The Sixth Circle Will Return After These Commercial Messages

Leaving a meeting in Abdali yesterday morning, I got a call informing me that a protest was taking place on the 6th circle. Second-hand information indicated that a crowd, angry with the safety conditions of the Jordan Gate towers lately, had gathered on the circle to launch a protest. I figured it was probably the families that live in the area who have been exiled to hotels for the past few weeks after one of the construction cranes was overloaded and essentially imploded, dangling unsteadily for the past two weeks or so.

Since it was on my way home anyway, I came up to the 6th circle but was faced with a whole crew of police cars that had shut down the circle. While making a quick U-turn I saw a whole bunch of people running around the circle so I naturally figured this might turn out to be rather interesting. I figured there’s no way they got a license from the governor to hold a protest against a project that the government was or has been involved in from day one, let alone holding one in the middle of one of the busiest traffic circles in the entire country, in broad daylight in the middle of the week.

So I drove around and parked and walked up to the circle armed with my camera, already out of its case. People were all holding huge posters that were a bit blurry to me, while encircling police closed off the circle and diverted the heavy traffic flow away from the circle.

All of a sudden, someone came up to me and asked what I was filming to which I asked “what’s going on here?”

“We’re shooting a commercial!,” he exclaimed.

At that exact moment, as if it to highlight my surprise, a nearby van loaded with large-scale speakers blared out dramatic music while these people ran around the circle with these giant posters in hand.

I went back to the car shaking my head.

+ via 7iber

Who in their right mind allowed an advertising company to shoot a commercial for at least two hours on one of the busiest traffic circles in the entire country and in the morning of a busy workday!?

I can almost guarantee that these people managed to get permission through wasta. And if they didn’t and someone was in fact idiotic enough to stop traffic unexpectedly for at least two hours on a Tuesday morning, forcing motorists to take unexpected detours, then that’s even worse!

What’s wrong with these people?

Detours cause enough havoc on our streets when they’re planned for let alone when they are random and unannounced, at least to my knowledge.

The public lost time and money because their public space, which their taxes pay for, were utilized by a company that wanted to shoot a commercial to make money for itself. As if this was something they couldn’t have done at 6am. Or better yet, come up with a better idea that doesn’t involve using up highly-used public spaces. What’s worse is that they were obviously given permission by officials and had police support to divert traffic.

Suffice to say, I drove home disappointed yesterday morning.

Someone should publically apologize for it.


  • Naseem, please stop using phrases like “almost guarantee” and “it’s safe to assume” in your posts and articles. as a journalist, i would expect more from you. either do the research and fact check where you can actually guarantee, or don’t make such statements. it’s irresponsible and weakens your argument.
    That said, I agree it was a nuisance.

  • They cold of done it on a Friday morning, less traffic!

    But I wish this is the worst thing we experience on Amman roads; I mean from holes and trenches that spread all over streets of Amman, to the tiny stupid accidents that block main streets for hour(s) until police comes, to the jerk drivers who think it’s ok to stop the car in the middle of the street to say hi to someone or to pick/drop someone.

    btw, did you know the company/brand of this TVC?

  • @FT: I’m not writing as a jordanian journalist (as I am not one to begin with) nor am I writing in the name of a publication. I am writing as a jordanian blogger, as a citizen who shares his everyday thoughts as they emerge. In other words, I can use whatever phrases I want and I don’t think anyone has a right to edit me in the name of argument-strengthening. This is a rant. Pretending that it is anything other than that would defeat the purpose of this exercise. Thanks

    @Samer: I have no idea but I assume that’s a question that will be answered soon enough!

  • aren’t you the deputy editor of a major publication? sounds like a journalist to me.
    i’m not trying to edit you. as someone in your position, though, i do expect more than the average rant. i guess expectations are the root of all disappointment, as they say.

  • @ft: what does my day job have to do with the price of tea in china? Your expectation essentially boils down to the need for my posts needing to be based on scientific evidence if i were a scientist. If thats your reasoning then you have dramatically missed the point of blogging and this post in particular. Thanx

    @suha and amp: wish i knew. I think it was something in the manufacturing sector.

  • Nas, you’re a blogger, and a fine one. Blog away.

    That said, Sixth Circle is the one with the Safeway, right?

  • something similar actually happened to me and my cousins few weeks ago ….. we were having breakfast in Jabal 3amman 1st circle and we had to got thru share3 5erfan to go home ….. and here we go they were closing the street but that was for shooting a movie 😀 so they didn’t put a sign !! u had to go thru the street, then get disappointed and then drive back !! and it’s one way street !! we were 5 girls we couldn’t start yelling and start a fight because it’s just like 50 meters we need to go thru it made u feel like starting a fight !! but other men did and asked for a phone number to call the man in charge !!

    yaaa i guess they got nothing 🙂

  • If they had paid a shit-load of money to the municipality to shoot it that may be justifiiable

    I once saw the crew of National Treasure shutting down downtown Philadelphia to shoot scenes from the movie.

  • Very interesting. And how disappointing to go expecting to see citizen self-expression and find instead corporate indifference to the very customer they hope to attract. At least when we see the commercial, we’ll know which brand to bypass…

  • But think about it for a moment. If you were a clever government propaganda official and you would want to mislead the public into thinking there is no protest, all you have to do is to surround the protest with police , cut off all access to the protest, bring a camera crew and some lights and and when people ask what’s going on say we are shooting a commercial.

  • Arno, an amusing theory 🙂 I like it.

    for me, it really boils down to rights in this country… the official that allowed this, is someone who does not respect the citizens of this city, or their rights or their jobs or their lives… This person only respects one thing… MONEY!
    Hopefully, we will find out which brilliant company is behind this … and with a bit of luck, maybe someone would sue them…. (sigh)

  • I came to the Black Iris to read an anticipated reaction on Obama’s speech… Just to find a story that reminds us of the little things that knocks out the little remnants of “common sense” that sort of keep us just about sane in our country…

    Have it been a foreign film crew hosted by the Royal Film Commission featuring an actual plot with a scene requiring the ambiance of a “busy” week-day cit/Amman; it would’ve been a more edible senseless nugget to much on, but the fact its a crew shooting a freaking commercial… that’s just vomit inducing!

    Especially when actual road and directional signs get covered by street-wide billboards licensed by the municipality! (at your nearest underpass from the 3rd circle all the way to the 7th)

    أخ بس

  • hi nas i have been (reading you thoughts)-iam not even sure if this is a true sentence- ,any way like i said ,and i have been wondering for a while now ,and i have a question for you ,and you are free not to answer ,after all we are a free country ,with all your great thoughts ,courge and honesty ,allah bless you,i believe that some day inshalla you will become a very important person in the country assigned by another more important man to work for ,my question is are you going to change your thoughts ,ideas and believes when you become that important man?
    as silly as my question sounds sit with your self and think of it .and like i said you dont have to answer ,its just i always wonder why good minds change when they have the power
    they wish when they were just good?GOT IT?
    allah bless you and kep on the good work,

  • Although I was not involved in this commercial, as a marketing manager who has supervised several commercial shoots, I feel that I should attempt to rationalize what the advertising company has done. It is true that this action interrupts normal traffic and might wreak havoc for some, but let us look at the benefits.
    1) Commercial shoots create money for the economy (the advertising agency, the director, the actors, and all of those extras). From the video, it seems like a good number of people (over 50) were acting in this in addition to all the production people (i.e. make-up artists, DOP, props guy) in addition to the municipality and police. That is extremely important for all of those down-trodden people who rely on the income to make ends meet. Why do we not encourage it instead of attempting to ridicule it?
    2) If our government is flexible and pro-active, then success of big productions (which this one seems to be) will breed future success, thus making Jordan available for photo shoots instead of Cairo or Beirut (where most regional photo shoots take place)
    I agree that perhaps it should have been done on Friday morning but the lighting is the responsibility of the DOP.

  • My brother has a satellite card attached to his PC. In other words, he can both watch and record TV on his PC. Yesterday’s evning, I watched what my brother had recorded of the celebration in Sports city. This celebration was broadcasted live on JRTV.

    I agree with “UmmFarouq”. In TV, I saw a bunch of young men and women carrying large boards, like those in the above video. I believe that the above video shows us the shooting process of the video broadcasted on JRTV.

  • Mr. Nassem, I was interested in the discussion between you and the so-called “FT”. I think that you have weak argument against FT’s comment . Take the following story as an example:

    [Blogger X is “not writing as a Jordanian journalist” nor “writing in the name of a publication”. One day, this “Jordanian citizen” decides to share his thoughts “after they emerged” about “The Black Iris Blog”.

    Blogger X “shares” very negative “thoughts” of The Black Iris Blog. He “almost guarantees” that the black iris blog is very horrible and disgusting. Moreover, he “safely assumes” that The Black Iris of Jordan is one of the most un-popular blogs in whole Jordan.
    Though,as sure as he is, Blogger X fails to provide any “scientific” evidence for his almost definite claims. For example, to support the “un-popularity issue”, he didn’t go back to in order to evaluate traffic details of the Blog. Moreover, he didn’t quote what Jordanian bloggers or newspapers had to say about the Blog.] Story ends…

    OK, it is the mere “personal opinion” of Blogger X that was published. But, wouldn’t you describe the opinion of Blogger X as an “irresponsible” and “weak” argument? Don’t you, as the owner of blog which was accused without evidence,have a right to edit Blogger X “in the name of argument-strengthening”? Don’t you believe that Blogger X post need to be “based on scientific evidence” even though he “isn’t a scientist?

  • So that running around aimlessly looking shaddy as hell is going to be in a damn ad? Who on earth would buy a product with an advertisement like that!!

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