From Jordan To Israel: Praying For Rain Across The Banks

These images struck me today:

Reuters: Muslims pray for rain in drought-hit Jordan during a mass in Amman December 2, 2010.

Demotix: Hundreds gathered yesterday afternoon at the Wailing Wall for a mass prayer for rain, following a day of fast called upon by Chief Rabbis of Israel.

and finally…

Getty Images: Jews (R) and Muslims (L) join a prayer calling for rain on November 11, 2010 in the West Bank village of Walajeh near Bethlehem.

It’s interesting that in a conflict where people are divided over land, it is water that has the ultimate power to unite or otherwise. As for Jordan, it’s hard to not notice the extent to which the lack of rain has become a topical issue for most Jordanians. It seems everywhere you go, people seem to be talking about it. Thousands of people showed up at the Amman International Stadium on Friday to pray for rain, as did many others all across the country. It is officially the driest year on record since 1992. The forecast these days doesn’t look to good either.

To make matters worse, 2010 was a pretty bad year for agriculture in Jordan and with the lack of rainwater these days, 2011 will probably do much worse, translating in to disastrous results for the sector of which many low-income Jordanians depend on – to say nothing of the consumers who are struggling to endure high prices of staple goods.

It is easy for some to brush aside the lack of rain water as just another ordinary occurrence, but in a country like Jordan, where every drop matters, the situation these days will have serious ramifications across the board. It is likely one of the few things that has the power to ripple through the entire country for the rest of the year, hitting agriculture, farmers, consumers, exports, subsidies, taxes, water availability, etc. It is something that many in Amman take for granted, until we are faced with a repeat of the summer of 1998, where for weeks, even the richest of Jordanians had trouble getting their hands on the most precious resource in the Middle East.

It’s in times like these that prayer doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.


  • [….] ,rabbit breeding is the main problem, jordan must embrace one-child policy now.

    (edited by blog administrator)

  • Whether we got this “rabbit breeding” issue sorted out or not, the land and vegetables still need the same amount of water! But I fully agree with you on the need to cut down on the fertility/birth rate a bit to accommodate our very limited resources.

    Naseem, thank you! It feels quite good to get in touch with one`s religious side once in a while.

  • @mhmd: you’re free to express your opinion, but please avoid insulting the beliefs of others in the process.

    @yanal: glad i could help i guess!

  • Not even one word from nas about the whole sale theft of the Jordan river water by the Zionist racist entity
    أنا أقول أرجعوا مياة نهر الأردن المسلوبه من أكثر خمسون عاما من الكيان الغاصب ولكل حادثه حديث

  • Isn’t it early to make all of this fuzz about the lack of rain? It has been like this in the past few years, it doesn’t rains once or twice in sept/oct, it doesnt rain in november till mid december, it rains a lot at the end of december, stops in january, and then starts back in february and rains heaving in march and april.

    What else can we do beside praying?

  • @TheFreeJordanian: can you please spare me your lacking subtlety. if you want to accuse me of something, then go right out and do it. i’m a blogger who is simply a human being with an opinion, i’m not a news agency that must cover every single little event that happens. as for the jordan river, i wrote about the very issue you are referring to in Jordan Business magazine. get your facts right before patronizing me.

    @ArabObserver: I think the “fuss” has more to do with meteorological evidence than with perceptions. Rainfall this year is way below average. and it should also be noted that 2010 in general has been a dry year, so for the 2010/2011 rain season to also be dry is not a good sign. perceptions wise, it usually rains 2 days in september, october and november before entering the rain season. this year it hasn’t rained yet if I remember correctly. and we should also remember that while for many of us this is not a big deal worth making a fuss about, for others, rain determines livelihood.

    @maha: whatever works for ya!

    @Fred: thanks for reading

  • Nas, it did rain earlier this year in september. I didn’t say that rain is not a big deal, I am sure it is and not only for few people but for everybody. What I am saying that rain has been usually coming later in spring in the past few years and it has always been the same story every year. Give me a year in the past decade where we didn’t pray for the rain to come?

  • Not to undermine the seriousness of a water crisis but …
    Nas I guess you should blame early onset Alzheimer or actually taking the jordan times as a source.
    Measuring a rain season that has been starting after mid-December for the past decade by comparing rainfall that occurred over the entire year only tells about how bad last season was.
    this year we already had more rainfall in September than the past 5 year. I’ve tried to look for the actually data but there is no clear archive for it anywhere.

  • First of all , I never read your report about water in the Business magazine, i don’t read everything you write , i only read what you post on your blog, and in you latest post you didn’t mention the most obvious and the most important factor that contribute to the shortage of water in Jordan, so pleas don’t take personally ..

  • @The Free Jordanian

    He doesn’t need to mention Israel at every post, this post was about rain and how silly people with faiths that condemn the other to torment and hell “unite” in wasting time praying rather than actually doing something useful for a change.

  • Christians too prayed last Sunday,and then it rained the next day on Monday

    Lets start a competition,Christians brought the rain, now Muslims turn to bring snow
    the Jews can’t pray for oil,yes we want oil in these poor countries

    If muslims,Jews prayers fails,Christians can pray again,maybe they got connections or something

  • @SAN

    Actually it is called Israel, part of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon were called Palestine once upon a time but I don’t see you complaining.

Your Two Piasters: