“Something on My Chest!”

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Tue 14 February / Feb 2017. 01:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

“A 19-year old set himself on fire Monday night in Ramtha, catching first and second degree burns and injures. He was transported to the district hospital before being referred to the Princess Basma Hospital, and he is now in a stable medical condition, according to a medical source. Preliminary investigations indicate the young man had tried to himself because he could neither get a job nor make ends meet.”

“The Military Consumer Market in Qatraneh, Karak, was robbed Tuesday at dawn, at gunpoint, according to a security source in the southern governorate’s police force, who confirmed that 3 people had disconnected the surveillance cameras, held the security guard at gunpoint, stole the Market’s safe, with JOD1,000 in it, and took off.”

“A public bus driver set his vehicle ablaze on a public highway Monday morning in Sweileh, which ignited a wide debate among citizens and over social media platforms, especially given the man explanation that he had burned his bus in protest over having too many unpaid traffic tickets pinned on it. The burning of the bus, broadcasted live, had found its way into the heart of the Social Media world momentarily, which only inflamed the context of congestions and pressure many social segments endure given the difficult living circumstances, particularly after the price hikes and tax decisions.”


Those are only a sample of the news in AlGhad’s issue for Monday; suicide, armed robbery, and a bus driver setting his vehicle on fire.

Many may see it as natural events that occur in any other society, having much to do with social changes related to the transformation towards modernity under globalism, given the immense pressures vaster social segments have to deal with all around, not just in Jordan, but in many other societies, even those with relatively higher income per capita and no economic crisis.

While that may be true, as much as it is comfortable for officials to hear, but in my opinion these are superficial, shallow approaches to addressing these phenomena in isolation from the context of social, economic, psychological factors and conditions, which vary from one society and state to another.

In Amman, the 11th of May, 2016, do you remember the attempt of 5 youths to throw themselves off a building? It was then said that these “attempts” were no more than just for show, to attract attention.

Even though that may also be true, a CNN Arabic report featured them in an interview which exposed the scale of their socio-economic suffering and their inability to adapt to the economic situation or at least secure the minimum requirements for life; they cannot find jobs!

Suicide may be natural, and so is armed robbery and violence in many states. But when suicide turns, in just a few years, into a social phenomenon, leaping in rates and frequency, coupled with the sudden surfacing of armed robberies that generally were very rare or didn’t even exist, in addition to the whole bus burning incident, the increase and spread of bribery, administrative corruption, and drugs, all at the same time as unemployment rates and extremism among youth skyrocket, all the while finding no thorough or deepened understand among our politicians or officials, in the absence of a lively civil society, capable of understanding and absorbing such a phenomenon, then it is about time we put that shallow explanation aside look elsewhere.

It would benefit us to explore the novel by Ihsan Abdul Quddous, “Something on My Chest!”

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.