Friday, June 15, 2007

The Children Museum: Gross Discrimination

Yes I do… I also believe that the Children Museum is a great idea, a well-done effort and something we did need!

But today, as I took my son and daughter to the museum responding to a lot of encouragement by Roba and Ahmed, I came back home with a very bitter feeling.

It is killing me, dismaying me and even alarming me how this country is quickly becoming a country for the rich. I was all excited at the fancy and well-planned teaching-learning instruments and experiments but I was equally saddened and disappointed with the number of families who made a shy retreat at the entrance of the museum with the reception staff telling them that everyone going in has to pay a JD3 fee. Just imagine the feeling a parent has when he is told that he has to pay JD 21 for going in with his wife and five kids and he cannot afford it. (Ya it is his mistake, he should have used better birth control!)
Who is this genius who decided that each and every single person going in should pay that much? Is he Jordanian, does he have a family? Does he read the newspaper? Or is it only that this project, that received exceptional media hype, is only a for-profit stunt?

How can the kids that Ahmed imagined playing and learning in the museum go in there with such a ridiculous fee?

As I was leaving the museum a woman, who made a shy go-back to the King Hussein Park when told about the fee, asked me :"Is it worth it?"

"I said: Well it is!"

"But it is too much.. I cant pay JD 15 to go in… kteer yakhti."

I smiled to her… what would you have responded with… dear readers?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would say: yes, it is ktheer, go back home and never think of taking your kids to something fun and beneficial like this again...

Globalorama said...

is anon above being sarcastic or mean.

anyways, my response would be: no it is not. a family must take care of the bare necessities of surviving first (i.e. shelter, food, and clothing) before thinking of education and entertainment. However, this problem is not solved by talking, it has to be dealt with at the "root" level. I actually had to yell at my parents when Ms. #8 was on her way. I was so furious at the ideology of "rabnna byib3at el rizga ma3ha." how in hell do you traslate that (Allah will send income with the newborn?) No, Allah doesn't?

يعيش البيرث كونترول

salam said...

I agree! There has to be some sort of plan to offer free passes on certain days or for certian schools and summer clubs.It doesn't take a genuis to figure out the ones that need it.

Almutanaqal said...

Welcome to the so called "Free" Market Economy

joladies said...

A difficult problem. Obviously the museum cannot run on air and the government and/or municipality should not have to be responsible for all the running costs. There must be a way round this. Let us have some ideas!! T

kinzi said...

I would say "have your husband give up smoking for two weeks for the sake of the kids"

But yea, it is a lot. Isnt' there anyway others can get an Eastern rate?

joladies said...

it is a difficult one. the museum cannot run on air and we cannot expect the government/municipality to use our taxes to run the place. but it is a gross discrimination against the poor. There should be some brains out there who can come up with a solution! T

Oula said...

anon: Ah ya, that's the hidden message many places in Amman are giving: the have nots don't belong here...

globalorama: yes, we will wait for birth control and meanwhile all those people who made the sin of having 3 or 4 children should suffer!

salam: YES!

almutanaqal:too free we cant handle it!

kinzi: how do u know her husband is a smoker?

joladies: I wish they thought of those people going home disappointed before even opening the museum...

Isam Abu Salhieh said...

it is sad ... but life is not fair ... the poor suffer with alot of things including situations like u mentioned here ...

but let's be honest ... this museum costs money ... and it has to raise money in return ... so do u suggest as long as there are people who cant afford this place that it shouldnt be built in the 1st place ??? cuz the rich kids need places to go ... and really its not their fault that there are kids that cant go the the children museum or go spend such and such in mecca mall or go to the movies ... thats life !

Moey said...

well, to think of it.. everything in here is about the money. sorry alhussain park would charge that much too.

joladies said...

Well Isam I find your comment a bit puzzling. This museum is the brainchild of Queen Rania and I would have thought she wants ALL children to benefit not just the rich. T

Dave said...

Ha, I like Kinzi's answer, even if it does (rightly?) assume that the majority of men in Jordan are smokers.

That aside, Chicago incorporates Salam's idea and has a single day a week when the museums and aquariums are free. That would solve the problem for families that can't afford the entry charge, but would also address the idea of continual funding in order to provide quality exhibits.

batir said...

Comparing the costs on mobile phones and smoking, I think the entry fee for the museum is reasonable, taking into consideration the amount of time and effort done to build it. Sometimes people feel very sensitive to pay for useful things but can throw away a fortune on mobiles and smoking, and this is practised by both poor and rich.

Oula said...

Isam: What I mean is that such an idea that finally provides some knowledge and education with playing and fun should benefit all.. we are already lagging behind in that regard.. we cant afford to exclude the have-nots.
Moey: well its.. but i never paid to go in to Al Hussein Park?
Dave: there are so many ideas! It doesn't need a genius to figure out sth that would provide the museum with funding and give the have nots a opportunity to enjoy some fun learning.
Batir: maybe u r right.. But how about requiring children only to pay? a family of 4 will pay much less if the parents didnt have to pay... there are so many ways and as I said earlier, the point is: you are doing sth good.. please do it right! again, we have been deprived of such things for a very long time!

Isam Abu Salhieh said...

Joladies : is it a puplic facility ?? if donors are intrested in educating young children they can sponsor trips to the museum no problem ... or donate with whatever is running cost and then the entrance fee will be reduced ...

Oula : true i cant disagree ... we are lagging not in this field but in alot of field ... and i think we should teach kids not to hold knifes to each other before we take them to a colorful museum ...

this is one form of social injustice ... but why should the owner of the museum be held responsible ... everyone is after the money ...

antiZionist said...

While we are building museum ,please don't take me wrong I like museum's ,but before we build museum ,we should rebuild our hospitals ,schools ,public transportation ,emergency services,parks for each neighborhood, safe streets ,ending corruption ,reducing pollution and introducing recycling, free medical car for all and off course a true democracy.

nasimjo© said...

well, what you guys do not know is that, government school trips, the way Ahmad imagined, will not be charged 3 JD/kid, and it will not exceed 10-15 JD/ group!

So, what we will gonna see in this museum actually is that those kids living in the nearby area will never have interest going to the museum, while those coming from other towns will be enjoying it each and every now and then,,,, since kids get addicted to such a thing!

Anonymous said...

Well, the lady should have done her home work prior to taking the kids and embarrrass herself and her kids.She should have made a call and asked the attendant if there will be an admission fee or if there is a cover charge.This is simply poor planning on the lady's part.Next time hopefully she will do a better job at getting the necessary information before dragging the children into the abyss.If people are paying 60 fils to use the bathroom by the Husseini Mosque in downtown Amman.I mean you don't have to be that intiuitive to know that there will be an admission fee to get in.

rory in amman said...

In Paris, all the major museums are free on the first Sunday of each month. Couldn't we have something similar here for free entry on the first Friday of each month?