By Helen Humphreys
AMMONNEWS - Tired of the negligence and mistreatment by the Jordanian government, The Jordanian Syndicate of Artists (JSA) gathered around the 4th Circle in Amman, outside the Prime Minister's office in protest.
Approximately 60 to 70 artists, musicians, dancers and actors stood in the hot sun with pieces of cloth covering their mouths, signifying that the government does not want to hear their demands, therefore they feel silenced.
The JSA is on their 24th day of a sit-in protest. They believe that the government is ignoring the needs of Jordanian artists, including providing social security, medical insurance, and housing. Muhammad Gabbani , who has been an actor in Jordan for 45 years stated “We are Jordanians, we have rights too.”
Present at the protest was the head of the Media and Information Committee at the JSA and life-long musician, Adul Hajj. He stated that artists have been suffering not only under this government but under the last five governments. “The government is participating in the demolishing of the Jordanian cultural identity.”
He believes that the statement made by the ministry saying there are a lack of sufficient funds to establish a production company is false. “I do not think they do not have the money. They just chose to spend it on other things.” Also commenting on the recent statement made by Culture Minister Salah Jarrar about the actions of the JSA, he stated that “it made artists seem helpless. It was indeed offensive.”
During the protest, recently elected President of the Syndicate, Huessin Al Khateeb, spoke against the governments treatment and negligence toward the artists demands.
He made it clear that the sit-in will continue until the JSA’s demands are met.
Also present at the protest were three representatives of parliament, including Oudi Quas, Jamiel Nemery and Abla Abu Ealba, who also spoke. Other speeches calling for better treatment of the countries artists were made by Jordanian Press Associations chairman, Tareq Moumani and Jordanian prominent actor Musa Hijazzi.
* Ammon News photo By Helen Humphreys