DUBAI: Jordan’s Public Security Directorate (PSD) warned individuals against firing guns indiscriminately in celebration of exam results, state news agency Petra has reported.
The celebratory practice of discharging firearms, so-called ‘festive gunfire,’ is a persistent problem in Jordan and has led to serious injury and even fatalities as gravity causes the bullets fired in the air to descend at the same speed, hitting unsuspecting bystanders.
King Abdullah even described the tribal tradition as a “clear violation of the law and an act against the health and safety of society” in his Twitter account.
Estimates show that from 2013 to 2018, between 1,500 and 1,869 people were killed by stray bullets fired in celebration, while the injury rate was far higher.
Authorities have pledged “stricter control over celebratory gunfire and stated that anyone engaging in such conduct will be arrested,” state news agency Petra reported.
Warnings have also been issued against those engaging in serious traffic violations such as unlawful motorcades, hanging out of car windows and sunroofs and reckless driving to celebrate the release of the Tawjihi results.
Tawjihi is the country’s general secondary national examination for all students who plan to continue studying for their undergraduate and graduate degrees in Jordan. Students who pass are awarded the Tawjihi – Jordanian General Secondary School Certificate.
It’s when the exam results are issued that young people celebrate by driving with people leaning out of the windows and people firing guns.
In response the US embassy in Jordan has issued a safety alert highlighting these practices.
“As part of the celebrations expect congested traffic, more aggressive drivers, and celebratory gunfire. The results of the Tawjihi exams are often published with little or no warning. Last year the results were published in the early morning,” its alert noted.
“US government personnel are advised to exercise caution and to take cover and move away from the area if they observe gunfire,” it added.
The diplomatic post also issued reminders to avoid public gatherings and festivities, increase awareness, review personal security protocols, or contact police authorities in face of immediate danger or threats.