First, the president of the Jordan Artists Association [JAA] made unfounded statements concerning the Jordan Festival and launched a boycott, which other unions didn’t see fit to join in on, stating:
“We are doing our utmost so that no Arab singer or musician will take part in the festival because all artists are against normalisation [with Israel] and we are siding with the Palestinian people,” – Shaher Hadid said.
And all this was happening while the government was busy saying:
“I cannot figure out what they are basing their claim on. I stress again that Publicis Groupe is not organising the festival, which is 100 per cent organised by Jordanians.” – Jordan Tourism Board Managing Director, Nayef Fayez
Meanwhile, the organization suspected of “Zionist ties”, Publicis Groupe, was stating quite officially:
“There is absolutely no kind of cooperation with Jordan in arranging the Jordan Festival. We have nothing to do with the festival at all and we are not involved in it…our group did not organise Israel’s celebrations of 60th anniversary” – Peggy Nahmany, director of external communication at Publicis Groupe, France
But the call for boycotts continued, and so did the local media’s sensationalism, until it took the King to say:
“Publicis is not the company that is organizing the Jordan Festival. It is another company called Visiteurs Du Soir. Today Arab artists are contemplating cancelling their performances and Arab tourists that were planning on visiting Jordan are cancelling their trips. The government is now wasting its valuable time and resources trying to do damage control. All this because some so-called journalists are too careless and incompetent to do their basic work; it is shameful.” – HM King Abdullah II
Which lead to the JAA President, Shaher Hadid, to retract his statements and end his boycott:
“After the suspicion over the involvement of Publicis Groupe in organizing the festival was clarified and His Majesty King Abdullah’s statement in this regard made the situation clear to us, we decided to retract the boycott decision and I called on all Arab artists’ unions to strongly participate in and support the festival, which is in the interest of Jordan, its economy and tourism,” – Shaher Hadid
And regarding the boycott that has now been picked up by other unions and associations:
“No one has the right to start an anti-festival campaign. We were the first calling for boycotting the event, but when the issue was settled and the issue of suspected involvement of a French company with alleged ties to Israel was removed there is no need for attempts to destroy the event. We should strongly support it,” – Shaher Hadid
And even referring to the boycott he spearheaded only a few days ago, as:
“…nonsense that would lead to nothing,”
Honestly, there are some people who need to be held responsible and accountable for starting unfounded rumors. If the people demand accountability of the government, they should also be demanding accountability of themselves.
I totally agree. Surely it is ironic and hypocritical.
And yes, the gentleman who started the fire for no good reason should be held accountable. The JAA President (and other public figures like him) making false accusations without even checking official statements from the parties involved (Publicis Groupe, MoT, etc…), were uttering of nothing but ignornace.
If anything is to be learned from this, is the huge divide that seperates the social scenes in the country. On this site, we here sensable analysis and comments. On local Jordanian papers websites for example, we hear and read the opposite way of thinking and analysis. That is exactly how the false accusations of the incompetent spread and caused the damage. They simply found vast recepient think-like minds.
True, “too careless and incompetent” some in this country are. “It is shameful”…..
looks like they are also gonna ignore every aspect of culture this year and reduce the entirety of the festival to a bunch of singing concerts; not that songs aren’t cultural products, but i’d rather see Amro Diab on satellite, just in case he’s still coming!
Seriously? The only thing I liked about this year’s festival is that for a change the artistic festivals in Jordan finally started (or showed late signgs) of catching-up. After other regional centers overshadowed Amman’s hisotory. May be some variety in the taste of artists being displayed and serious genres. We are not all Amro Diab lovers.
As I said in another comment, the average citizen is in a dilemma regarding the issue of trust! I mean taking the Jordan Festival as an example, news was circulating about artists dropping out of the festival and canceling their shows. This was followed by news of the show still scheduled as planned, and that artists were not falling for all the rumours about Publicis. This was then refuted by other news sources, which stated that artists are in fact not showing up to the concerts.
I mean WTF! I hate the way rumours spread so fast in our country, and might be posting about it on my blog.
This reminds me of the time when people started the rumour of gangsters injecting random girls on the street with HIV. The paranoia at the time was suffocating.
Thanks for the post.
Gangsters injecting random girls on the street with HIV… lol
That is funny. I remember a story about toothpicks infected with HIV. I am still paranoid about using toothpicks till this day! 🙂
You made my day Yazan!
Have u read the front page of Addustour today regarding HM’s comment on your blog?
hahaha ‘HIV infected toothpicks’!
I am glad that rumour didn’t reach me. I would have been really pissed off.