A new movie has been the subject of controversy in Jordan after a local actor announced his decision to withdraw from the casting.
The new movie called “Jaber” reportedly claims that Jews have a right to Palestine and Petra in Southern Jordan, and that they have lived there 1400 years ago.
In a Facebook post, Ali Elayan, the director and actor who was set to play a Jordanian intelligence officer in the movie announced his decision pointing out he discussed the content with the movie director and told him he did not believe in the ideas and alleged facts being introduced in the movie.
Translation: “General clarification: Today, I have withdrawn from the casting of the international movie, Jaber, that is set to be filmed in Amman because the scenario claims Jews has a historical right to Palestine and directly affirms their right in Petra and Southern Jordan. I have discussed the ideas being introduced with the director but he claimed its historical facts and the movie will be finalized as it is since it is going to be aired for the US audience, not the Arab world. He also asked me a direct question: “Don’t you believe in these ideas?”, I told him “Absolutely No, I don’t”. He said then: “So you will no longer be participating in this work” when I replied: “Yes, I am going to withdraw from the film”. The discussion ended with me withdrawing [from the movie] and I am not responsible for the poster being included below.”
Elayan’s announcement has sparked controversy among Jordanians while the actor received massive support and hail from Israel-boycott movements in Jordan.
“Etharrak”, a political movement against normalization with Israel in Jordan, has announced support and solidarity with Elayan calling other Jordanian actors to withdraw from the movie.
Meanwhile, the Jordanian Artists Association’s president called on Jordanian actors or anyone involved in the movie to withdraw because of the historical inaccuracy being introduced in it. This came while a number of Jordanian actors announced they have already withdrawn from the movie.
انسحب حتى الان ٧ فنانين أردنيين من فيلم #جابر الذي سيصور في عمان قريباً بعد اكتشاف أن سيناربو الفيلم يدّعي حق الصهاينة في فلسطين والبتراء وجنوب الأردن.
من يعطي تصاريح لمثل هكذا “جرائم” على هيئة أفلام؟
— رضا ياسين (@REDA_PLUS) July 27, 2019
Translation: “So far, seven Jordanian actors announced withdrawals from Jaber movie that is set to be filmed in Amman soon after finding out the movie claims the historical right of Jews in Palestine, Petra and South Jordan. Who gives permissions to such “crimes” taking the shape of movies?”
The controversy surrounding “Jaber” movie comes a few weeks after the first Arabic Netflix-produced series, Jinn, took the Jordanian public by storm for bad reviews and the social and religious violations it introduced.
The series that had several scenes for Jordanian teenagers kissing in a school bus and rough language being used faced a wave of criticism and controversy that ended with the Public Prosecutor in Jordan launching an investigation into the series and demanding the Cyber Crime Unit to get more details to take further action into the possibility of summoning individuals and entities involved in the production of the series.