Prostitution in Jordan


Nights Clubs
How many night clubs we have in Amman? I am not talking about high class night clubs where people go to dance and have fun alike Nai, Myth, Fizz and Prana, but I am talking about hundreds of sleazy places scattered around the city of Amman with the name of a night club, or in Arabic (Malha layli). In Abdoun, Swefieh, Shemisani, Mecca street, …etc.

They are considered to be men places where slutty looking females waitresses with much revealing clothes and a bitchy attitude coming mostly from foreign countries (mainly from Eastern Europe countries) serve horney men who are ready to spend a big amount of money for some fun.

While most of those places are meant to cater young men coming from the gulf states for tourism, you can see a lot of Jordanian men hanging in such places and bragging about that between each other.

It is a men issue. One thing that men shy to talk about it infront women or even family members. But it is highly accepted between men themselves. Even if a man revealed that he has been to such a place, it won’t be a big deal. Only a small tarnish of his reputation that would fade with no time in a society that uses double standards in judging the behaviour of our men versus our women.

People who haven’t been to such places which I know would most be only women, can have a better idea by reading Paulo Coelho’s book “Eleven Minutes”. It is an account of a Brazillian lady travelling to Swizerland looking for an adventure and money only to find herself working as a prostitue. The book gives a very close describtion of such business that is in no way far of what happens in Amman. In fact reading the book, I felt that he is describing one of those places here that I have went to once or twice.

Is it a choice?
While Paulo, in his book, highlight the woman choice of becoming a prostitue, I find myself disagreeing with his view this time as I can’t really understand how anyone would choose to sell his body like thins unless she has gone through some special circumstances that left her no real choice but to sell her last asset.

In our society, sex is a taboo, and so a prostitue is looked at to be a sub-human. Most would prefer to stay away of them, others would feel legimate to treat them badly. There is no sense of sympathy towards those women as we percieve them to be morally corrupted creatures that has no right to be treated decently. We judge harshly refusing to look closer for other reasons such women sell their bodies for.

When poverty is presented as a reason, most of us claim their high righteousness. Women with good conidtions would claim that they prefer to die starving rather than selling their bodies dismissing any small compassion with prostitues because they don’t really know what it means to be in real poverty.

They present a counter argument. Look at maids. They prefer to work hard rather than selling their honor. I wonder how true is this? and how honor is left their to the maids in our houses? They are subjected to even more humilation than prostitues, and at many times to sexual harrassment and even continous raping from their Masters. Have anyone wondered why maids are usually bad looking women? I guess they would choose prostitution if they have the choice.

Shall we legalize it?
With hundreds, or thousands of prostitues in our city. An accepting social behavior in between our youth. One has to fear the consequences of this hidden unorganized world. How bad it would be to legalize the whole process? As of having some official rules to govern the whole process in order to at least minimize that health risks that our youth are subjected to. At the same time provide some protection to those unfortunate women who are being used and treated as slaves to their employers who are the only one benefitted from keeping the situation as it is.

Or maybe we prefer to keep it this way because those who dare to be a prostitue and those who sleep with one does deserve any kind of punishment they would get out of such act? I wonder if people would feel the same way knowing that their son or daughter can easily get in such situation one day.

45 thoughts on “Prostitution in Jordan

  1. Hammam says:

    “I am not talking about high class night clubs where people go to dance and have fun alike Nai, Myth, Fizz and Prana, but I am talking about hundreds of sleazy places”Excuse me? you just wave your magic wand and decided one type of nightclubs for the rich is fun and dance and another is sleaze? I beg o differ sir. ALL ARE SLEAZY WHOREHOUSES. The difference is that in the low-income night culbs, usually a man pays to be entertained by a woman. in the “fun” clubs, a man can be entertained for free. So let’s despense with the classist categorizations. All nightclubs are sleazy and people who frequent them do so in the hope they will find someone to screw, with some exceptions.

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  2. “How bad it would be to legalize the whole process?”How about instead of legalizing it we get those women off the streets, rehabilitate them, teach them skills and put them to good use? Maybe that’s a better way to “protect our youth” and protect these women.The profession of prostitution is a sickening one by all accounts and poverty is not an excuse as by that definition a third of the country would be prostituting.

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  3. anony says:

    Hammeh, i seriously doubt you have been to nai, or any of those “rich class nightclubs”. For one, people there are going to have a good time through dancing and socializing. People who go to Malhai Laylieh are only there to see if they can score. People go to the rich class night clubs to celebrate and enjoy their time, while not worring about VD. Your generalization of they are all sleazy, is like saying all arabs are terrorist. People who generalize like you is what is sending this world to hell.Nas, I like the way you think.

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  4. Once I went to one of those places and to tell you the truth I felt sad for those girls, I’m sure non of them didn’t want to live a normal life with a husband, kids and a house but I guess life forces people to do the extremes, I used to say they can work in anything, in a factory, school, hospital… etc, cleaning, serving.. etc, but I can’t really judge.

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  5. Hammam, it isn’t about classes, because those sleazy night clubs I am talking about can be as costy as the ones I am referring to as calssy. It is sleazy not because it is cheaper (it is not), it is because they are men only places where women get paid and are used badly to entertain. In the other hand, in classy night clubs, women and men have fun without degrading themselves of selling their bodies. Nas,Wish we can do that!No country in the world has been able to get rid of prostitution. Legalizing it won’t make it spread, instead it would provide a better life for those misfotunate women whom circumstances lead them to this path. Poverty isn’t an excuse? I disagree with you. Poverty is hard. One has to go through it to tell.

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  6. I don’t agree totally here, you make it sound as if prostitutes are only miserable vulnerable humans, and as if they finish their job each night and then go cry the whole day! I understand that poverty can force people to do horrible things, but this is not an excuse to legitimize or even sympathize with them. Prostitutes are not just “poor and excused”, they have the most aggressive attitudes, and once they’re in the business, they soon become well-off and they get the chance to leave the business more than enough if poverty was the only reason for getting into it in the first place. Also, if you get to know this disgusting world, you’ll easily discover that all prostitutes do what you can call “overtime” by their own free will, they get paid from the filthy Malha owner enough for them to live pretty well (they earn more than any decent engineer in Amman does!), and they all have a day off every week which they use to get extra money by going to the same “horney men” outside the night club, either to their houses or just inside their cars, who, supposedly, they get to get rid of for one day! And I entirely disapprove the whole legalizing thing, you’ll simply create a country full of prostitutes and pimps, you can take Holland for example and add to it the filth of the low class night clubs! Not only that, but you’ll attract tons of more people (mostly Arabs) coming to Amman only for prostitution, and you can imagine what kind of people they are, and I know that you’re going to say that there are people who actually come to Jordan from the gulf only for sex! but can you imagine that number being multiplied by a 1000!?Frankly, I really appreciate that you raise such an important issue, it’s becoming more intense in Jordan, and we should find some solution to control it, (but not legalizing it of course😉 I second Nas here.

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  7. Khaled says:

    Some of the comments on this blog are completely outrageous, sexist and condescending.The fact of the matter is, most women working in prostitution in the middle east are trafficked. They are human slaves, I think you are all forgetting this. Especially eastern European women. Take a look at Victor Malareick’s “The Natasha’s”. A large majority of these women are kept under direct supervision 24 hours a day, they are taken from their “cells” to their nightclubs under guard and then taken back to their apartment/cells where they live in filthy prison camp like conditions. They might get one day off, but they are unable to run away because 1) they don’t have their passports and are under threat of violence, the global trafficking network is extensive and these women are often leave family behind in eastern Europe who are threatened if they were to run away from their employers. These women are beaten abused and degraded. I wish a lot fo you would stop this disgusting holier than thou attitude which is a hallmark of all that is wrong with Jordanian society specifically religiosity and a deluded sense of morality/ honour. Plus all the nightclubs in Amman are whorehouses, that’s obviously completely untrue, having frequented these places numerous times (Nai, Fezz, prana and so on) I can tell you without hesitation that there is no solicitation of prostitution going on in these establishments, nobody’s beuying or selling sex or forcing women into selling their bodies. There are young people having a good time, just because alchohol is served and men and women mix freely doesn’t make it a bloody whorehouse. Furthermore, why the “slut” shaming, why the use of the word whore, the word’s intended use is the upholding of gender inequality. Legalising it and regulating could potentially put an end to human trafficking in jordan, to some extent, but simply pretending it doesn’t exist will lead to disasters.I urge anyone who gives a damn to read or at least look up “The Natashas” by Victor Malerick. Also a lot of these women come to the middle-east and other places through agencies that promise them secretarial work/modelling/janitorial and so on. However, the minute they arrive in the country their papers are taken away from them and are subsequently enslaves under threat of violence and death. So why do women from Eastern Europe still take the risk that this might be a legitimtae job because of poverty, the overwhelming majority as shown by Victor Malericky and various UN agencies, and the US state department support the fact that most women in the middle-east and Eastern Europe are sex slaves, they are subjugated into slavery and do no willingly choose to become prostitutes.

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  8. Khaled says:

    also omar, if you take a little time to research the phenomenon you’d notice that this illusion of women doing “over-time” and or freedom is not true at all. The pimp is usually somewhere close by watching but can’t be right next to her because that would arose suspicion. Plus, lots of sexually frustrated wankers such as yourself find the myth of a woman selling herself appealing andn the pimps cater to this idea. These women also can’t simply run to their embassies because the staff there is more often than not corrupted or part of the whole process, in the begining these women are shown that they cannot go to their embassies.furthermore, only in an environment where women freely sell their services willingly and on their own terms can prostitution be considered an accepted practice. However, this is definitely not the case, especially in places like Jordan and the UAE. There is absolutely very little control these women have in their own environment plus society would not allow a woman to make that choice freely, even in Germany and holland an increasing percentage of sex workers are smuggles sex slaves forced into it.

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  9. saad says:

    In my opinion…prostitution has lasted for CIVILISATIONS!!! Since ancient Greek times and maybe before.My point is: men over the generations and civilisations have gotten used to it. It’s a convention. It’s a habit.And no one ever protests against it. And people are generally ashamed to talk about it. I’m not sure why.All I can say is: I don’t understand a man’s needs.😛

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  10. serene says:

    Thanks Khaled for the very well put comment(s), I agree with everything, except for the one time you intentionally insulted omar, everybody’s free to say whatever they want, and agreability is not point.I often think about this issue, and I feel great sympathy towards those women, becuase they either don’t know better, or don’t have a choice. However no human being should be subject to such humiliation and degredation. What strikes me most, is what some male friends told me from one trip to Hada’ek Al Malik Abdullah Park, Shmeisani (very famous for prostitution in numerous night clubs and cafes on its premises), is that there are girls as young as 13 and 14 selling their bodies inside these places, and the pimp who’s usually on the door invites ppl to come in and take a look at the very young “bda3a” they have!!!!! I cried when I heard this!!! How Repulsive and Monsterous!!!! What choice do these girls have now??? Where are the authorities from that?????!!!

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  11. As an Eastern European feminist committed to ending trafficking and exploitation, I am saddened and disgusted by some of the self-righteous comments on this thread. ***All nightclubs are sleazy and people who frequent them do so in the hope they will find someone to screw, with some exceptions.***Oh grow up, you holier-than-thou jerk.***The profession of prostitution is a sickening one by all accounts and poverty is not an excuse as by that definition a third of the country would be prostituting.***Most people, even poor people, have a support system they can rely on. Most prositutes do not. In fact, a lot of these women are sold into prostitution/encouraged to sell themselves by their own relatives and friends. But you wouldn’t know that. You’re too busy sitting on your moral high-horse, being “sickened.” ***Prostitutes are not just “poor and excused”, they have the most aggressive attitudes, and once they’re in the business, they soon become well-off and they get the chance to leave the business more than enough if poverty was the only reason for getting into it in the first place.***Do you know *anything* about the way prostitution works in developing countries? Or are you on here to blow off some steam and show off your ignorance? Good show. *** you can take Holland for example***Holland is a developed country where prositution is regulated, well-paid, and abuse is not allowed. Nevertheless, most people working the brothels in Western Europe are poor immigrants. Do your research.

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  12. As an Eastern European feminist committed to ending trafficking and exploitation, I am saddened and disgusted by some of the self-righteous comments on this thread. ***All nightclubs are sleazy and people who frequent them do so in the hope they will find someone to screw, with some exceptions.***Oh grow up, you holier-than-thou jerk.***The profession of prostitution is a sickening one by all accounts and poverty is not an excuse as by that definition a third of the country would be prostituting.***Most people, even poor people, have a support system they can rely on. Most prositutes do not. In fact, a lot of these women are sold into prostitution/encouraged to sell themselves by their own relatives and friends. But you wouldn’t know that. You’re too busy sitting on your moral high-horse, being “sickened.” ***Prostitutes are not just “poor and excused”, they have the most aggressive attitudes, and once they’re in the business, they soon become well-off and they get the chance to leave the business more than enough if poverty was the only reason for getting into it in the first place.***Do you know *anything* about the way prostitution works in developing countries? Or are you on here to blow off some steam and show off your ignorance? Good show. *** you can take Holland for example***Holland is a developed country where prositution is regulated, well-paid, and abuse is not allowed. Nevertheless, most people working the brothels in Western Europe are poor immigrants. Do your research.

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  13. As an Eastern European feminist committed to ending trafficking and exploitation, I am saddened and disgusted by some of the self-righteous comments on this thread. ***All nightclubs are sleazy and people who frequent them do so in the hope they will find someone to screw, with some exceptions.***Oh grow up, you holier-than-thou jerk.***The profession of prostitution is a sickening one by all accounts and poverty is not an excuse as by that definition a third of the country would be prostituting.***Most people, even poor people, have a support system they can rely on. Most prositutes do not. In fact, a lot of these women are sold into prostitution/encouraged to sell themselves by their own relatives and friends. But you wouldn’t know that. You’re too busy sitting on your moral high-horse, being “sickened.” ***Prostitutes are not just “poor and excused”, they have the most aggressive attitudes, and once they’re in the business, they soon become well-off and they get the chance to leave the business more than enough if poverty was the only reason for getting into it in the first place.***Do you know *anything* about the way prostitution works in developing countries? Or are you on here to blow off some steam and show off your ignorance? Good show. *** you can take Holland for example***Holland is a developed country where prositution is regulated, well-paid, and abuse is not allowed. Nevertheless, most people working the brothels in Western Europe are poor immigrants. Do your research.

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  14. Places like Nai, Myth, Fizz and Prana are as bad as any other place designed for “having fun”. you have expressed your point of view, i wish you can conduct a survey where you can truly sample the entire population and not only your hangout friends, then you get how people perceive what you envisage as high class “night clubs”I cannot justify Nai, myth, etc when we are living in a region that is adding negligibly to the worlds civilization in all walks of life, whether science, arts, music, sports, medicine etc … Not only that, but we witness thousands of people been regularly killed in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon. As of Today i cannot think of any non-arab country under occupation. Since you belong to the high class society and surely you must be well educated and most probably graduating from one of the finest private schools of Amman, and undoubtedly could afford to go to college in the US, UK or Canada, can you tell me where i can find Nai equivalent, but for libraries, or museums, or research centers, or any activity that can add something to our society, people, our grim future, or anything that can add something to humanity and not only think about fun. In this comment, i have not mentioned my view about the “low class night clubs” because i cannot count on the people who hang out there and cannot expect much to come out of them. It makes me feel sorry to find intellectuals like you praising high class night clubs. By the way, i live close to Nai, and i never been there (never will) and do not find our local women dressing less revealing cloths than those you see in other places. Some people find it fashionable to have western like life style, but i wish that they extent their love for this fashion beyond high class night clubs, rather push it beyond this limited frontier to explore the world of science, arts, inventions, patents, Noble prizes, military arsenal etc.. If a royal decree comes out to change or the low class nights clubs to something equivalent to Nai, Myth etc,, do you then find Jordan a better country, does this give you a brighter future for you and your kids?

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  15. Khaled says:

    Ammar, ah class, my favrourite topic, I don’t know if your comments were aimed at the observer or myself but I will endeavour to engage your question. Yes i did go to an elite private school in Amman and then subequently went to an elite university in the United States, might I add one small caveat, that it was financially possible for me to go to these institution due to scholarships. I don’t come from a particularly wealthy family and was only able to attend a university abroad because said university provided very generous tuition assistance and so did the school I attended in Amman.your argument as presented, is ingrained within a nation of parn-arabism as well as a quite myopic view of what constitutes “viable” cultural output. I disagree with your assessment of what is culturally worthy but I will attempt to outline how simply having a beer at Nai or any other place for that matter whether it be a nightclub or street corner is an important cultural undertakign in Jordanian society.Yes, you’re right, universities in Jordan are grossly inadequate, I was doing some research about the Jordanian economy and decided to reference local academic so I went to the Jordan University academic journal “dirasat” and found that a lot of research conducted by Professor at JU is almost absurdly lacking. however, your assertion is grounded upon the much vaunted arab myth that there exists some sort of central authority responsible for creating both nightclubs and universities or libraries and so on. Fact of the matter is, the government does not fund nightclubs or bars, they don’t encourage people to go to nightclubs and so on, that is soely within the sphere of private enterprise. The government does not allocate resources away from universities in order for people to “have fun” as you put it. Nightclub owners are businessmen who undertake these ventures to make profits, furthermore tax revenue from alchohol sales does in fact help fund universities, schools, museums libraries and so on. your analogy is imprecise at best, at worst it is a clear example of how deeply embedded this conception of central authority is in the jordanian psyche. Why is having a beer and mixing with members of the opposite sex whether platonically or otherwise a monumentous cultural undertaking?Because, When an individual engages in such activities one is drawn publically renouncing and openly challenging oppressive social insitutions and gender roles. When a woman chooses to dress the way she does when she goes to Nai or prana, she is in effect making the statement that she does not subscribe to the notion that a woman must hide her body in order to be considered an equal. Also, that she is not afraid of challenging a role cast for her in Jordanian society whereby she is more or less a subservient role. This woman makes the statement that she will not hide herself in order to be respected, that respect is not gained by cowering behind a veil or shroud. Similarly, when one has a beer one is not only enjoying the taste and effects of an intoxicating beverage. One is also making a similar statement, that one will not submit to contrived notions of what is “culturally” or religiously acceptable. By doing so, he or she is challenging the norms of the social institution at large, unwittingly advocating freedom from limitation. It is an expression of personal liberty, that I will choose to consume whatever I want, my body is my own, no set of pre-ordained “celestial” rules will govern my existence.As such, I think places like Nai are important, because they represent a setting where individuals from both genders can express their individualism and sense of personal liberty, as indirectly as that may be. These places represent the vanguard of a cultural shift towards renouncing the heavy burden of tradition. I’ll fire back with a question, why don’t we have schools, universities of the highest calibre? Partly, it is because we don’t have the money for it, we can’t sustain a similar endowment as say harvard of 12 billion. But also part of the problem is that we create an intellectually stifling environment propagated by people such as yourself. The most sacred role of the university is the development of indpendent thought, how can we achieve scholarship if society constrains us to accepting some asbtract notion of engendered values and the even more obscure conception of honour?Even within the context of islamic governance, Andalusia was considered a centre of international scholarship only when these so called ingrained values started to break down when philosophers such as Averroes and Al-Ghazali started questioning these norms and values as a whole. I won’t go into the arab world as a whole because I don’t believe in pan arabism, im not a nationalist but this romantacized notion of a pan arab brotherhood is completely irrlevant. I suspect however, that a lot of the problems plaquing the arab world are the same problems faced by Jordan. That is to say the source of Arab stagnation and cultural decline (if you can even quantify cultural output) is not the existence of nightclubs, nor colonialism of the past century, but rather the perpetuation and strengthening of abstract ideals concerning arab identity and virtue. That is the problem with our society, we do not accept new ideas, we are not open to challening social institutional hierarchies.The main problem with Nai and places like that is that they are elitist, they are expensive, and are inaccessible both culturally and financially to the rest of the population. There are limitations of course to using nighclubs as a model for cultural development, they are a reflection of what could be happening in society at large. We should try to build new institutions outside the nightclub that are conducive to inter-class dialogue.

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  16. anony says:

    Since everyone is in the mood of generalizing, guess what? I am going to do it too: everyone who writes blogs and articles for Jordan Planet are: conceited, self-righteous, selfish, disrespectful, intolerant, hateful, ignorant, naive, moody, snooby, and dangerous religious extremist and liar.Sucks when you are being lumped with a bad group. The fact is that many of you people put the innocent with the guilty, whether they are people or ideas. Many of you refuse to believe in the “individual”, because the “individual” must conform to society. This isn’t about prostituion, it isn’t about putting places that many people frequently enjoy, ie Nai, with cruel debasing places like malhi layli. You basically insulted every person who goes there by saying they are either a pimp or prostitute (depending on gender), by the way. It is the idea of difference. Grow up children. Not everyone is immoral/infidel/kaffir/atheist and deserves to die if he/she does not believe in your views.

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  17. anony says:

    *Mistake: “You basically insulted every person who goes there by saying they are either a pimp or prostitute (depending on gender), by the way.” There is meant by the ‘elitest night clubs’ and not mahli layli.

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  18. -Khaled, I have to say that I agree with most of what you said, only when I reached the part where I discovered that I’m a “sexually frustrated wanker”.Give me a break here, will ya! What I agree on is the fact that what you said happenes in Eastern Europe for God’s sake, and by highliting a book called Natasha revealing what happens in Eastern Europe and start talking about salvery and blah blah blah, you completely lost my point, all I’m talking about here is the way things happen mostly in Jordan for most Jordanian/Morrocan/Syrian prostitutes who you can find in sleazy motels and Malahi inside Amman, I have no idea what happens inside the streets of Moscow or hell whatever! You read a bok, watched some documentaries and then insult me because I say my opinion about things I witness my self! That is just hilariously pathetic! Besides, the whole looked up and beaten stuff may exist as you said, but may be in Ukraine or something, and the whole living conditions are so deciptful if you’re talking about Morrocan or Syrian prostitutes in Amman who have their own apartments and are TOTALLY free to go wherever they want to in their day-off! And before giving me a new book to read about South Africa, I say to you that in this summer, a close colleague of mine took a Morrocan prostitute to Sharm El Sheikh with him, had her for like a week there and brought her back! I can ask him to give you her number, she works at Borj Babel hotel/whorehouse so you could do an investigation about the issue and maybe write a book that deals with local issues!And about the pimp “by next to her but can’t get too close” you make it sound really funny, don’t you notice! I never said that the idea of women selling their bodies is appealing to them, no human being can accept this to himself, but on the other hand, and especially in Amman, the whole prostitution “career” may become something acceptable to some prostitutes because of the big amounts of money involved, and the relatively less abuse they are subjected to, and you have to keep in mind that human beings are capable of reaching the dumpiest forms of livings by their own will if it implies big money, and as you have mentioned yourself <>“where women freely sell their services willingly and on their own terms”<>, some women can find this idea appealing by there own free-will, to suggest that fact doesn’t make a “sexualy frustrated wanker” out of me, or other wise you consider yourself so?! You’re so full of contradictions my friend.-And to the tempered Natalia, “Do you know *anything* about the way prostitution works in developing countries? Or are you on here to blow off some steam and show off your ignorance? Good show.”Do you know *anything* about the fact that we’re in JORDAN! And do you have the slightest amount of brain to allow you not to generalize, you say “developing countries” as if you’re talking about some small village? Things MAY differ a LITTLE from Eastern Europe to Amman if you do your research! And I MAY be more attached and “enlightened” about Amman than you are! Or you’re here to blow off some steam and show off that you read the book also? Good showAnd thanks really, i’m now so insanely enlightened about Holland! But also, do you know *anything* about the fact that I was using Holland as an example to stress on the point that Amman will become a sex capital like Holland is, and that I wasn’t talking about laws and regulations or abuse in Holland, and in no way I was comparing things in Holland to things in Amman!May be you have to calm down a little, as you seem very tempered and stressed (notice that can’t control your hand to press the post button only once!)

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  19. Oh, Omar, I am *sorry* Did I make you feel inferior for admitting to the fact that I (gasp!) read books?***What I agree on is the fact that what you said happenes in Eastern Europe for God’s sake, and by highliting a book called Natasha revealing what happens in Eastern Europe and start talking about salvery and blah blah blah, you completely lost my point, all I’m talking about here is the way things happen mostly in Jordan for most Jordanian/Morrocan/Syrian prostitutes who you can find in sleazy motels and Malahi inside Amman, I have no idea what happens inside the streets of Moscow or hell whatever! You read a bok, watched some documentaries and then insult me because I say my opinion about things I witness my self!***Ignorance is bliss. Do you know the definition of “trafficking”? These women are transported *from* Eastern Europe into Western Europe, North America, and (guess what?) the Middle East. This is as much a Middle Eastern problem as it is an Eastern European problem, and it’s getting worse.Try to wrap your mind around that. As for your inability to grasp how inferior class status and the abuses on the rights of women influence native Jordanians, Syrians, and Moroccans to enter the sex-trade willingly and unwillingly, what can I say? Some people just *have* to feel morally superior to the subaltern. If it makes you value yourself more, go ahead, trash them. But please don’t be surprised when other people tell you that you’re being a wanker.

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  20. ***Amman will become a sex capital like Holland is***Holland is not a city, genius. It’s a country.I’ve been to Amsterdam (the city famous for its red light district, among other things) and it’s a great, progressive place. I honestly feel sorry for people who cannot handle a somewhat sexually permissive society. I guess the slightest bit of temptation makes them fly off the handle. Too bad.

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  21. Observer,I was so pissed at your commentators, that I forgot to respond to the actual post.Here are my two pence:Prostitution is harmful to the majority of women. There are exceptions (Jet-Set Lara, a courtesan, comes to mind), but they mostly live in the West.Having said that, I like countries that adopt a realstic attitude toward it. Pretending it doesn’t exist, or punishing the most vulnerable people involved – the prostitutes themselves, is not proactive.

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  22. Atown DOWN says:

    interesting post. interesting subject anyways. some of you bring up some interesting points, but i’m absolutely blown away by the stupidity of some of the other responses. on the issue of all us club-goers being sleazy assholes looking to score…umm. have you ever been to a club? i mean a real club. what is wrong with dancing? or is it drinking (which you dont have to)? maybe its being around women? imagine if jordan had no clubs. no bars. no eastern european “waitresses”. would we be a better country? or would we be like saudi? believe me, our own homegrown prostitution industry would explode quite quickly. do you really want to live in a place that disallows things that someone with a particular belief deems immoral and therefore wrong? we want to go forward, not backwardon the more important issue of female prostition…omar you crack me up. i was reading your posts a couple times over, and wow – you’re really nuts. “prostitutes have aggressive attitudes”…that is hilarious. i want to see you go have sex for money with random men, have a pimp own you, and maintain that cheery attitude of yours. negative attitudes might stem from the fact that the only arab men these women run into are trying to fuck them. woo. happiness. if your life is bad enough that you have to sell your body for sex to stay alive..thats bad enough. you don’t need to add to it by further trying to demean them. people trying to take the moral high ground by attacking the practices of other people for being “bad” are usually either wrong or insecure about their own shit. we have plenty of legitimate problems in jordan that nobody talks about – prostitution, growing aids/vd community, application of law, and the incredibly huge social/economic divide between rich and poor. these are questions that need to be raised

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  23. Khaled says:

    I guess Natalia said it for me,but as mentioned in the article the majority of prostitutes working in the middle-east most notably Dubai but Jordan as well are Eastern Europeans as well as syrians and moroccans I thought the word trafficked made that plain enough,Moroccans and Syrians are also trafficked, their might be a tiny minority of women who do this willingly. The reason the majority of women in prostitution today are non-jordanians is self evident. It is easier to enslave an individual outside of their own country. I concur with Natalia, punishing the prostitues is ridiculous, if any crackdown were to occur it should be directed towards the orchestrators of this trade as well as the men who seek out prostitutes, after all it is the demand for sex workers that allows for prostitution to perpetuate itself. Demand in the labour market is a derived demand, derived from the demand for the product which in this case is sexual service, if we could cut off the demand for sexual services there would in turn be no demand for prostitutes and naturally without demand those running the show would no longer involve themselves in enslaving women because it would be rendered unprofitable.The prostitutes in this case are the greatest victims, if you perceive this as a problem then you would do well to solve the problem by addressing the source whom in this case are the Jordanian/Gulf men who seek their services.

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  24. -Khaled, I can’t just agree with you when generalizing for Morrocans and Syrians and suggesting that it’s the same as you mentioned it, that is, prisons, slavery, families threatened, like what happens in Eastern Europe. Let’s just not go that far, because out of what I witnessed and what can be noticed inside Amman, it’s not that bad, at least not for the majority of the Morrocan or Syrian prostitutes, that was my whole point from the very beginning, and those were the kind of prostitutes who I was suggesting that they chose their lives to some extent. I don’t believe that there’s anybody who’s clueless about the whole prostitution trafficking tragedy around the world, though, it’s also obvious that each country has its own uniqe situation, and because the post up there has the title “Prostitution in JORDAN”, and because we were mainly discussing things inside Amman, I took the thing more domestically and start talking about Amman not about the whole world. Prostitutes might be the greatest if not the only victims if we consider the problem world wide, but again, if we’re to disscus it here in Jordan, we’ll have to realize it’s not totally the same.Also, I agree with you about prostitutes being mostly non-Jordanians, and I agree with your point here, but you have also forgot the fact that the nature of the Jordanian society (religious, small,…) also participates in creating this situation.Of course, part of the solution would be in limiting the demand for prostitution, which I believe is mainly coming from Saudi men who can’t have prostitutes in their country to feed them, and I guess we can’t do much about that fact, so we must consider more laws and regulations to control and bound the whole night clubs issue (the filthy ones), and for all, we should consider what Nas suggested up there for what concerns the prostitutes. I strictly believe that we need a country with less prostitution if not without any, I don’t accept that my country would turn into a place where prostitution is something allowed and accepted. That would be my whole idea of this conversation. And I apologize if I crossed the line once or twice.As for the others, do you really think that by insulting and cursing at me you’re actually making a conversation that anyone will be amused to watch or worth respnding to?! Can’t you just get your point across without making personal judgments and without showing off with your talents in psychology?

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  25. Khaled says:

    once again, I don’t know how to make this any clearer, my assertion is that women are TRAFFICKED from outside of Jordan and then into Jordan and once in Jordan are held in virtual slavery. That is not to say they are in chains but they are forced into peroforming sexual slavery. I’ve tried to demonstrate that just because they’re walking around at some point around the streets of Amman does not mean they are being not being held in bondage . The methods employed by slave owners rests upon intimidating the victim into subjugation by threatening physical harm to family members and holding their passports and so on so that they are unable to break free. Plus, these women only receive a tiny fraction of the proceeds of prostitution and that money is only designated as in order to afford the upkeep of the woman so that she remains a valuable commodity.furthermore, i resent your assertion that only saudi or foregin men indulge in this, Jordanians are a smuch a party to thsi as anyone else and simply blaming the outsiders is counter-productive. furthermore, as in the in original blog post a lot of these women are eastern European and or foreign, the institutioln of prostitution in Jordan is very well organized and there exists an extensive network of control in place in order to keep these omwen in their plight,that is not to say that there are some women who do it out ofd their own free will in Amman, however, my understanding of the situtation as demonstrated by research conducted by the State Department the UNDP and Victor Malarek demonstrates that the majority of prostitutes in the country are held against their will in one form or the other.

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  26. -Khaled, I understand your assertion to the issue from the beginning, and there’s no need to keep repeating it if you think that I’m not getting your point, the thing is simply I don’t take it as the ultimate truth, based on my personal experience and observations, that’s it.As for the Saudis issue, I didn’t say that it’s “only” them who induldge in these acts, my words are still there “which I believe is <>mainly<> coming from Saudi men”. It’s not far from reality to suggest this, as they admitt so themselves, and of course, the number of foreigners is pretty noticeable at any Malha inside Amman. And needlesss to say, the presence of Jordanians is evident.I realize that the post does suggst something about Eastern European prostitutes in Amman, though, I think I made it clear that I’m only regarding “Morrocan/Jordanian/Syrian” prostitutes, I may have failed in mentioning this in the very first comment, but I think I made it clear afterward.I’m not going any further with this discussion, at the end, I believe that the need for a domestic solution is what’s more important here, and it’s most probably coming from an assertion that takes all sides of the problem from different angles and point of views.

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  27. Guys, I have honestly enjoyed that debate going on about this subject. I can see all parties point of views. Agree with some, disagree with some, but I didn’t like the personal attacks which took place here on my blog. I wish you guys try to abide from attacking each other and continue with your civilized discussion. One thing that I didn’t mean to talk about in my post is classes of our society. What I called sleazy clubs is those who use women’s body to generate money. They are in no mean less expensive than those dancing clubs which I referred to as classy ones. Men who want ‘paid’ sex don’t go to the Nai, Myth or Prana. They go to Al ‘3ajarieh, Corfu, Wheels, and many others where they can find mostly eastern europiean women actign as waitresses and selling something else. To be a sexually active woman sleeping with different partners in a short period of time is one thing, while being a paid prostitute is another thing. Unfortunatly in our society conviction any woman sleeps with a man even if it is one man outside marriage boundaries would be labeled as a prostitute! Poverty is a major reason for prostitution. There sure are some other reasons. Like being sexually abuse in childhood. Having a low self esteem, and hating oneself where a woman get to a point where she doesn’t care about herself and so going through this path. Omar, I have came to contact with some of those girls working on the night clubs of Amman, and I can tell without anydoubt how misrable they are. You can just tell from their eyes. The way they come to serve you and initiate a chat to do their work. Even if some do get to a point of getting more money out of prostitution, alike in Paulo Coelho story “Eleven minute”. A prostitute gets to know that her career age is limited. Their fear of going back to poverty keep them going. Some try to save for their future. We don’t provide them with other alternatives to help them get back to society. Women who can make good money out of sex usually do it in a smarter way without getting themselves to work in such sleazy places where they lack basic human rights. Some do sell themselves to one rich man as of marrying someone for his money, which I call a disguised prostitution but that is a totally different subject.Life is tough, and we treat our women so harshly. If we can’t provide those women with a decent life to cut them off the life style they are in, why not at least try to give them better conditions by legalizing it?

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  28. jamila says:

    Hi, this is an extremely interesting discussion and it’s amazing I found similar topics in other Jordanian blogs. I will post my opinions [the same I posted in another blog] also in this blog as the debate seems so lively.Anyway prostitution in Jordan, like elsewhere, is not only female. And not only in Amman. We usually associate women with prostitution. We all talk about female sex workers, forced into prostitution.What is especially sad, and not acknowledged at all, is that Jordan is another destination like the Carribean, Morocco, Asia, Southern Europe and Africa for foreign, mature, rich females looking for easy relations with Jordanian men, gigolos. If you go to Aqaba, you will see many Jordanian men, usually working in the tourist industry [hotel employees, guides, watersport instructors] going to private flats and hotels at night with single women from their thirties on usually from Europe (Belgium, Germany, Spain etc.). If go to Aqaba quite often, you will see the same women returning regularly to visit their gigolos, many of these men married with kids. Mature women spending on flights and expensive ‘gifts’ like cars, flats, clothes etc. for their local lovers keep coming back every year, pretending they love the place and the people. And, mind you, I am not criticizing men just because I see them with a foreigner. It’s rather disgusting to see these women escorted by usually younger locals with nobody saying anything, maybe because we cannot say anything to foreign women or because men are allowed to do whatever they want, with a wife waiting at home.These female foreigners enjoy sex, excitement and flattery in the anonymity of an exotic country where nobody knows them, or better, where locals see, recognize, even welcome them cordially but shut up, maybe hoping that they can do the same thing one day. The women figure as clients of some sort, business partners or even old friends but the business is actually sex even if some of them often call it love.I am not saying that some of these women do not actually fall in love and do not believe that they are ‘the only one’. Many of them typically deny what they do deluding themselves about the fact that they are just helping a friend in need with favours and gifts. Gigolos, on their part, enjoy giving foreigners fun, receiving favours and gifts usually from a number of different women. Besides, it is all done privately, in a personal way, with ‘presents’ and not with transactions that are typical of men approaching females and asking them for prices. It’s a frenzy of arrivals and departures of regular sex clients, a real business for these ‘successful’ male prostitutesMale prostitution is somehow allowed and not condemned, we just give male ‘playthings’ a pat on the shoulder! Men don’t figure as prostitutes, but just as men successful with women. We are afraid to call them by their real name. Actually all this is not harmless fun, it’s not love nor romance, nor help and not even beneficial sexual-economic transactions. It’s exploitation of people, it’s power relations perpetuating cultural stereotypes (would these women do in their countries what they feel allowed to do here? Would these men behave in the same way with local women?), widening the gap between tourists and locals, rich and poor, and destroying families and dignity for the sake of cheap pleasure and dirty money. And of course there is the problem of Aids and other diseases. How can we stop infections if husbands have sex with foreigners and we don’t know about it because others, especially men, hide what happens? Why wives are not told?If any society wants to protect values like family, dignity, respectability, honour and even health it has to start looking down on the members of society that engage in prostitution, be it male or female, local or foreign. It has to call prostitution by its name and apply the same standards to male and female sex workers. It must have the courage to say what it is in front of everyone, and not pretend that those lonely female tourists are nice customers and that those local gigolos are successful playboys. Do we have the courage not to be hypocrites?

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  29. Jamila, yes males prostituion is as bad as female prostituion. I guess that no one mentioned it befroe becaue it doesn’t seem to be much spread in Jordan as of the female one. Thanks for opening our eyes to this issue. One has to wonder how many hidden issues we have in our society!

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  30. Mohammad says:

    I was really struck by your post , Jamila, both because you covered a controversial issue and because I had a similar somehow direct experience of it.About some time ago I had this really unpleasant encounter in Aqaba. I met an anesthesiologist from Hamburg University hospital, Barbara S., a woman past her forties returning to Aqaba for the nth time for her ‘diving’ in 3-4 years as I remember. She was eager to talk, she actually talked too much for my taste. Somehow I got the impression she was trying to impress me positively. At the same time she had a condescending tone, full of self-confidence, which did not make me feel really at ease. It was after some time that I understood who she was, a regular of the place bringing ‘presents’ and favors for the sexual services of her local gigolo, bugging other locals for finding special flats where to have her sexual services and bragging all over the place about all the things she brought to her lover.Why am I relating this story? For a number of reasons:– I should have told her right away, if I had known at the time, ‘I know why you come here, to exploit local male prostitution’. I was in a way her accomplice just because I shut up.– Because, contrary to what we think, these dirty women can be in any kind of profession, even the ones we usually think should be respectable but that in fact prove to be without any ethics nor morals. When I say that these people have no morals I mean that not simply they come here to buy sex but they show arrogance in telling they love the country and the people pretending we don’t know what they come here for and especially in buying sex from locals that are usually married with kids, so destroying our society. Of course I know that local gigolos are usually scammers promising love and other fake things. Yet a person that supposedly has an ‘educated’ background should have the dignity and honesty of not planning trips in order to destroy families and people. It is an act of sheer carelessness and vulgarity on the part of a Western woman thinking she can do whatever she likes with people. I call this perversion. It takes a vulgar pervert to travel miles to satisfy her animal desires.– I can’t help thinking about the gigolo’s wife at home and the dirty doctor running free, it enrages me, it sucks and we should do something about it. – Why are we asked millions papers to get a short visa to Europe and we give free access to these perverts in our country? We have to show that we return here and that we don’t get involved in any bad business abroad while these women get an easy visa to get involved with and actually promote prostitution in our country. I think we should inform foreign embassies about these people and ask for an adequate explanation for this obvious discrimination against us.

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  31. In discussing any human case, we should take into consideration that there is no fixed rule.However,we can assert that prostitution,as servitude,is mostly the product of ignorance and poverty.Subsequently,the solution is tackling ignorance and social injustice.Where this is unattainable, legalizing prostitution would protect both men and women, prostitutes and non-prostitutes.There are relatively decent nightclubs in western countries, where men accompany their wives or girlfriends,and mingle with each other.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    I was called upon to present a presnetation on Human Traficking and Sex Trade ….seminar in Radison Sas / Amman few Months ago. I had an earlier intrest in that topic and done my research extensively.after finishing my presntation where one of the slides was describing a 60 yrs Old western tourist was bargining to buy a 9 yrs Old thai girl from her female Pimp. ANd then i showed the picture of that man leaving with the little girl to his hotel.without going into much details….I have been to so many countries and Prostituation is there and will always be there as the oldest proffession in history…..How ever i felt what was written a bout jordan is not true…..it gives you the impression that we are into Prostitution as colombians with drugs trafficking !I encourage you all to read ” Natasha story ” – Sex Trade.2007 Human trafficking report -US State Dept.Thank you

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  33. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous, I think that denial is a typical habit of the country. WHy don’t we just admit that Jordan is full of male and female prostitution? We see it everywhere but we are scared to confess, we are not used to saying things directly and openly and we’d rather delude ourselves that our country is clean

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  34. Nayeek3amman says:

    WAL WAL WAL …. ELSHABAB KULHA KHABEERIT SHARAMEET AND NAWADEE LAYLEEYEH..HEHEHEHEHEWALKU EYGHUS BALKU SHOO INKUM BOURGEOIS WANNABES YA AHEL AMMAN,AND YOU DON’T NEED A NIGHT CLUB CLASSY OR SHITTY TO SCREW OR SCORE , THATS FOR THE PATHETIC MAJORITY OF SEXUALLY OPPRESSED AMMANITES.BUT IF YOU WANNA SCORE ALL YOU GOT TO DO IS LOOK ANYWHERE AROUND YOU AND YOU CAN “GET SOME” ,YOUNG, OLD, MARRIED, UNMARRIED,ORGIES, SWINGER PARTIES ,ITS ALL THERE IN AMMAN GUYS (WILL NEVER FORGET THE SWINGER PARTY FROM DUNES CLUB,SCORED THE AMMANITE MOMMA AND HER DAUGHTER- TOTALLY KINKY AND GROOVY TIMES).SO STOP TRYING TO TALK ABOUT PROSTITUTION AS IF YOU HAVE TO CATEGORIZE AND SYMPATHIZE,GUYS ITS IN THE BLOOD OF THE ARABS AND THE AMMANITES,ALL THAT IT TAKES IS JUST LETTING THINGS GO AND OPENING THE DOOR YOU WILL SEE THE TRUE COLORS OF THE PEOPLE.THIS IS WHY COUNTRIES LIKE LEBANON,TUNISIA AND MAROC ARE OPEN AND GOT NO SHITTY ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEX, I WISH AMMAN THE BEST IN TRYING TO BE LIKE THOSE COUNTRIES THATS IF THEY CAN…HEEHEEAGAIN YOU AMMANITES MAKE ME WANNA PUKE ,BUT SCREWING YOUR GIRLS WAS THE MOST SHABBY EXPERIENCE I HAD IN MY ADVENTURES IN THE ARAB WORLDSALUT

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Does anybody copy-edit their articles, or reactions to articles anymore? I’ve spent maybe 30 seconds on this page, and have found the experience of trying to read anything to be <>excruciating<>.

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  36. Mohammed lahham says:

    I think “night clubs in amman”most of them ,had been created to compinsate the men only,of the social gap that is coming from the structure of the society,jordanian men are seeking not only sex or fun,they are seeking females from different cultures to be as friends,you may find the generous jordanian man,or the brave one,”at that dirty place”,i think the most favourite girls for them are the russians and europeans in general,but for the question about a woman for being a prostitute,i believe that first it is a destiny,i think they are victems of devious human being

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  37. سمية says:

    قيل سابقا بصدق ” تجوع الحرة ولا تأكل بثدييها”. واذا ما كان البعض غير “حر”، فان التجربة التركية الحديثة في تأمين مواقف ومهارات ومهنة للمومسات سيفيد في الوقاية من الضعف الانساني وحماية الكرامة الانسانية والاسر ة والمجتمع من هذا البلاء.

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  38. Antonio says:

    The oldest job in the world, many had tried to stop it, nobody has succeed so far. I guess to legalize the “sex workers” it is the best option, at least You can make them pay taxes, they will continue with the work no matter what anyway and also this will help the women avoiding to be in the hands of pimps and get access to Health Service. To ban this kind of activity only creates problems and extra finantial load to the governements, it is better just control and regulate it..

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  39. Antonio says:

    Also, I can say, because I visited one place a few weeks ago, that many of the “working girls” are from Syria, Iraq and Jordan as well as from East Europe. The people Who suggested the place were Jordanians.

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  40. lisa says:

    Please have a look at FB Stop the Petra bedouin women scammers.
    The site is devoted to problem mentioned in the article.

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