memri

August 8, 2004
Clip No.
204

Young Jordanians Discuss Firing Guns in Celebration at Weddings

The Jordanian TV broascast a debate about the practice of firing rifles in celebration at weddings. The following are excerpts:

Layla Al-Shubaki:We support this phenomenon because it has become part of our tradition and customs. We have been raised upon them. Since we were children we have seen that shooting is a must at celebrations. It has become an integral part of our lives, at celebrations. It also indicates? When a man fires these shots, he feels his masculinity: "I did a great thing, and expressed my happiness in a way that everyone will talk about when I leave the celebration."

Moderator: Do you think that shooting is a sign of masculinity?

Layla Al-Shubaki: Aha, Aha.

Moderator: Hamada?

Hamada Al-Ibrahim: I like to shoot, it's crazy. Especially, when I go to a wedding. If I don't carry a pistol, I won't enter a wedding, honestly. Especially if it is my brother's wedding. My brother shoots and says: "Go ahead." My brother himself shoots.

Moderator: You are proud?

Hamada Al-Ibrahim: Yes I'm proud that my brother grabs a pistol and shoots. I don't see any problem. True, lives may be lost and the celebration may be wrecked, but I am proud and love this phenomenon. I feel that this is a deep-rooted phenomenon from the days of our forefathers.

Moderator: It seems that you support layla who Claims this is a sign of masculinity?

Hamada Al-Ibrahim: Of course, it is masculine. When someone arrives at a wedding without a pistol he's not like the other guys. You see him dancing like crazy or picking fights. But when a man has a pistol and he fires it, it brings him respect. It makes you proud to say, "My brother is shooting now." Mostly, when there is a Henna (betrothal party) or something similar, you see the girls saying, "look, look my brother started shooting."

Moderator: You describe a social phenomenon?

Abdallah Rawabdeh: I would like to add that the phenomenon of shooting is something that we inherited from our forefathers. It is a sign of masculinity. We live the Bedouin lifestyle to this very day. Though we have adopted the city life, our Bedouin heritage is still in us.

Moderator: Is unrestrained shooting in all directions a Bedouin phenomenon?

Abdallah Rawabdeh: Yes, because it is a sign of masculinity and a source of pride, when someone keeps weapons in his house.

Yassin 'Awidat: We have a great cultural heritage, in which shooting at weddings is a sign of joy, but you say for instance, "Shooting is proof of my masculinity." What would you say if the price for proving your masculinity, minutes later, may be the lives of your brother, father, or one of your relatives?

Major Rashid Al-Da'ja: I am not a psychiatrist, but the person who shoots ? with all due respect ? is mentally ill. If he uses shooting to express joy he has a personality flaw.