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Jordanians tweet frustration with holiday change

By Khetam Malkawi - Jan 17,2013 - Last updated at Jan 17,2013

AMMAN — Some Jordanian Twitter users on Wednesday expressed frustration with the government’s decision to observe the public holiday marking Prophet Mohammad’s birthday on Sunday, January 20 instead of Thursday, January 24.

Many said the decision, which was not announced until Wednesday, had disrupted their schedules as they had already made plans assuming that the public day off would coincide with the actual holiday.

“What about those people who have already set plans for Sunday? Tomorrow [Thursday] will be the cancellation day,” Batir Wardam (@batirw) tweeted on Wednesday, referring to those who had official business scheduled for Sunday.

Twitter user @Rawan_Baybars said that changing the day of the holiday marking the Prophet’s birthday was disrespectful, and wondered whether the government could also change the date of Christmas.

User @ZaidounK said: “I expected them to cancel the holiday instead of shifting it to compensate for the unplanned holidays when it snowed” last week.

Others greeted the decision with sarcasm, such as @hazem, who joked that Ensour had also decided that Ramadan would start next week rather than in July.

Some criticised the decision to declare Sunday a holiday without postponing that day’s General Secondary Certificate Examination (Tawjihi), which the government announced will go ahead as scheduled.

Several “tweeps”, including @majdaalqudah, pointed out that teachers proctoring the exams will have to work on Sunday while everyone else will have a day off.

Celebrations of the Prophet’s birthday will still take place on Thursday, the 12th day of Rabi Al Awwal in the Islamic lunar calendar, but the public holiday was moved to Sunday because public sector staff entrusted with supervising the January 23 parliamentary elections will be counting ballots on January 24, the announcement said.

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