Have Your Say: Closing the Abdali Market


Early Morning in Abdali

في ما يبدوأنه  قرار سيئ القدر، قررت محافظة عمان وأمانة عمان الكبرى إغلاق سوق الجمعة في العبدلي حتى اشعار اّخر. أشير في مقال، أقرب الى أن يكون بيان صحفي, الى أن هذا القرار كان نظرا لأمور متعلقة بالتلوث، و المخدرات و السلامة العامة في المنطقة. لكن تحلق الشائعات لتقول بأن مشروع “وسط المدينة الجديد” التابع للعبدلي يسعى الى إستحواذ هذه الأراضي العقارية و تطويرها.

لعدة عقود كانت العبدلي منطقة ذات أهمية كبيرة تتمثل بكونها مركز للمدينة، مساحة تخدم المجتمع المحيط، و محطة حافلات. قدم سوق الجمعة الصاخب اّلاف من فرص العمل، و ما رخص من الغذاء و الملابس. قدم أيضا الإحساس بالإنتماء بين مجموعة المتسوقين المنتقاة، فلم يكن غريبا أن ترى السياح، أثرياء عمان و العمال الجنوب أسيويين في مكان واحد يتشاركون تسوق يوم الجمعة الصباحي. تتبادل الأيدي عشرات الآلاف من الدنانير كل يوم جمعة وسيكون لإغلاق السوق تأثيرحتمي و كبير على الأردنيين المكافحين للقمة العيش.

مأ رأيك بسوق الجمعة في العبدلي؟ هل كان قرار الأمانة بإغلاقه لمخاوف تتعلق بالسلامة صائبا؟ أم هي محاولة “لتنظيف” عمان من سكانها “الأقل درجة”؟ هل برأيك أضاف سوق العبدلي الى هوية مدينة عمان، أم سلب جزءا منها؟

دورك  لتقول كلمتك…

In a seemingly ill-fated decision, the Amman Governorate and the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) decided to close the Friday Abdali market until further notice. An article, which reads more like a press release, suggested that the decision was made due to pollution, drugs, and safety concerns. However rumors have been flying that the Abdali “new downtown” project is looking to also take over this prime real estate and develop it.

Abdali has been an important area of Amman for decades, serving as a city center, community space, and bus station. Recently, the bustling Friday market provided thousands of jobs, cheap food and clothing, and a sense of community among the eclectic group of shoppers. It was not uncommon to see wide-eyed tourists, the Amman affluents, and South Asian laborers sharing their Friday mornings shopping in the market. Tens of thousands of JDs are exchanged hands each Friday. Closing the market will inevitably have a large impact on already struggling Jordanians.

What is your opinion about the market? Was GAM right to shut down the market due to safety concerns? Or is this an attempt to “cleanup” Amman of its lower-class residents? Did the Abdali market add to the character of Amman, or did it detract from it?

Its your turn to have your say.




  • kinzi

    I think this was a huge mistake for these important reasons: “the bustling Friday market provided thousands of jobs, cheap food and clothing, and a sense of community among the eclectic group of shoppers. It was not uncommon to see wide-eyed tourists, the Amman affluents, and South Asian laborers sharing their Friday mornings shopping in the market. Tens of thousands of JDs are exchanged hands each Friday. Closing the market will inevitably have a large impact on already struggling Jordanians.”

    I loved Souk Al Jum3a. If GAM closed it to prepare the way for another sterile shopping area, I will never set foot in it.

  • mariam

    كالعادة يتحكم الأمين الأكرم من برجه العاجي بمصير الشعب الغلبان. لماذا? لأنه حضارتنا حفرتليه، يجب ان نصبح نيويورك او لندن او ربما باريس حتى نصبح حضاريين. و سوق العبدلي يمثل شرقيتنا و بالتالي حفرتليتنا.

  • Mohanned

    As per the new york times piece,my guess is that this “effort” is part of giving amman an identity, and for that matter a “new” one. Nermeen murad had a good piece in the Jordan Times, where she argues that the municipality are accountable to no one. She hit the nail on the head; there seems to be a trickle down schizophrenia which becomes more obvious where one is now more likely to see things that are in direct contrast to what we hear.

    http://www.jordantimes.com/?news=24417

    There is a crisis of leadership in this country.

  • Pingback: Did You Know GAM Closed Souk Al Abdali/Juma3a? « my treasure

  • Tarawnah

    Adding to what Mohanned wrote, the interesting thing to note here is that sellers showed up on Thursday night to set up only to be told to go home. To me, this indicated a lack of information and perhaps even a hasty decision with little planning involved.

    If the GAM's plan is to organize and ensure safety regulations are applied at the souk, then i'm all for organization and better safety. And I hope once that's accomplished, the souk will be brought back. But if the idea is to shut it down indefinitely because it contrasts the glittering imagery of the nearby Abdali project, aka the “new” downtown, and thus the GAM feels it no longer has a place within our growing city, I would argue that it is the Abdali project which has less of a place in Amman.

    In any case, this lack of information could have easily been avoided by coming clean. Printing out leaflets and making public announcements, hosting a town hall meeting, etc. A bottom-up approach that makes people feel a part of the decision-making process rather than a consequence of it.

    Again, our biggest problem here is that we don't know what the real reason is and what the future of the entire situation is. Will it come back, or not? Was it done for this reason or that reason?

    The reason we DONT know is because we weren't told. And the only people responsible for that are the people who made the decision in the first place – the people who posses and control the information at will.

  • edwardjaser

    Yes, I would think its a good decision for now specially if GAM are planning to establish a well organised market (but will this happen?).

  • abitmutch

    I loved the Abdali market – it was a great place to get cheap clothes and produce. I am sad that they found the need to shut it down, especially when there are no good plans for a suitable alternative.

  • http://heiseheise.com/ al-Zach

    This is simply ridiculous, and I completely agree that more than any gaseous “safety concerns” the market is merely being closed so that they can create another expensive mall in an area that can't even afford it. Hello, GAM? There was a reason that market was so popular, it's because it was affordable to all.

    Do they really think that West Ammanis are going to come all the way to 3bdali to shop?

    What a pack of money-grasping fools. I'm with Kinzi…any mall that is built in that area I shall never enter, and in fact I may throw my shoes at it. Which I bought for JD4. At the 3bdali souq last year.

  • katharinalenner

    The Jordan Times today reads that:

    Abdali flea market to reopen Friday

    AMMAN (Petra) – The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on Tuesday announced that the Abdali flea market will reopen on Friday. The market was temporarily closed over the past two weeks for organisational and planning purposes. Amman Mayor Omar Maani instructed those concerned with the organisational task to carry it out as soon as possible so that the market can resume serving the public, especially since it is situated in the centre of the city.

    What to make of this? Seems like the market will resume as long as the longer-term plans are not yet in place. In any way, let's go on friday and ask around …

  • MohAmro

    Another planning mistake by the city council, countries expand and grow further and we go back and suffocate our city by evacuating people and invading their homes.
    Abdali project is a good one but the location couldn’t be worse. And this applies to all “major project ” in Amman .

  • http://www.shalabieh.com/ Shalabieh

    For anyone who goes to the market you know that there is order and sense in how things are laid out and organized, safety and security are relative. More info is needed, but this crawl of gentrification is alarming. Beirut (solidaire) which we seem to be looking to emulate in our downtown project is a lesson to learn from. Today Beirutis are distanced from this beautifully restored area, unable to relate to it or be part of it except in a very prescribed commercial role.

    Amman has its own unique character which includes some of this chaos. Sterility is not what I want if I did I could have easily moved to where the lines are straight and everyone is politely orderly.

  • http://www.shalabieh.com/ Shalabieh

    For anyone who goes to the market you know that there is order and sense in how things are laid out and organized, safety and security are relative. More info is needed, but this crawl of gentrification is alarming. Beirut (solidaire) which we seem to be looking to emulate in our downtown project is a lesson to learn from. Today Beirutis are distanced from this beautifully restored area, unable to relate to it or be part of it except in a very prescribed commercial role.

    Amman has its own unique character which includes some of this chaos. Sterility is not what I want if I did I could have easily moved to where the lines are straight and everyone is politely orderly.

  • aya

    بعض الناس على اعتقادي لا يهمهم الموضوع اذا اغلق او فتح

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