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Video of man climbing on GAM employee causes outrage

By Sawsan Tabazah - Sep 10,2018 - Last updated at Sep 10,2018

Footage from the shop's security camera shows the citizen stepping on the GAM employee's back to remove the violating banner (Photo courtesy of Mukhles Omar)

AMMAN — A photo showing a man climbing on the back of a Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) employees back to remove a restricted banner in Amman's Princess Rahma Street, recently sparked outrage on social media.

In the footage captured by the security cameras of the shop, identified as La Costa outlet in Khalda, GAM employees are seen arriving to the area to remove the violating banner on Saturday morning at around 8:15am.

The video, a copy of which was provided to The Jordan Times by Mukhles Omar, the shop manager, depicts GAM employees trying to remove the banner without using a ladder.

They then catch the eye of a tall man standing nearby, who offers to help. As the man does not manage to reach the banner despite standing on the roof of a municipality truck, the sanitation worker ends up leaning down while the man climbs on his back to remove the banner. 

The video also shows bystanders taking photos of the incident, which seems to bother GAM's employees. 

In a Tweet addressing the incident, GAM stated that "the dignity of sanitation workers was preserved", promising to open an investigation to "deal with it firmly". 

For Omar, who said he did know the banner was in violation, finding it removed was "a shock".

Meanwhile, GAM's Spokesperson Mazen Farejeen said that GAM employees are required to remove restricted banners that do not acquire official approvals, stressing, however, that the municipality opened an investigation into the case, and "strongly denounces such incidents". 

A number of citizens took to social media platforms, denouncing the incident as "humiliating" and "inhumane". Others, meanwhile, saw it as a depiction of corruption. 

Kawthar Al Aqrabawi wrote on Twitter: "Who gave him the right to humiliate the sanitation worker? Did [the employee] run a way of solutions to resolve to the easiest way of humiliating a man rather than asking for a ladder or winch from the specialised unit? Such photo shows that we are still living in the third world which does not understand the meaning of dignity." 

Another user, Ahmad Fakhri Tweeted: "This photo epitomises the situation in the country, everyone climbs [on] the back of the weak." 

However, journalist Samar Haddadin said she will not prejudge or accuse anyone without hearing the full story, since they could just be colleagues helping each other.

"But, if it was [a] kind of slavery, that would be another story," she added.

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