

So I’ll be waiting!!

Personally I ‘m totally against raising the tone when talking with a kidoo…u could ban him/her from watching TV or eating candies …et but not slapping nor yelling at him/her!!

Anonymous said...

The picture on your post is from a video I received and posted over a month ago.

Its a fine line between discipline and abuse, and this teacher is obviously crossing that line.

You can find the full video and my view here:

PALFORCE said...


Growing up among 6 other brothers and sisters life wasnt easy for a middle class parents to raise a family in a 2 bedroom apartmen.

Remembering what I put my parents through when I was a teenage and puting myself in their shoes I would have probably beat me to death.

But I did get a beating here and there and yes I deserved it. But back then things were different. Communications where different and education was lacking.

Nowadays things are alot different, Kids are taught right from wrong at very early stages, instead of Tom&Jerry we have Dora and Super Pets.

Me and my better half never raised our hands elhamdelah, and I know we will never do inshallah cause we have good kids elhamdelah. They listen to us we have great communication with the kids elhamdelah and if they do act up it doesnt take much for them to know we are UNHAPPY with their actions then they will stop.
Our kids major fear is upseting us, and never afraid from us.

The hardest thing Laila or Omar would hear from me is:
Ana za3lan minnek/minnak because you are not being nice.
And that works great with us.
Because the love we show them is overwelming and they never wanna lose that.

OK that is too much for a comment ,sorry.


Anonymous said...

summer, you're welcome

salam, I'll probably end up practising in Jordan but I'll join Khidemt el 3alam before I start!

joladies, I agree with you in that steps were taken to combat this pehnomenon, but what I'm upset with is that it's culturally acceptable.
In Jordan the law is changing the people more than people are changing the law.
In Jordan, forensic medicine is a separate speciality from pathology unlike the states. The two forensic medicine specilaists I had clearly supported tying a hyperactive child with ropes so he would stop moving around.


arablady... punishing children in very important when they do somethign wrong, and rewarding them when they do somethign right is also important. Reward/punishment. Once should be very careful in doing either so the child doesn't become spoiled or abused in either case. But parents have to punish their children, but in the right way that doesn't cause him humiliation.

O.J. sorry for violating the copy rights ! I'll watch it the full video soon

Palforce ... yes man ana akaltelli akamenn qatleh kaman but I'm talking about how beating the hell out of your child has become acceptable. Children are getting serious injuries, burns and fractures that go unreported. God bless your kids