17 July, 2008

The opera under the stars ending with a shooting of 6 in Amman down-town

Yesterday, They National Music Conservatory represented by Amman Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of the Holy Spirit University / Al-Kaslik / Lebanon had a wonderful orchestral and opera evening in their performance at the Roman Theater - Downtown Amman.

The evening organized by the National Music Conservatory and the Greater Amman Municipality featured orchestral performances by Amman Symphony Orchestra, as well as Opera performances by Jordanian-Armenian and Lebanese opera singers (including a very interesting performance of arabic opera translated from "Sebastian and Sebastiana"), and an awesome Choir performance.

The evening which was performed by almost the same performance as last year's Camena Burana (since Cairo Symphony orchestra didn't participate in this one). but didn't have as much reputation as the one last year, since the number of attendants was around 800 people (in comparison, last year's performance got almost 2000 attendants).
Despite that, the performance was as much of a pleasant experience as the last one.

VIP guest didn't include more than the mayor, who is a classic music lover if you dont know, and a couple of ambassadors. maybe the fact that there weren't that much VIP guests turned into a fact the less security personnel representation in the area surrounding the venue. There were police men at the venue, but not that much in comparison to last year's performance in the area surrounding the venue.

After the end of the performance around 10:15 PM, and after the end of the performance, the people as well as the performance leaders made their way out to leave. a part of the people moved towards the east to the new Raghadan Terminal (which was used as a parking lot for the event by the way!). and a part moved towards the west, those included the performance participants, and the Choir who left to ride into the 2 buses parked at the point marked in RED in this photo.

That is, when an 18 year old boy, named "Tha'er AbdelKader Al-Wohedee" ثائر عبدالقادر الوحيدي, resident of Baqaa refugee camp, and a holder of a suit-file of 2 theaft cases, appeared holding a pistol and started shooting on the students getting into the bus, causing injury to 4 students from the Lebanese choir, the bus driver, an a Palestinian tourist passing by the street.

After that, the teenager started running, when the people in the streets started running over him, as well as a couple of police men. and the teenager kept running until he reached near to the Raghadan Terminal's traffic light (Blue square in map). Where he shut his self.

My self was at that time in a Taxi, that i have picked with my mum from the traffic light, after spending around 10 minutes in the Raghadan Terminal Area without any empty taxi appearing. I heard through the window something that sounded like a small fireworks (I even thought some children were playing), and after that around 7 -8 people running in different areas of the street, and when looking back, there was someone lying on the street.

The police has apparently closed the area until a late hour last night after the incident, but i personally thing the representation of police forces should have been wider in the area surrounding the venue like in other similar occasions and performances that are being held in the roman theater. and notice in the map how far did the attacker run, with only 2 police going for him (out of which one was crossing the street from the other side and passed in front of the taxi i was in).

So ... what actually happened WAS NOT a Tourist shouting (like S O M E resources said), and victims weren't all Lebanese (like other resources said)! Local news resources on the other hand covered the incident pretty well. but what i most hated, was Reuters assumption (or resource's assumption) that the attacker had suspected the Lebanese musicians were Israelis.... where do they get those assumption when the attacker is in a critical situation in the hospital!!!

I feel sad for what happened last night, and i feel sad, and send my apology as a Jordanian to the choir of the Holy Spirit University / Al-Kaslik and its members who had their 3rd performance in Jordan last night, and whom i am very sure will be coming back to enrich us with their wonderful voices again and again for a 4th, 5th and 10th time even.

related posts can be found by Naseem Tarawneh, Natasha Tynes, and Jad Madi


Anonymous said...

did the gun-man kill himself?

nasimjo© said...

He shot his self and he is clinically dead at the time being