My first demonstration and tear bombs!

A couple of years ago, while the Israeli forces where surrounding the Palestinian President – Yasser Arafat at that time – and all the other Palesitnian officials in their offices in Ramallah, the Arabic media were all at rage for what they percieved as another Israeli violation for the Palestinian authority and people.

Here in Jordan, where people are the most closer to what were happening in Palestine, most of us were so angry and needed to do something just to let our anger out.

Me and my best friend alone with his brother-in-law and his friends decided to go out in the demonstration which aimed at marching towards the Israeli embassy in Amman and asking its embassador to leave the country. In other words, we wanted to kick him out!

The demonstration meant to happen on Friday after the prayers. My friends, who were all Muslims, wanted to do their prayers. Me, not wanting to stay out alone, or fearing to loose them in the crowd after the prayers, didn’t know what to do. My friend suggested to join them in the prayers. I accepted.

I had no idea what to do, so I tried to look around me and mock the other men. I had ofcourse to remove the cross I was wearing around my neck so that it won’t pump out whenever I kneel which would be a bit of disrespect to the people I am praying with and their holy place.

It was a wonderful experience where I felt somekind of a patriotic union between me and my fellow Muslim Jordaians. I felt a sense of belonging and somekind of a mutual love for those people who share with me the same desire of helping in this cause.

After the prayers, a lot of people gathered in the street of the Kalooti Mosk in Al Rabieh. There was a lot of women and young children. The Jordanian Army was there as well for security reasons. They stood among us, and actually some of them were cheering us by saying “Allah ye 7ayye aselkom”. It made us feel somekind of safety for their approval of what we are doing, and so we continued our chouting and patriotic chanting for Paletine “Bel roo7 bel dam, nafdeek ya falestine” (We are ready to give our souls and blood for you Palestine) – Actually some of the chantings where “Nafdeeka ya Abo Ammar” (will give ourselves for Yasser Arafat) which I remained silent about it as I would have never done that!

We were in the middle of the crowd, and so we didn’t know what were happening up at the front where people tried to move on with their way towards the Israeli Embassy. I guess the Army tried to hold them, then suddenly, the Army forces between us withraw to the sides of the streets. And suddenly people started running. I didn’t realize why, but I have noticed the Army throwing some tear bombs between us.

I have heard about those tear bombs, but never experienced it. Instead of running with the people, I stupidly thought that there no need to rush, I was looking at those bombs 10 feet away of me and laughing that they are harmless! Till I suddenly realized what they can do when my eyes and nose started swelling! Unfortunatly it was too late for me to run! I had no idea what and so I find myself barging into the nearest place where I hoped I can hide in one of the house around the street. Thank God the people of the house were good ones, and allowed us to enter.

I noticed that it was not only me who barged into there house. There were some other men as well. We were all in tears and finding some difficulties in breathing because of those stupid bombs. The people of the house gave us some onions to smell in order to save us from the effect of those tear bombs.

Some people were beaten up that day, some got to the hospital for loosing their conscious because of the tear bombs, some got all wet from the colored water they shoot on us, others were taken to jail. Fortunatly I was able to go back home. Disappointed first for not achieving our goal, and secondly for realizing the amount of freedom we have in this country and how we can easily get our rights of demonstrating violated.


  1. kbeer ya Fadi 🙂About the demonstration, let’s thank God that nobody was imprisoned. Yes it’s sad, but we’re in the third world, let’s not forget about it.


  2. Wow, I will never forget that day. Can I offer a view from the side?I was on the other side of that demonstration, pretty scary. I make it a point never to drive by that mosque on Fridays again (although I heard most of the demonstrators came from neighboring areas).An American friend of mine who lived on that street was having a lunch with a group of tourists (you know, showing them what a friendly place Jordan is). They were trapped in their building by hundreds of people, tear gas cannisters went off on their balcony, demonstrators sought refuge in their hallway (maybe some of the ones your friends were helped by). Not your typical trip to Petra.The guests were terrified, and left with an image that Arabs are uncontrollable. I myself wondered if that was then end of our time in Jordan. If it had been a regularly practiced manner of protest, we’d be gone, and probably have the same image. Thankfully, as you said, no one was killed and it was just a venting of anger. But it sure scared the you know-what-out of me.


  3. Abed Hamdan, Thanks man, well they made sure to make it memoriable for me! lolKinzi, OMG, you were there as well?!! It was pretty scary. I am sorry to hear about your friend and the image the tourist group took about Jordan!


  4. Wallahe on this one I had an experience, I lived in rabeya and our cars were broken by the “freedom fighters” who wants liberate palastine by attacking anything on their way, I saw everything and I say that the right to demonstrate is for civilized people not for glass breakers that throw stones on anything that moves..And I think if they left the chnating about palastime nothing would happened, agree?


  5. I remember that day mate. I was there. I was among those screaming “Bel roo7 bel dam, nafdeek ya falestine”, but I didn’t stay long enough. We were invited for lunch that day and had to hurry to make it on time. 😛


  6. Mohannad, I am sorry to hear about your cars. I remember the demonstration was peaceful at first, but suddenly the Army interfered, maybe some people tried to make a cauious or something like braking cars as you state. Stupid ones, who ruin everything!Marie, thank God for that 😛Hamza, you are a lucky man for leaving early! That was a smart choice! 🙂


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