The New Salt Document Puts A Ceiling On Mansaf

If you haven’t read Khalaf’s primer on the issue, definitely check it out. The new Salt Document is a pretty stunning and rare act of cultural and social reform on the ground level, specifically in adherence to the new socioeconomic realities. Some of the highlights focus mainly on wedding festivities:

– A bride’s jewelry (as part of her dowry) is not to exceed 1,000JDs.
– Typical car caravans and honking horns are banned. In fact, if the bride and groom live close by, no cars are to be used whatsoever.
– Presenting cigarettes to guests is banned.
– Usage of hotels as a venue is discouraged.
– Banning the traditional act of giving money to the newlyweds.
– Parents of the bride have to share the costs of the wedding.
– A maximum of 10 dishes of Mansaf are allowed.

Also, hospital visitations are banned, with only phone calls to check up on the patient being permitted. Meanwhile, giving gifts to a person returning from Hajj is also banned.

It’s an interesting case study and I’d be interested to see if it will be adopted more readily in these dire economic times, as opposed to the first Salt Document during the 1980’s. On the one hand, this might set the stage for rule-breakers; people who want to use the rules of the document as a way to show their grand generosity: by breaking them. On the other hand, given the economic times, we might have every city in Jordan adopting the document by the end of the year.

Of everything in that document, I think the one Jordanians will have a lot of trouble with is mansaf limitations. That’s just not right.

Other than that, it has my two thumbs up.


  • شو بتقول؟؟؟ السلطية لغوا حد الشبرية؟

    This is very interesting, documents and social agreements like these are easier to implement in cities that are still very tribal with every family having a Mokhtar who has social power.
    Successes of past social agreements that i know of:
    Mandatory pre-marital medical exam, and semi background checks for expats returning home to get married.
    “Please don’t bring flowers” noted on many wedding invitations, some even write “don’t bring nGoo6”
    Funeral funds for each family, in Fuheis pretty much every major family has a “house” used for meetings, funerals, and parties. (creative brides of Jordan has come out with a new trend where jam3eyet el 3aileh is not good enough for the reception)
    Limits on how much food for how many days is served during “3azza”

  • thats very fresh 🙂
    a start that will pick up hopefully more rapidly.

    It answers the previous blog, in a non cyber way as a platform of change.

  • Salaam ‘Alaikum

    Obviously, this business of keeping up with the Abdallats has got to change… but on the other hand… no hospital visits? In Islam, a Muslim has, over all other Muslims, the right to be visited when they are sick. Hospital visits (if conducted with manners and thoughtfulness) can lift a person’s mood when they’re at their weakest. A bunch of us visited a woman in the hospital last week and she told us, “Thank you. I was so sad and lonely here, and now I feel reenergized.” I don’t think calling her on her mobile while she was alone in a miserable little room with al Jazeera would have had the same beneficial effect.

    Not giving gifts to Hajjis? Please. (Besides, a lot of the time, they’re giving the gifts to you!)

    I don’t think hotel weddings will stop anytime soon though. Besides, if people stop having hotel weddings, then people who work in the hospitality sector will suffer. But the horn honking and caravans can stop now. And the food at ‘azza. The thing is, people’s attitudes have to change, rather than these things (showing off, etc) being imposed on them. People have to see things in a differently light, where it isn’t about showing others how generous you can be by having these huge mensafs that go half uneaten at an ‘azza where no one is remembering death or reading the Qur’an anyway… (Well, for Muslims…I haven’t been to a Christian ‘azza here).

  • Some corrections,

    – A bride’s jewelry (as part of her dowry) is not to exceed 2,000JDs. The JD1,000 is for something else called “jhaaz el 3oros,” which I’m not sure what that includes traditionally. Maybe the dress?

    – giving gifts to people after returning from Hajj is gone. Not giving gifts TO people returning from hajj (I don’t think that habit exists).

    Finally, I dont’ think “banned” is the right word to use. “Done away with” might be more accurate since the word “ban” usually brings up the question of enforcement, which won’t exist here.

    I love it 😀

  • Hareega, this new document is a socially acceptable way out from a dire economic status. I guess it will be implemented in a higher percentage than the last one. As for socio-economic reform I think Marwan Mouasher may take a good notice of this initiative.

  • I liked two points there:
    1. الغاء عادة التقبيل
    توعية الابناء بعواقب جرائم هتك العرض 2

  • Nas, have you ever considered posting a brief translation of the cartoons you post? My spoken Arabic is okay, but the cartoons are often in dialect and I don’t get the jokes — plus, the handwriting is sometimes hard to read. AS a loyal reader, I would think that was a great addition to your blog posts!


  • Alden: thanks for the suggestion. I think I tried this once upon a time and it didn’t seem to translate well, because the abu-mahjoob cartoons use a jordanian dialect and they usually have double meanings that are tough to get unless someone is jordanian. but i’ll see what i can do.

  • Speaking of as-Salt, does anyone know whether the museum in the Abu Jaber mansion down town has opened yet? I tried emailing a couple of “mas2ouleen” and of course I didn’t get any replies… I’d appreciate any info about its current status.
    Do you think that this document would be represented there somehow? After all it is supposed to tell the story of the city and its people 🙂

  • is there some jordanian local issue i’m missing here…? why the ban on hospital visits??? that is just AWFUL. as someone who has both spent time in hospitals and visited loved ones, this can often be as important as medicine for healing a sick person (and especially their spirits).

    make a ban on bringing expensive gifts to patients, sure… but no visits? ya haram…

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