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.
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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.