The Moment Qwaider Lost Star Academy

At first I thought Independence Day had come early this year, or that Jordanians were just overly-eager to start the celebrations early. But lo and behold, in the middle of an unexpected, unavoidable traffic jam, it was soon made clear to me that a Jordanian by the name of Qwaider was a finalist on the popular Arabic junk food program, Star Academy. If it was a weekday, the result might have given a kidney-punch to the Jordanian economy for the day, but luckily it was the weekend. Unfortunately, this meant traffic. Abdoun circle was a prime location for celebrations. A public TV screen was put out front and the cops had quarantined the area around the bridge to try and direct traffic. People were just stopping their cars in the middle of the road and converging on the Circle like it was the end of the world. So I, with nothing better to do, thought I’d join, in an attempt to videotape the ongoings and compare it 48 hours later to potentially similar celebrations for the Kingdom’s independence, or lack thereof.

What I saw sent a shiver down my spine in fear of our future. Teenagers climbed the lamp posts and ended up breaking one or two of them. Garbage was scattered everywhere, and every one was under the impression that the ground was a legitimate dumping ground under these “special” circumstances that called upon celebrations. Worst of all, even with the presence of so many policemen, teenagers started pulling stampede pranks whereby a group would spontaneously start running, forcing everyone to think something had happened and join in on the running. It was very dangerous with the number of families, women and children that were around.

The moment Qwaider lost, people just turned around and all walked home. No one was really sad or disappointed and then I realized that most people probably didn’t care. Everyone was just coming to look for a reason to wave their flags or perhaps in search of a larger population of female fans. Cars packed full of guys from outside the city had come in, probably for this very purpose, and I had 4 cars stop me to ask directions to obvious places for Amman residents.


  • “perhaps in search of a larger population of female fans”
    It’s a sausage fest dude.

    Love your blog btw.

  • One other thing, did you know that some coffee shops make people pay a “cover charge” for letting them in to watch the prime? Why? Why? Are we that naive?

  • انا مش شايف ولا بنت في الفيديو

    مدونة رائعة

  • They simply lack vision and a reason to be motivated. Such wasted energy that could build real nations! They have become attached to trivial issues just like the rest of the young in the west! Imagine if a few of them started a local project to feed the hungry or clean streets or teach an illiterate! Then, the seceret police would go to action 🙂

  • Doesn’t really matter if he won or lost. He’s famous enough in Jordan, and his voice is good enough to sing aghany wataniyeh for years to come.

  • the majority of our youth are day3een and will remain as such if they don’t take the initiative of changing their sad reality; a reality that is partially imposed upon them due to economic, social, political.. etc pressure (oppression), in addition to them bringing it upon themselves, wasting their energy on stupid Star Academy and such programs that feed their minds shit.. Sorry for using such language, but I am aggressively angry at the majority of our youth these days because they seem to passively accept being losers!

  • give me a nation where you wont see such things happen? Teens will always be labeled wasted youth, my dad a decade ago labeled me and my pager-tight levis 501 jeans friends that, but we turned out just fine, we are educated and enlightened, our work IMHO makes a difference in this life. a decade ago we were hanging out in shmesani on weekends, countless people roaming the streets of shmesani looking for girls or a seat in one of those arjeleh places.

    10 years from now, those people in the video posted will be writing something like this in another realm like freenet

    give them a break, let them enjoy their ipods,iphones and their waxed hair and bagy jeans

    we are a nation of blind lead the blind, it will never change unless the blind leading us gets some kind of miracle surgery to restore its sight, and hopefully their foresight

  • What happened last night was a sequel to the first chaos we witnessed few years ago, to be exact the same week that Baghdad fell, when Diana Korazon won Superstar. It amazed me then, and it still amazes me today, how tempered our reaction was to the fall of one of the greatest Arab cities of the world, while we were totally out of control when it came to a stupid imported show. With all the nonsense and absurdities surrounding us these days, why should the celebration witnessed last night be any different?

  • It’s sad isn’t it… we have a 7afartali finalist, good voice, shitty attitude and he is not even close to being half good looking!

  • شعوب ضايعه وتايهه ولا تعرف راسها من أساسها

  • SubhanAllah they allow these kinds of accumulations of people for a ridiculous reason, but when it comes to protests of a political or religious nature, that is forbidden. Oh, wait, I forgot, that is the point.

  • This crowd phenomena is both sad and very telling.

    It is sad because of the behavior of idle, irresponsible people with basically nothing better to do, gushing into the streets mindlessly, trashing their city. And the authorities are even sadder in their double standard of what public gatherings are allowed to rally for and what they are not. But this is not new, it is expected and is hardly surprising since we are aware that we are governed by myopia, fear and anesthesia.

    It is telling of the desperate need of a community to identify with a hero, an idol, someone/anyone to rally support for. Since the beginning of humanity, people have had the inherent need for public gatherings to express themselves and collectively identify with something or someone, cheer for a hero, pledge support or protest in opposition. When generations grow up without the right to vent, are forced to suppress this need and are forbidden to freely, independently and responsibly express themselves and see/hear themselves in the public space, they will flock for whatever pathetic opportunity comes their way.

    This gathering in Abdoun and the next day’s airport flocking is humanity’s natural instinct. Unfortunately the system encourages them to follow the wrong guiding star.

  • “Unfortunately the system encourages them to follow the wrong guiding star.”

    Have any of you asked anyone that went to the gathering why they were there? If not, how did you reach your conclusions?! It is sad that mnay still think we ought to stay sad and never celebrate anything! I have never watched such shows and I am not even a fan of sports, but what I saw in the celebration is jordanians from all roots becoming one hand and cheering for jordan not for a person..Maybe I am a bit overoptimistic, but why can’t we?

    Next time, before someone jumps to psychologically analyse the nature of the crowd, I suggest you go around and ask the celebrators why they were there? And what it means for them..I simply hate baseless conclusions..And by the way, this how we used to be all along, we want something to be happy about, wether it is around sports, figures, days in history, etc… And we also come together when faced with dangers-remember the hotel bombings. It is no surprise that we are stereotyped as the most frowning people in the ME. Cut the people some slack and let them be happy for a minute!(Even though he lost)

  • Salams everyone,

    – When seeing somehing like this I reassure myself that we are part of humanity! This happens everywhere, what obviously some might not like is the “7afartali” behaviour, ya3ni, running for no obvious reasons and many other things.

    – What needs to be done? GAM should organise this! I mean , if they think it matters that they put a wide screen for eveyone to see their big fan, they should go few steps further and think about how people should enjoy the live show.

    – Maybe people need to see alternatives? how things should run based on logic!

    Salams again.

  • I don’t understand some peoples anger or criticism or whatever. I agree with Grey beard and Muhanned.

    You should see American or Canadian Idol fans and to what length they go to to see their idols.

    I think they just need to organize them better like Catalyst said that’s all.

  • I marched in the “diana Karazon” march ! lol a few years ago
    If I were in Jordan, I would probably be among those crowds.

    It’s sad to see that people are spending a lot of time on such shows, but Jordanians are looking for an achievemnt, an inspiration, and something to do at night. These junk shows porivde this opportunity to them.

  • Well Ya maybe its better than playing cards, the damned game, I think that they just wanna feel they are winning something, a star academy show, a super star show, a card game a “6awle” game and any silly thing coz our community is somehow a kind of a loser in all what matters. Anyway this says nothing about their future, they may grow up much better than who preceded.

  • Hamzeh, EXACTLY! that is such an achievement for all Jordanians to be proud of.. but wait, i just heard about it because you brought it up!

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