Saturday, January 12, 2008

An illigitimate issue

In the last couple of months, the media has been interested in various cases of abandoned infants, who mostly were born out of wedlock. Being the type of conservative society it is in Jordan, the mothers of these children face dire consequences. The babies are placed in garbage bins or left at doors of mosques.

According to a report in Al Ghad, 36 such children were dealt with through the ministry of social development last year, as opposed to 28 from the year before. In a country where there is a child born every three minutes, the birth of 0.02% of children under these conditions is hardly remarkable, and would hardly warrant mention were it not for the salacious interest in premarital sex.

The government, interested in diverting attention from more substantial problems (like feeding and educating the other 99.98% of children born in the country) has created a committee to study the “phenomenon” of children of “unknown lineage”. The committee includes representatives of the ministries of social development, health, justice, Islamic affairs, and interior, as well the family protection establishment. According to the undersecretary of the ministry of social development, the committee will study the “issue”, and recommend legislative changes “commiserate with the size of the problem and efforts to control it”.

It gets better.

The same Al Ghad report cites unidentified “experts” who blame the “phenomenon” on the lack of deterrent legislation against premarital sex, rising prices, poverty, unemployment, globalization, technological advancement, population growth and integration of heterogeneous groups into society.

The implication is that there were never horny young people in Jordan until sex was thrust upon us by the internet, satellite TV and nasty outsiders with no morals. I must assure everybody that Jordanians always loved SEX. They like to talk about SEX. They like to joke about SEX. They like to fantasize about sex, and yes, they like to practice sex. They always have and they always will, and no amount of preaching will ever change that.

Of course, in the old days, the horny adolescents were married off when they were in their teens (not to suggest that there was no premarital sex even then). Modern social and economic constraints now prevent early marriages.

This is not to say that getting sex nowadays is not easier than before (apparently it is). But this not a reflection of increased desire, but of reduced repression. Repression has its own downsides, like pedophilia, sexual harassment, incest, rape and a dangerous pursuit of heavenly virgins . Not to mention blindness and hairy palms.

Of course, many commentators are shedding tears over degrading morals and lost innocence. Give me a break.

Anyway, the whole “issue” is that of illegitimate children. Will our august committee come up with practical advice, like sexual education or protection and support of the mothers, or will its report be another sermon? Whatever they do, the government now has a social issue on which there are no concrete answers. We will be able to chew on this for years to come, as standards of living decline, and education and health services deteriorate.

But why should we worry about those issues? People are having SEX!


At 6:45 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

It's those digital kids who brought this wrath upon us! During my last visit in amman I had a discussion with some relative who bought the same propaganda crap...I just reminded them of the Jawari stories along with the famous poem about the nipples.

Waiting for you to write about this new digital kids wave:)

P.S:We9el el 3'arath?

At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to be laughing so hard, Khalaf, I know it is a serious topic. But you have presented it, yani, rare shickle funny.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Mohanned: We9el el 3'arath. Shukran. I might take you advice on the digital kids.

Kinzi: I am glad you enjoyed it. Cheers!

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Abu Daoud said...

Ok, so what's wrong with Al Ghad? They forgot to blame the Zionists!?!?

But seriously, great post and shukran kthiir for this. Have posted it with links and all over at my blog

At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only this post could be translated into Arabic and published in a daily newspaper. At least someone in the country has managed to discuss this issue without completely losing their heads.

My first suggestion to 'solve' this would be for the media to stop calling these babies 'luqata2' and find a more neutral term, something like 'matrookeen'.

At 3:39 AM, Blogger Mohanned said...


عادت رئيسة هيئة تنظيم قطاع الاتصالات م. منى نجم الى عمان مؤخرا لمباشرة عملها الجديد في قطاع الاتصالات واستكمالا لمشروعها الاستثماري في الولايات المتحدة . م.نجم وبمشاركة نخبة من رجال الاعمال والسياسة وعلى راسهم رئيس الوزراء الاسبق النائب عبدالرؤوف الروابدة سيشهرون قريبا شركتهم " المبدأ للاتصالات" برأسمال مليون دينار - ستكون مختصة بكل ما هو جديد في عالم الاتصالات والتنظيم.

The one who came up with the digital kids is going digital!

At 11:43 AM, Blogger The Observer said...

what is the chance to have the members of that committe to be a well educated humane open minded people?

It actually scares me what might be the outcome of such committe!

kinzi, we need your prayers! :)

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Tallouza said...

I don't know why, but your blog made me think of how easy our customs are violated by inconsiderate visitors who probably think they are doing us a favor in visiting us and in offending us by not respecting what is considered as inappropriate. Would Sarkozy be so defiant in tagging his girlfriend along had he been visiting the Vatican? This is at a time when we welcome Sarkozy and his girlfriend Carla in Jordan...and while we know that they are having premarital sex or what is known as "khilweh ghair shar3iyyeh" and while we have this "khilweh" guarded at the expense of our tax money. The irony is that the newspapers romanticize about the visit of Sarkozy, his girlfriend and her illegitimate child to Petra with crowds following them looking like they are about to kiss their ass. Another example is Condolezza Rice or "ummona alhgoula" as described by Hamdi Qandeel. She flaunts her hair and "beautiful sexy legs" (as described by Sharon) in Saudi Arabia while she wears the veil at the Vatican. There is something wrong in all of this... It makes me sick...I just can't put my finger on it.

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Condy will beg you to put your finger on it!!!!


At 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I think that we should worry about this issue because it's a sign that some thing is wrong with our society. It's not just people having sex - it's people throwing babies in the garbage. We should worry because it is a sign that there is something wrong in the society. And like you said, rather than using it as a sermon to talk about supposed degradation of morals, we should focus some attention on public issues like education and health services. Because by giving better education and health, that is one way to fix the problem. But the children aren't being thrown in the garbage only because of poverty, but also because traditional concepts like family honour and that is an issue we should be worrying ourselves about if it is resulting in people throwing babies in the trash!

At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay talloouza, does it really bother you he came with his girlfriend? who cares? would u have payed less taxes if he hadnt?!
Education is the solution. For everything. Sex education, within a proper context, should be taught in all schools. Youre probably saying, good luck with that, i know, the chances it would actually happen are close to non-existant. I wonder what are the percentages of citizens with a knowledge about STDs, contraception or AIDS. we dont even have a clear number of how many AIDS patients there are in Jordan. Not talking about sex isnt working anymore people, so whats more terrible: throwing babies in trash bins or simply education?

At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are you man? You are greatly missed as you haven't posted in a while. looking forward for your next posts.

At 1:12 AM, Blogger Tallouza said...

I add my voice to Batir's...I hope all is well.

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay .. i am from south africa and stumbled across your blog.
Yes i am a muslim female in SA, and i am totally shocked that as muslims one can feel OKAY to talk and perform sex like it has no meaning. are we not thaught that a man must make love to his wife? West will influence us as muslims and we need not lead to temptation. allah knows best, and make us all maaf. I know we on this earth to die and then LIVE and i dont have an ID will def get1 >


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