By Omar Obeidat
AMMAN –– Despite a ban on the import of fireworks and firecrackers, the sounds of the explosives can be heard every night during Ramadan and remain a major annoyance for many Jordanians.
Amman residents complain that children start to set off firecrackers straight after Iftar, the meal in which Muslims break their fast at sunset. The sounds continue until it is time for Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal consumed early in the morning before the day-long fast begins.
Rami Dmour, a resident of the capital’s Dahiyat Al Rashid suburb, blamed parents for letting their children disturb the neighborhood all night.
He noted that sometimes they cannot sit outdoors because of the noisy fireworks and firecrackers.
“Parents should be worried about the safety of their children who could be injured by these explosives,” said Dmour, who likened the sounds of some firecrackers to those of machinegun fire or bomb blasts.
Another Amman resident who complained about the noise was Enas Jaber, who has a two-year-old son and a five-month-old daughter.
Every night, the kids in the area start setting off firecrackers and fireworks shortly after Iftar, said Jaber, a resident of Bayader Wadi Seer.
“We have to close the windows of our apartment every night after Iftar so that the children are not frightened,” she added.
“It is unfortunate that we have to tolerate such activities for a month every year,” said Khaldoun Abbadi, who complained about sleepless nights because of fireworks, which he said sometimes sound like dynamite.
Abbadi suggested that the authorities carry out inspection campaigns on shops and penalize stores that sell fireworks and firecrackers.
The government banned the import of fireworks in 2009, but every year customs agents foil several attempts to smuggle hundreds of cartons of fireworks as importers try to hide the explosives in containers carrying other products.
The Jordan Institution for Standards and Metrology conducts regular inspection campaigns on shops across the country and issues tickets to traders found selling fireworks and firecrackers.
The penalty for selling fireworks is four months in prison and a fine up to JD5,000 ($7,059).