Crime In Jordan On The Rise: The Kids Are Not Alright

I think for anyone who’s been following the news lately – heck, anyone who has been remotely alive in some way, has probably already concluded that August has been a tough month when it comes to crime. Especially violent crimes. It seems everyday there is one report after another about the latest murder or tribal conflict or honor crime or suicide attempt. There’s even one story warning citizens to be on the lookout for thieves dressed in female clothing that includes the niqab; a seemingly perfect disguise. Yesterday, a tenant killed his landlord supposedly over quarrels regarding money. What’s going on? 16 killings in four weeks?

Once again, as I said several months ago, many of these crimes seem to be money-related or financially and economically-driven in one way or another. Unfortunately, the status quo has not improved since.

There is something seriously wrong with this picture. If anything, we are getting one of the worst indicators of the global financial crisis’ impact on a developing nation such as Jordan: a rise in crime. More unemployment, tougher financial situations, greater poverty, all of this is being translated to an increase in crime. There has been little relief and practically no escape from the crisis, especially with bank credit being all but dried up.

It is a situation that has been worsened with the so-called matrix (or bourse) scandal that saw everyday Jordanians losing millions and millions of dinars in a single blow.

This is to say nothing of the wave of ATM banking crimes or drug-related crimes, which are on the rise.

This is to say nothing of recent political corruption, and the many stories that I’m sure we still don’t know about and take time to surface.

And the crimes are still baffling, if not unprecedented. Many of us are still left wondering why a 37-year-old Jordanian pharmacist from a middle class area like Rabia, killed his wife, his two kids and then himself. Or how, apparently, 16 professors at the University of Jordan got suspended for misbehavior, which translates to: they were taking advantage of their female students in return for grades. (note: the source looks legitimate despite it not being mentioned in the mainstream media; either way it wouldn’t be the first time).

And the situation may continue to get darker before we see any light. UNRWA funding is drying up in the refugee camps. The state’s disgusting endorsement of the landlords and tenants law (they should be ashamed of themselves). The spiraling prices of goods facing boycotts.

This is to say nothing of the numerous stories I hear on a day-to-day basis from random people. Stories that take place in their own neighborhoods, involving people they know. To what extent are these stories true, I don’t know. Nevertheless, they are indicative of a larger problem: people are nervous. Many are afraid, even more are confused about the state of their country. Fear has become an increasingly significant player on the social front, whether we like it or not. We may continue to tout that Jordan is a “safe haven”, and perhaps comparatively, given the region we live in, that may be true – there are new realities taking shape on-the-ground and people seem to be aware of it more and more everyday.

This is not to say that all crimes taking place in Jordan are to be painted in a monochrome light, that is, being economically or financially-driven. I am sure that many fall beyond the folds of financial woes, and some are just plain old typical Jordanian crimes. However, from where I sit, it does seem to me that the economic situation in the country has massively helped create an unprecedented culture of violence and crime in Jordan, one that has placed finances at the heart of the motives that drive these crimes.

But that’s just my two piasters.

What’s yours?


  • I didn’t get the part about the tenants and landlords law, and why it is supposed to be a bad thing. My understanding is that without putting such law into effect that would force contracts to be renewed at a certain future time, some properties would still have to be rented at rates that belong to the 70s when clearly such rates are no longer applicable. An example I was told about was a house that is located almost exactly on one of the major 8 circles in Amman that is (or was) being rented out to a family who would not leave and who were still paying like 2 or 3 hundred JDs for it a month, when it clearly could go for a lot more than that.

    I’m not sure what else the law is about other than the termination of contracts, but at least that part seemed to make sense to me.

  • @hamzeh: question…given the overall economic makeup of the overwhelming majority of jordanians, to what extent do you think a law with no effective provisions or safeguards for tenants will have on those tenants once landlords are given the legal right to jack up the rent? or, to put this in another way, where will those tenants go once they get kicked out for being unable to afford new rent rates?

  • what upsets me most is the culture of secrecy and shame that does not allow the public to know facts of what is really going on. our local mainstream media protects criminals because they don’t want to bring shame to their families and their honor and as a result the public is denied from knowing facts that would either deter them from committing the crime themselves or protect themselves from a criminal that could be their next door neighbor.

    another example is this ATM fraud that has swept amman. no article reveals which bank and which atms have been attacked. there has been no public campaign educating people what to look out for and how to protect themselves from this fraud. it is only because my friend who works in a bank showed me an internal memo with pictures of affected atm and what to look out for do i know details. how is it that this country does not care about protecting the little money we have in our accounts and refuse to release details?

    why can’t we know details of the crimes in this country? what was the criminal’s full name? where exactly did the crime take place? what are the “investigations” revealing about the crime and the people involved? what were the results and was justice served? since we don’t know, gossip becomes our main source.

    knowledge is power. jordanian people do not have this power and therefore resort to crime to fend for themselves. no one else is taking care of their rights, protecting their livelihood creating better opportunities. quality of life for majority of people is quite low and it’s not getting better. so crime seems to be the answer; either for survival or to be heard. i’m just so upset about this.

  • “”Nevertheless, they are indicative of a larger problem: people are nervous. Many are afraid, even more are confused about the state of their country””
    you just said it all! people are plain nervous, I was used to the usual Jordanian “Tension”, but there seems to be a new air in this tension, people are no longer using their usual Jordanian frawn, but are rather on the verge of making fights for every single small debate or incident. Every one is preparing to take his rights with his own hands.
    I believe that this will eventually lead to even more and more serious crimes, and the Police force don’t seem to be any way near helping in such issues. Many houses in my neighborhood have been robbed, mine have been robbed twice, and some are now owning guns to protect their rights, that is along with the idea that weapons are coming back heavily to certain areas in Jordan. And the recent upheavals in the north and the south are just a glimpse of what we’re waiting for. God be with us.

  • @Nas Answer the tenants and landlords law has been in place 10 years ago, and the tenants brushed it off and didn’t care about it. Should the government babysit and cover for the tenants even more, they did! they gave the 3 extra years to sort their situation out or renegotiate their contracts … that’s the biggest safe guard that the law provides its the irresponsibility of the tenants and how they treated the law as a fantasy that will never materialize that caused them to panic, and from my perspective if you had 10 years to sort your self out and you didn’t … you deserve whats coming to you. On the other hand most of those tenants are workers and some work in trade, they have been getting at least cost of living increases and/or adjusting their prices to inflation, how fair is it that the landlord can’t adjust his price accordingly or even have control over his own property ? I think the system that was already in place was a twisted system and very much in favour of the tenants, so of course they don’t like the change. TOUGH LUCK!

    As for the rest that’s a natural outcome for a growing society that remains confided to small geographical area. Over population without any other factor just increases crime. On the other hand i don’t believe the economic crisis has as much of an impact on jordan as some of the other countries, the two major areas that where affected was real estate (I don’t know if a jordanian blue collar builder even exists) and banking (those are white collar jobs) so the people have benefited by the reduced prices due to the crisis more than the loss of jobs or opportunities (though those fresh grads are screwed due to the job freeze).
    So personally I am not surprised by the increase in crime and sadly i think its a natural thing that an overpopulated society does.

  • re the tenants law @ hamzah and bambam, while it is true that there is a degree of unfairness to landlords, 70% of jordanians are tenants (according to Irhayel Gharaybeh – I don’t know how reliable but I read no revocation by the gov). that’s a huge majoirty. and giving them 10 years to sort their selves out might sound generous – but with no considerate morgage schemes and high costs of living it is unreasonable to expect someone to come up with a downpayment (at least) to own a place.
    therefore, if a landlord can afford to own property besides the one he already lives in (which he rents), then that makes him among the very few lucky lucky ones.

    re increase in crime, while financial constraints may be the obvious reason, many people have lived thru and survived poverty without resorting to violent behaviour or theft. IMHO it is not the financial situation in itself, but rather, the inhumanity many people face as a result of their economic poverty. economically poor people who are treated in government institutions with dignity, and who have basic humane needs met (such as healthcare), are unlikely to resort to crime. financial marginalisation is tough, social exclusion as a result of that marginalisation is dangerous.

  • @Deena: thanks for responding and, as usual, well said. in essence, i agree with you. i feel that the economic situation that i am referring to in this post is the macro-issue at-large. what you pointed out is the more micro-elements in which it manifests itself, namely social exclusion and marginalization coupled with the lack of having basic needs met. the tenants law is yet another manifestation of that imhao.

  • If tenants don’t find anywhere to go, then the landlords won’t have any tenants and both would lose. According to theory of economics, pricing mechanisms like the law of demand will step in to take care of this problem. Don’t you think?

  • @hamzeh: the same argument could be put towards food prices. in other words, people still need to eat and they still need to live somewhere…but the situation that emerges is one where they essentially go broke doing so.

  • I do agree with you Naseem and it is true for me personally that i have never heard of so many different crimes hapenning in Amman in such a short period of time, i read your article and i agree with lots of stuff u said but i Don’t think that a Major ” Trend ” of economically driven crimes is the engine that has been behind these Crimes.
    My explaination to what is happening is simple and it can be summarized in 2 points
    1. The Mass Urbanization and huge increase in population in Amman in the last 10 years could be one of the major factors, these kinda of crimes didn’t happen before but only few of them happened because the population of amman wasn’t as it is today, not to forget the type of the society that we had before which was ok living in a city but actually living and practising the values of the Village/Tribe Society..
    I remember during my childhood we used to know all the neighbours around us!! my mother used to spend each morning chatting and drinking coffee with a different neighbour each day, we knew everything about them so did they!! Now i swear i don’t know anyone except recognizing how they look………….
    So it is natural as the population is growing our neigbourhoods are loosing itheir homogenousity and Old Arab Jordanian Neighbourhood values and transforming itself into a typical Urban society.( don’t forget Amman is harbouring 2 million people or more now)
    2. the 2nd thing as it that Our media wether the paper or the electronic one has evolved and is being more transparent with this kinda of news because they’re becoming like their counterparts in the west driven by news that sell, a clear example of that was the pharmacist incident in Al Rabieh which was reported on the cover page in Alghad news paper and was considered to be an incident, Even coloumn writer Yasser Abu hlalah critisized the Paper for doing that because acccording to his opinion we don’t that kinda of news for the people to hear and see on cover pages.

    So Chill and relax and watch Amman transform into a Major Urban Capital and i think this is only the beginning…

  • Nas, the issue (as far as I see it) is to allow a correction to happen in the economy that is long overdue. Even if this law wasn’t put in place, there IS still a current rate for renting property in Jordan that is significantly higher than what one might have gotten a decade or two ago. The concern then doesn’t become whether landlords will suddenly start charging unreasonable rates, but whether tenants who occupied properties for the past two decades will be able to afford the value that the market places on their properties.

    Now, while I agree some will have problems affording their current rented properties, I don’t think the problem will happen on such a large scale, because if you were able to rent in an area 20 years ago and your financial situation at least followed the country’s economy situation in the past 2 decades, then you’ll probably still afford that area today, and given that you’ve been pocketing some extra cash by not having to pay market price for your property for say the last 5-10 years (when prices significantly rose), then you should be ok with the transition.

    On the other hand, if things did not go very well for you during this long period of time, then chances are you wouldn’t have been able to continue to rent the property if for example the rent rate was renewable every year to reflect changes in the market. In that case, you would have to relocate to a place that is more affordable, and there will always be such place because whenever there is unmet demand, some suppliers will step in to fulfill it.

  • @hamzen @Nas,
    Much of the suffering and pain will occur during the time in which the situation will adjust to reach the new equilibrium, how long will that be is an empirical question?But my guess is that it won’t be in months which is more than enough to cause social unrest.

    The “decent” housing initiative was supposed to help reduce the impacts of the new law, but we all know how that ended up..

    On a side note, I do agree with the second part of deena’s comment.

  • A foreign friend and I were talking how many landlords have “UN” income-level stars in their eyes, asking 25,000JD for an annual rent contract for a place going for 7K two years ago . How normal people on local wage afford rent is beyond me.

  • Deena, you’re saying that the cost of owning a place is much higher than the cost of renting a place, and that is true in Jordan. For example, the ratio between a mortgage payment on an apartment and the rent payment on it is something like 2:1 or greater even.

    We can’t dismiss the unfairness-to-landlords aspect simply because we consider them to be lucky to own a place. That’s like me telling you that I’m gonna steal some of your money and that you should feel lucky that I will leave you with enough money to live happily ever after with. We should not hold people’s wealth against them, unless they did something illegal to get that wealth.

    The way I see it is that there is a correction that has to happen in Jordan such that the cost of ownership becomes smaller while the cost of renting (on average) becomes higher. And that happens in two ways:

    1- Passing this law which allows the rent correction to take place, and
    2- The interest rates that banks in Jordan charge for mortgages are extremely high (8-10%), and this was true even during the housing bubble. Banks rely on these rates to achieve their target revenues and profits while not giving out as much credit as they really need to. In other words, they squeeze too much profit out of too few loans instead of trying to balance the two. This also needs to be corrected.

  • @Kinzi,
    My guess is that the “normal” people won’t be “eying” a 25k, a 7k, or even a 5k place to rent..But If your income is at “UN” levels then you shouldn’t complain and maybe you should buy your own place..

    Again, the system will be shocked. To reach a new equilibrium the system will need more than “months”, thus the implications of such new law shouldn’t be dismissed based on theortical and economic ideologies. On the other hand I agree with your take on the fairness issue, and I think that the responsibility falls on the shoulders to the govt to absorb the shock as much as possible.Sadly their record in managing crises is not impressive.

  • Mohannad, I think it goes without saying that such a correction will take time, and the government here is giving people a whole decade to sort their individual cases out. I honestly don’t know everything about this law and therefore can’t even claim to understand all its potential implications. My points was just regarding the resetting of the old contracts. It is necessary.

  • Landlords knowingly entered into legal agreements with tenants which created and allowed for these interminable contractual periods. The bottom line is that the rights of tenants have been abrogated.

    And this change in the law extends beyond housing, the implementation of this law on commercial property will mean that small businesses will be further squeezed and economic activity further concentrated in malls and dominated by regional corporations and local titans. The beleaguered middle class will have to fight for survival, literally, and this time the homeless will not be a handful of bizarre men wrapped in colorful urban myths and featured in asinine magazine articles pandering to the very petty bourgeoisie. This time we will have families pitching tents. I just hope they choose to pitch their tents near the homes of the developers and landlords and the cheering squad behind this most misguided of changes to the law.

  • My mother rents a modest house for 225 JDs a month. The house used to belong a an older single man who wanted to keep the rent this way intentionally to lock the type of tenants he is comfortable with. He used the fixed, lower (and less beneficial)rent amount for over 10 years and refused to adjust to inflation and pricing schemes.

    Is it not fair that my mother is paying this little for a house in the metro area of Amman? No. Does it seem like it? Probably.

    If a governing body would like to pump liquid money (key word liquid) into the landlord business, they ought to consider the level of liquid money being given to those paying those amounts.

    As a master’s degree holder and mother of 3 children, 2 in college, my mother works hard as a teacher and private tutor. She gets an embarrasing 300 JDs or so for a salary and supports my 2 sisters while I barely support my own self and help a little to ease the pressure.

    I’m all for stimulating property ownership. But do it right. If you want to help landlords without helping tenants, you’re draining liquid assets until tenants are evicted – no one’s happy in the long term.


    Jee, what a concept. Monthly installments with or without interest where the balance owes can varya ccording to terms of the contract or rising prices in the market. Tenants do not feel the immediate variance because any increase would be added to a bigger sum and be either split over the life of the loan OR deferred to the end of the loan as extra payments.

    An increase in pricing would mean an extra couple of months of payments – not an immediate kick to your budget.

    The end result is OWNING THE PROPERTY – also a concept largely absent for the average honest worker in Amman, like my mother, who is educated enough to deserve to own property but cannot possibly catch up with expenses to be able to save the darn 10000 JDs for a down payment on one!

    Editing a system a thousand times means it’s broken.
    START – OVER .

  • Amer, you mentioned something that I swear I had written in one of my comments above but scratched because my comment got too long, and that is the problem of unfair compensation in Jordan, and I was gonna use the exact example you gave about a female teacher in a Jordanian upscale private high school. The person I have in mind as an example also makes something like JD 300, which is less than 10% (if not 5%) of the tuition that a student she teaches pays the school. Very unfair! Also consider the wide gap between the salary of an executive at any institution in Jordan and a mid-level manager (not even a junior employee). The ratio is almost always greater than 10:1.

    I was gonna mention this in reply to the comment about people going broke. With the type of compensation people get from employers in Jordan, how can they not go broke?

  • @Ammar: thanks for the (very long) comment! first, i want to reiterate that, once again, i am not saying that all crimes are due to the financial crisis of the past year or the financial instabilities of the past 8 years or so. i am saying that the overall economic situation, manifested as a growing financial deprivation for most jordanian citizens, has become a major contributing factor to the crime rate. second, while i agree with you that amman is a growing and increasingly urbanized city, and that crime is practically a natural centerpiece of such a shift, i am not saying Amman is hosting all these crimes. In fact, i did not even mention the capital. these crimes are widespread, and indeed the capital probably takes home the bulk of them given its relative population size, but, in essence, the rising wave of crime is generally widespread.

    @Mohanned: I’m sure these guys will sort out that whole mess.

    @tenant: amen.

    @ Hamzeh:

    The concern then doesn’t become whether landlords will suddenly start charging unreasonable rates, but whether tenants who occupied properties for the past two decades will be able to afford the value that the market places on their properties

    I would argue that both go hand in hand. Moreover, while i agree with you that fairness in the system is necessary, I also agree with mohanned in the sense that the shock to the system – the search for the new equilibrium will take a fair amount of time. what concerns me is that the law has placed no proper protectionist mechanisms to help alleviate the blow to tenants – who are the majority of this country’s population – besides the timeframe. the problem is that this is a shock that is likely to have an immediate impact that i see unfolding within months rather than 10 years. moreover, the external system does not help. mortgage systems are virgin territory, and credit has been stalled due to the financial crisis – and both systems are not effective social safety nets for the majority of jordanians who either cannot access them or cannot afford to access them.

    also, the assumption that standards of living will increase alongside jordan’s economic development in the span of ten years is a bit folly in my opinion. compare wages today to those of ten years ago and you’ll see an increase but it is a) out-matched by the rise in prices and b) hardly enough to cover rent increases. unless prices stay the same and wages for everyone in jordan double in the next two years, i hardly doubt the situation will be any different once this law goes in to effect and people are asked to vacate their homes.

    lastly, this law is representative of what i hate about most economically-driven laws in jordan: they refuse to take in to account the average jordanian. in most cases they absolutely ignore their presence. any law that can be categorized as being part of the economic reform process of this kingdom has lead to more and more marginalization of the people. they are left to pick themselves up from their bootstraps which is easier said than done in a country like jordan. social development should go hand in hand with economic development; one cannot leave economics alone to drive social change under the expectation that everything will just “sort itself out”. the real world doesn’t seem to work that way. even the most meager of market corrections can have a massive impact on a developing country like jordan where the majority of the population are barely getting by – to say nothing of the constant market shocks that have been bestowed on the average jordanian over the past 8 years or so.

  • Please @tenant @deena @ammar and @ Nas i have an honest question to you that doesn’t make sense in my head. If you say that 70% of Jordanians are tenants (not sure where that came from and i don’t really buy it but oh well), why does all you suggestions mention that the problem is that those people won’t be able to BUY a house after they move out of their current homes ?
    See here is the thing that i can’t comprehend either, how does someone who rents a house for 225 expects to go on living in a metro area of amman in a big large apartment ? Where does this sense of entitlement come for you people to claim its your right to live in a large apartment or house and pay next to nothing for rent.
    Personally i’m all for social development but from my perspective the tenants are either the greedy kind, the ones that have a huge issue of self entitlement, or those who just stupidly brushed off the law in 2000 and i have no sympathy to any of those …
    They could have
    a) renegotiated with the landlord
    b)moved to a cheaper area or moved out of amman (such a taboo in our country that they need to be forced to do it)
    c) complain about it !
    they choose C

  • @bambam:

    how does someone who rents a house for 225 expects to go on living in a metro area of amman in a big large apartment ? Where does this sense of entitlement come for you people to claim its your right to live in a large apartment or house and pay next to nothing for rent.

    um, the metro area of amman? big large apartments?

    it feels like your describing people in “west” amman.

    the people who are going to be most affected by this are not subject to this geographical area, and thus tend to not live in “large apartments or houses”.

    that’s who i am talking about.

    as for 70%, that number is often quoted in the industry. like deena, i too do not know how accurate it is, but based on experience, it is safe to say the majority of people are tenants.

  • @ Mohanned, we should have bought ten years ago when many foreigners were, and now have homes worth double and more what they paid. It seemed a risky venture then, those that took the risk are reaping the benefits.

    No, we are certainly not at UN levels, and are not ‘eyeing’ even 5KJD flats, just trying to help other ex-pats find workable housing under the fallacy of suspected UN wage-levels (and still wondering how Jordanians manage).

  • Apologies for the length.

    The issue is not what is the exact number of tenants vs. landlords. This is a silly point to nit-pick. The vast majority of people rent their homes; the same is true when it comes to commercial and office space. This is common sense. An estimate by Al Ahd Party’s Secretary General Khaldoun Nasser puts the numbers of leases that will be affected at 1.5 million to 2 million, no idea where that figure comes from, but it’s out there.

    Further, were the numbers serving of the law they would have been published because every single commercial lease is registered and certified in the municipalities, it is a prerequisite to the licensing of commercial, industrial, and office space. And whilst housing leases are not required to be registered, other than for foreign residents as far as I know, most landlords actually register their leases at the courts. And if this information cannot be gleaned from the (optional?) registration of residential contracts, it is still available at the Department of Lands and Survey and the Tax Department both of which levy taxes on owned and rented property. I’m assuming that when this law was drafted this data was analysed! The bureaucracy is sitting on this information, and believe me if the information vindicated this law then it would have been shouted from the rooftops long ago.

    His Majesty King Abdullah recognised and warned against the inherent problems of this law when in his Speech from the Throne at the opening of the 15th Parliament he instructed the “legislative and executive authorities to start a positive dialogue on the Landlords and Tenants Law to come up with practical solutions that take into consideration the realisation of social security, justice and the interests of all, whether they are landlords or tenants.”

    This was His Majesty’s mandate to the branches of government and the government failed to fulfill it. Of the elements that were mentioned only the interests of landlords have been addressed. A grace period is not by any stretch of the imagination a solution. The list of shortcomings is endless:

    -Lack of arbitration mechanisms
    -Lack of a regulatory mechanism
    -Lack of discriminatory policies which differentiate between low/high income areas, low/high population density, low/high economic generation areas, allowances for the elderly and retired, civic institutions, etc.
    -Viable and accessible housing alternatives
    -Access to credit for the average Jordanian who is self employed or does not work for a ‘recognised’ company and does not own land or is waiting to inherit his or her parents’ wealth.

    Bambam (and the other ostriches on the bourgeois bandwagon), the fact of the matter is that no rational, impartial and objective analysis of this law can conclude anything but that it is at best ill-timed and at worst an act of economic adventurism which borders on the criminal.

    The National Center for Human Rights:
    This amendment warns of a wide-ranging national crisis between landlords and tenants by the end of 2010, the deadline after which any lease concluded before 31 August 2000 would become null and void, unless a new contract was reached between the landlord and the tenant.

    The International Labour Organisation:
    Landlord/Tenant Law (2000) promises to bring about a ballooning of rents under formerly
    protected contracts. While that inflation will affect all renters relying on the frozen rents
    under old contracts, it is expected to affect wage earners disproportionately.

    The latest amendments to the law simply compartmentalised the problem into different time slots so that the judicial system would not be completely overwhelmed by litigious landlords, yes it also included a cynical nod to social responsibility in the form of a three year extension to the grace period. The whole matter smacks of amateurism informed by an ‘enact now, worry later’ attitude. And this attitude is mind boggling considering how our economy is hostage to regional events and politics, and the amount of foreign aid we can depend on in any given year which means as we are buffeted by these forces we, average Jordanians, are as able as a gnat is to plan ourr futures.

    And whilst lawyers and property owners salivate at their upcoming windfalls, the vast majority of the population has lost their fig leaf of economic security; a roof over their heads protected by the law.

    As for the corrective forces that this law will unleash on the real estate sector, well this process which will be governed by supply and demand, deals with a commodity with a protracted sales cycle (particularly on commercial property) I am no economist, but I would expect that for an equilibrium point to be identified and fair market values recognised it will take no less than 2 or 3 years of upheaval in the market.

    And I cannot stress enough that this law will traumatise small and medium sized businesses in a way that little of our turbulent economic history is comparable. We are literally looking at the shuttering of thousands of businesses. Thousands of livelihoods will be lost, innumerable small business owners will join the ranks of the unemployed, and by small business owners this class extends beyond the hobbyist business men and women, this concerns our version of mom-and-pop businesses, the ‘baqalat’ and ‘dakakeen’ that litter our cities and that are already being driven out of business by shopping centers and malls. The vast majority of businesses fall under this category (see new regulations at Chambers of Commerce regulating Chamber elections and how only a fraction of registered companies are eligible to vote – eligibility based on registered capital – and this will help you gauge how many small business are in operation.)

    To the contrary of the purported advantage of this law as a stimulus for investment in the real-estate sector (never mind the global collapse of this industry) this law will act as retardant to homegrown investment, the investment of the average citizen in her own country.

    Weather outlook for 2013: catastrophic.

  • hmm now that i have been called a boojie by an anonymous tenant…..
    You know what you sound like ? the dozens of over fed tenants that are happy that they own a home they rent for dimes on the dollar and the proof is that in longest comment on BI history you failed to mention one solution short of “leave things as they are”
    Personally I relish the shock that will happen due to that law and i’m hardly ignorant about it …. you say you want to maintain the status quo and that law, whether intentionally or just by happenstance, will single-handely reshape jordanian cities and society and allow the nation to establish some sort of identity besides that of amman. It will also sprout a new landscape for a civil society that is currently complacent and arid.
    While I do agree with you that they need to better regulate the law (zoning, and rent and inflation capping) and provide some arbitration mechanism that would be more stream lined but the spirit of the law which is breaking the self renewing, nonadjustable non-contracts to match those which have been created since 2000.
    The irony is that no one is complaining about the contracts or the mechanism its self that regulates the markets since 2000, that would have been valid but their arguments simply boil down to “we are happy paying the low price and “owning” your property, and you can go and Eff yourself”.

    As for the large apartments, Yes i wasn’t talking about west amman those are uselessly large. I was talking about the 170 and 150 square meter apartments that have 3 bedrooms in it in east amman. Honestly once a city turns urban the living space gets smaller inversely proportional to its population density. We want a big apartment for cheap and we want it for 1978’s price forever and we don’t want to concede any of it be reasonable! the cherry on top is calling others boojie ostriches just to add the arabic ad hominem flavour to the argument.
    Either way regardless of any arguments the law will pass through eventually or something that will say “those non-contracts are null”

  • Come to think of it Bambam, perhaps I was mistaken, your argument is very persuasive. Your vision of the future in which identity and gardens of civil society bloom is really inspiring. I completely understand what you mean, and in recognition of your superior reasoning, your very relevant points, your coherent delivery and your brilliantly articulated argument I switch sides. I, also, now relish the aftermath of this law coming into force, shopkeepers and families be damned.

    But first, and for the last time, I’ll go and overeat and laugh at my many landlords that I’m paying cents on the dollar.

  • Well said bambam, fully agree.
    150 sq.m with 3 bedrooms, is that considered small in Jordan? bloody hell, try going to Eastern European block counties, and have a look at 4 bedrooms at 70 sq.m, then tell me what’s small.
    In any case, many(not all) of the Jo tenants are greedy indeed, they do not seem to put themselves in the other man’s shoes, if they would have had a flat and were renting for pennies, i wonder how would they feel? shoot the bastard probably.

  • My friends and I addressed this the other night, and I think that such coverage is in spite of a hike in crime in Jordan, not because of it. I think that we simply have more media outlets (daily, weekly and monthly prints, Ammon News, Amman News, Donia News, Arab News, etc.), that seem to have a knack for delivering news with a sensationalist zinger. Al Ghad ushered in this style of reporting and broke the old repertoire of news from the Royal Family, but really, on the long-run, I feel it’s done more harm than good. Take a look at how many people comment on news about crime, honor killings and gays; it’s enough to keep the advertisers coming!

    This is not to say that there isn’t a rise in crime, but I really think it’s natural. Jordan has become more urbanized, more socially open, less familial and of course, economic hardship contributes to this, but I don’t think it’s the sole reason.

  • SO many smart people, so many ideas – SOLUTIONS.

    Who’s making the laws then? Are people who rant and complain and propose 100’s of solutions NOT the pool of people who live in the same country and the same pool of people from which the smartest are elected?

Your Two Piasters: