JORDAN's bloggers ask: Where were you during the Amman bombings?

AMMAN, vigil for 2005 hotel bombings. © Ramzi Haidar / AFP

Jordan Remembers Amman Bombings

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Friday, November 9th, 2007 @ 22:46 UTC
by Naseem Tarawnah

It's been two years since over 60 people were taken from their families. The Amman bombings of November 9th 2005, is a memory etched in the minds of all Jordanians. In a country that is perceived to be calm, safe and stable, the bombings were a disturbing reminder that no nation is immune to the evils of terrorism. Two years ago, Global Voices kept the world up to date in the minutes and hours following the bombings, even when media giants like CNN couldn't. Yesterday, Jordanian bloggers remembered, finding it difficult at times to find the right words.

Eman, who lives in Tunisia said: “Today is one of those days in which you find yourself speechless. Being away, remembering all those we watched get awfully killed from a distance, I can’t even imagine how others, who are in Amman, and even worse, those, who lost loved ones, are feeling right this moment!”

The blast that haunts most Jordanians today, was the one that targeted a wedding at the Radisson SAS. Over 30 people were killed including the fathers of both the bride and groom. Um Zaid attended a wedding, and it was a sudden reminder of how times have changed:

“So two years later, it is normal to enter a hotel in ‘Amman by going through the same security that you face at an American airport. It is normal to have your bag searched to go to the mall. To walk through a metal detector to get your groceries. I see more soldiers and police on the streets than I did 5 years ago…Two years ago, the smoke in the ballroom came from bulky bombs strapped around people’s bodies. Tonight, the smoke in the ballroom was from dry ice timed to release as a chubby smiling groom twirled his blushing bride in front of a nonchalant crowd.”

Photo Credit: Hareega

Yazan remembers being at a Spanish musical concert at the Le Meredian hotel at the time of the bombings:

“After the break [intermission] finished, we went back inside the hall, and the event started again. After a while, we noticed this high rank military officer entering and approaching princess Sumaya, who was a guest at the event, they went outside for a while, and she entered again with a frown face. After that, a number of people started getting phone calls and storming out of the room…I went to my apartment with my friends. We gathered mesmerized on the television screen watching what is happening. It was strange, as we never thought that something like this could happen in Amman.”

Kinzi was in Austria at the time, far from her family and home when the dreadful news broke. News was hard to come by and Jordanian bloggers tried to fill the void:

“Unable to sleep, I spent the next three hours on-line with Jordan Planet, in tears as I switched back and forth from Natasha, Lina, Roba, Nas trying to get more info. They had the news, not CNN. Soon other bloggers posted that they were ok. No one I knew was lost, at that point. But many other families were devastated, and that grieved my heart. Amman’s innocence was robbed.”

Lastly, Hend Fayez offers a poem of remembrance:

“When walls start raining blood
And grooms bury their dead,
Pretty brides blush no more
Their gowns are stained by flesh,
Too white for a black day.”