In what is sure to be the silliest and biggest distraction this summer, the Jordan Festival is facing a lot of Arab stars backing out before the festival even kicks off; citing “suspicion of normalization with Israel”. For those who haven’t heard about the controversy, which I hesitate to label as a controversy, it basically revolves around accusations that the French organizing company also organized Israel’s recent 60th anniversary celebrations. It turns out the company in question isn’t even organizing the event. Nevertheless, the local media, columnists, people and yes, even the stars, are “suspicious”.
The government has attempted to counter the allegations but it seems to be too little, too late, in another demonstration of the government arriving fashionably late to the party (and being surprised that the party went on). And despite their insistence that the festival is fully organized by Jordanians, no one really believes the government. Putting the words “Israel” and “normalization” in the same sentence tend to push the average Jordanian into a state of trance of which no logical explanation can ever break him of.
But I’m positive this is all based on a back story we’re not being fully told. If I had to guess, I would assume (and I emphasize the word ‘assume’) that the Jordan Artists Association may have been snubbed or marginalized, in some shape or form during the organization of this festival, which is what has lead its president, Shaher Hadid, to spearhead the whole boycotting campaign. The government seems to be begging these people to provide any evidence of these allegations and I’m wondering that with none being provided, why this isn’t the end of the story? Because, I mean, if Elissa decides to boycott, well, then, that’s it. End of story. Game over, man.
Meanwhile, other people, have other problems regarding the festival. President of the Professional Associations Council Zuheir Abu Fares said that the council hasn’t called for boycotting of the festival buy is very concerned with some of the participants:
In the statement, the council referred to the participation of Cheb Khaled, who it said â€œperformed with a Zionist singer in 2002 in Rome in the presence of the Zionist Prime Minister Shimon Peres at a time when massacres were being committed in [the West Bank town of] Jeninâ€.
The council also referred to the participation of artist Mika, who it said is suspected to be a homosexual and an advocate of homosexuality, in addition to â€œthe fact that he even sang along with Zionistsâ€. [source]
A French marketing group that didn’t organize Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
An Algerian singer who sang with an Israeli in the presence of another Israel.
And a Lebanese guy who’s probably gay.
What’s next, attacking an artist whose grandfather may or may not have at one time drank a cup of coffee in a cafe where a Jewish traveler was passing by at the time? I mean, heck, if I was going to lead a boycott of this festival it would probably be over the fact that Mika has created some of the most annoying songs in history, and not because he’s possibly gay.
Oh. And if you thought this couldn’t get any sillier, you were sadly mistaken.
As Farah pointed out, 12 members of Parliament demanded that the Jordan Festival be canceled all together because of the “economic and financial circumstances” that the average Jordanian is going through. This is a demonstration of how our MPs care about the average Jordanian, and are concerned with alleviating the financial hardships he or she faces in this day and age.
The very next day, they gave themselves a raise.
I feel sick to my stomach.