The Latest Social Phenomenons In Jordan

I was watching Jordan TV’s “60 Minutes” and the two topics this week were the sewage problem s in Zarqa and the cement factory in Fuheis. With the Zarqa issue, as many know, sewage has been flowing into the Zarqa river. What I found interesting on the show was that (I believe it was) the Minister of Irrigation who said that some social responsibility needs to play a role as people in Zarqa have been inclined to steal the manhole covers in order to sell them at scrap yards, only to have children filling them up with rocks. (insert chuckle here)

Now knowing this country and it’s people pretty well there’s probably some truth to this in an “only in Jordan” kind of way, but also knowing the government pretty well: stop and think for a moment about the series of actions taking place here: a manhole cover is stolen followed by groups of children who decide that their idea of fun is to hurl rocks into the gaping holes. Think about that for a minute. Think about how many times that specific series of events needs to take place in order for it to cause the huge problem that it is. Once? Twice? Three times a problem? Four times a social phenomenon?

Also on the show was the cement factory in Fuheis which has been an environmental hazard since the 1990’s. A spokesman for the factory (owned by France’s LaFarge) said that studies have shown the production of cement there has no connection to the respiratory problems of the inhabitants of Fuheis. This is regardless of the large numbers of people who have kids with an asthma puffer for a best friend. And this is regardless of the explosions and the dunes of cement left to blow all over the city.

But if they’re right: if the factory really has nothing to do with the respiratory problems of the people of Fuheis and their children who use to breath a little better in the 80’s, then the government may have a much larger problem on its hands. What if everyone in Fuheis is just so intermarried that at this point they all have hereditary severe allergies to dust? Or, or…now bear with me here…what if the people of Fuheis are suddenly giving birth to a generation of humans who have the capability to breath under water and thus the dust-laden oxygen we normal humans depend on is merely poisonous to their new evolutionary respiratory systems.


  • Salaam,

    Well , I did watch that on ’60 minutes’, but what drew my attention more than anything is that people are starting to talk and discuss things that touch our daily lives, my hat off to Jordan TV for this initiative…I mean we always watch such programs where they bring people with opposing views to talk about controversial issues and present both sides of the story like ‘face off’ on France24…but in our case you could notice that Jordanians find it difficult to present their own point of view to the other side without taking it personally …the Fuheis discussion for example…. the environment representative (as just his case is) had a very uncivilised way of presenting his view, he didn’t have eye-contact with the other person, kept talking to the presenter and pointing at the other guy as a piece of garbage, and even used disrespectful language!…I mean when are we ever gonna grow up…and learn that it is ok to disagree in points of view without having to take it personally or get angry with whoever doesn’t agree with us!


  • The problem with the cement factory has been going on and growing for a long time, as the Town of Fuhais grew into a city the cement factory grew bigger.
    There has been many and many protests against the pollution and some progress was made as far as covering the cement trucks when they drive around the city (a no brainer).
    I’m sure the filtering system is not up to French standards and the factory would be shut down if it was in france..the reason why i say it should be held to french standards and not Jordanian ones is becaue we have no JORDANIAN standards fro manufacturers !!

    There is no medical evidence that the respiratory problems have anything to do with the factory!!?? you don’t need to be a scientist to SEE the pollution …clean the front yard of any house in Fuhais and in the following days you can observe the growing layers of dust …check out the tree leaves in the summer it’s all there…in clear summer days and nights i used to be able to see clouds coming from the chimneys of the factory.
    If you ever go to Fuhais ask to go to “el kawleen” or el kassarat …(if you know where el zowadeh is just take that road all the way as it turns a few times and you can see the mountains)…go to google earth and you can see the mountains and dug out areas…which would be replanted with trees in any other country

    Ba3dain excuse me tejeesh bil f7aiseyeh and their intermarriage 😀

  • Interesting to know tat people got so poor that tey started selling sewage covers. Now, tat is a turning point in this discussion.

    We should discuss poverty 1st then we can move on ….

    shame on you jordanians….some people are dying without food and others are dying from lots of food.

  • zayd, poverty is everywhere and in jordan it’s not so bad that all people are forced to steal manhole covers out of necessity. they do it for the same reason people rob other people’s homes.

    and if you’d like to discuss poverty perhaps blaming jordanians for its existence is not the best way to kick off such a discussion.

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