The Argeeleh Conspiracy

The subject of the Jordanian government banning the Argeeleh (hubbly bubbly, shisha, or hookah) and not issuing new licenses for coffee places to serve them has become a matter of public debate. I am not saying I am perfect, I do enjoy an occasional argeeleh once every couple of months, but I usually enjoy it outdoors in the comfort of my own terrace, seeing as I don’t want to suffocate anyone nor want to be suffocated, I don’t even go to coffee shops or places that serve argeeleh because of the bad ventilation that causes dizziness, and an unpleasant experience. But seeing as I am admitting that I am not one of double standards, I am writing this blog post because some of the online reactions regarding this decision has really been getting to me lately. I have heard people say it is bad for tourism, really? Or is it because the ban of it ruin your leisure time and abolish your only source of entertainment?

In 2012 France was the number one country in the world with over 83 million international tourists visiting the country, and did they go there for the Argeeleh or the culture? To those of you saying that the ban of Argeeleh is bad for tourism, I have this to say to you: YOU ARE BAD FOR TOURISM! You are actually nasty for thinking that having Argeeleh is more important than the fact that we are diverse country, with multiple Roman ruins spread across the Kingdom, Petra one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Dead Sea one of the world’s nature wonders (in which we should consider ourselves lucky if we can retain for the next 50 years), Aqaba where divers can enjoy some of the most breath taking and unique corals in the world, and of course peace and stability. When tourists aren’t going elsewhere in the region, they still have a little bit of faith when it comes to visiting Jordan, so no, it’s isn’t the ban of Argeeleh that is bad for tourism, it is your ignorant mentality that allows you to think that sitting for a cup of coffee and a hookah is the reason behind people coming to visit Jordan.

Other theories have evolved about the government wanting to once again suppress the self-esteem/moral of the citizens, who seem to find some sort of relief in smoking argeeleh after work hours or during the weekends. Well you know what, if you must insist on having an argeeleh go ahead and have it in the privacy of your own home, I am not encouraging it per se, however, I am assuming that you are as much as an adult as I am, and you should own up to your own decisions. Just like choosing junk food over a home-cooked meal, you do own up to the consequences, weight gain, blood pressure issues, digestion problems, cholesterol, and the list goes own. If you must indulge in Argeeleh, do it at your own risk, where increasing the risk of cancer and diseases is something that you can live with, but please do not blame the government for banning your recreational activity, that is a public hazard, that doesn’t only harm you, but everyone around you, whether they are enjoying Argeeleh or not, and it pretty much creates an unhealthy environment all over.

Just take a minute, and think before thinking of the 101 come backs that you’d like to write in the comments to this blog post about how wrong I am – think of the money invested in treating cancer patients in Jordan which has an accelerating number of cases every year, I am not saying that smoking is a result to all of these patients, but I am simply saying, it may lead up to it, or cause it in some cases. Isn’t it, and correct me if I am wrong, the government’s job to provide better health care for citizens, by providing a better living environment?

While the people in the world are thinking of how to attract tourists to their country, how to improve their life style, how to move forward with their career, how to give back to the community, and how the government can make their country a better place, we choose to bicker over one of the most important decisions that our government has made, and we do it for the sake of non-sense. People who are arguing with the endless list of excuses (like the two mentioned above) are hypocrites, they want the best from their country and government, and when they get the first step into taking a turn for the best, they start complaining and making a big deal out of one of the best decisions ever! Think people, think of the bigger picture here, this is not just about you, your friends, your family, or your co-workers.

This is about a better community, a better city, a better country, healthier citizens, a better life style, and a turn for what I hope would be the best for Jordan.

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