Culture · Jordan

The emerging culture of Amman

img_20170129_210509_processedToday, I went to the food court in the mall near my work. It is only couple of minutes away. While I was having my lunch at MacDonald’s I noticed two different tables. On both the tables there were a father and his son having lunch. If you are not from the Middle East, you may not find anything abnormal in this observation. In Jordan, this is something new to the culture.

I want to mention that schools are on holiday these days. Therefore, it is normal that the kids are out of school at noon.

Because I got used to eating out alone I engage myself trying to figure out other people’s lives, sometimes.

I don’t know what the fathers situation here, but it was something that I took notice of.

Jordan used to be husband at work and wife at home. It is no longer the situation now. Although, both parents work img_20170129_210557_processedit is still the responsibility of the wife to take care of the children. Basically, doing everything a stay-at-home mom does because not many Jordanian men like to do any house chores.

Another thing that is new to the culture is the increasing number of divorce cases.

These men could be divorced and today is their day with the child.

Or the Jordanian father is now sharing the responsibilities of raising children since he is now no longer the only one putting food on the table.

Or maybe with the rising unemployment rate, these two men could be having some quality time with their kid while waiting their next opportunity.

In a working day, it is unusual to see a man with his son having lunch at noon in a mall. This is of course very normal in other big cities but not here in Amman. This just shows how the demographic and the culture of Jordan is changing.

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7 thoughts on “The emerging culture of Amman

  1. I read this again. Why do you think the culture is changing so much? Why is divorce more common? Why are more women working outside the home? Do you think some men are stay-at-home dads while they wives work? Maybe more men are doing chores around the house and that aspect of the culture is changing as well.

    🙂

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    1. Do you think some men are stay-at-home dads while they wives work?
      No. We still not there yet 🙂

      Maybe more men are doing chores around the house and that aspect of the culture is changing as well.
      Yes, definitely.

      Why do you think the culture is changing so much?
      Because of everything that is happening in the Middle East and North Africa, Jordan became hub for:
      1. Syrian refugees
      2. Wealthy Iraqis investors and middle class Iraqis who want to settle in a safe place temporary or while their immigration papers to Europe are complete.
      3. Malaysian students who used to study Arabic and Islamic Studies in Egypt and Syria.
      4. Students from Arabic Gulf countries who also used to study in Egypt
      5. Middle class Yemenis fleeing war in their country
      6. Patients from Yemen, Libya and Sudan
      7. Europeans working in non-profit organizations (too many to count) to help Syrian refugees.
      8. News reporters and news media from all over the world have offices in Amman.

      Within less than a decade, Jordan population tripled. Jordan known for its lack of natural resources and water resources and now it has to share the little it has with more people. Within five years, the expenses of families’ skyrocketed. The Jordanian government keeps increasing taxes and what not, to be able to provide for everybody in the country.

      Why are more women working outside the home?
      1. Almost every girl go to university now after high school.
      2. Women want to be independent
      3. Finally and the most important, one salary in the family is no longer enough.

      Why is divorce more common?
      1. Divorce in Islam is not forbidden
      2. The burden of the new life
      3. Because women are independent, they can support themselves after divorce. Before this was almost impossible.
      4. Educated women know their rights and know they should not stay in an unhealthy relationship.

      Thanks for keep asking questions it helps me write and engage me in trying to find answers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These were super-interesting if not totally surprising answers. I really appreciate the thorough reply! I’m curious what you think of all the changes in Jordan. Which do you like? Which do you not like? Which has caused you concern? Which are you thinking “it’s about time!” about?

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    1. Which do you like?
      I like that Jordan became more diverse and that other nationalities find sanctuary here.

      Which do you not like?
      With bigger cities come more crimes.

      Which has caused you concern?
      Of course, my concern and everyone in Jordan is the fear of what is happening in Syria reaches Jordan.
      Another is one I didn’t think of until I read it in NYT or Washington Post. It was about how Jordan will face an economic crisis once the international organizations run out of money and stop funding Jordan.

      Which are you thinking “it’s about time!” about?
      I like that more Jordanian women are working now. I even noticed something strange. The number of female entrepreneurs is increasing rapidly. Housewives are trying to find a way to earn more money by selling homemade food or try their luck in buying selling stuff via Facebook.

      Now, I have to ask you what answer, from my previous comment, you found “totally surprising?” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh! We were out of town last week, and I forgot to come back and reply to your question! I love that you had one for me! 😀

    “Now, I have to ask you what answer, from my previous comment, you found “totally surprising?””

    I did not consider all the Muslim students who previously went to Egypt to study going to Jordan now. Egypt has mostly had dictator-rule over the last decades so I didn’t realize THAT much had changed now.

    Also, I didn’t realize your gov’t had increased taxes so much on Jordanians to provide for everyone else!

    I enjoyed this post and comments! 🙂

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    1. Thanks for replying. I think what many of us don’t realize about dictatorship is that it provides safety and stability. Romania was an Arab tourist destination during Nicolae Ceausescu rule and Syria was number one destination for Jordanians before the war.
      Dictatorship is bad for the citizens but not for the tourists.
      Muslim Students come to Jordan now because Egypt is not as safe as it used to be.

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