Youth, businesses clash, disrupting Thursday nights

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Congregations of teens outside of a corner in Abdoun, where disruptive youth are impacting businesses. (Photo: Zaina Zinati/Jordan News)
AMMAN — After a long-drawn-out week of students attending classes and those in the workforce making their routine commutes to the office, the streets come alive on Thursday to usher in the weekend. Thursday is a busy day for restaurants and cafes, as business spikes right before the lull of Friday. However, the rise in business also brings a surge in disruptive behavior.اضافة اعلان

At a clandestine corner of Abdoun, dotted with restaurants and cafes, you can find various food options, families out and about, and teenagers gathering by the groups.

The area is a regular choice for congregations as students from public and private schools ranging in ages come out to revel in the freedom of the weekend; the only problem is their behavior or lack thereof.

On one Thursday on that corner, the sounds of car horns and the hollering of profanities by the youth descended onto the scene. The crowds are so clustered and unfaltering that just parking your car is a task in and of itself.

These crowds are not new and are viewed as a scourge to the businesses in the area. A restaurant called “Soul Food,” in particular, has to actively plan for Thursdays, not for the increase in sales but the rise in delinquent behavior.
The outside seating bears the brunt of the lack of conduct. As the waiter came to take food orders, a glass bottle was thrown, shattering at a diners’ feet.

Without a flinch, the teenagers continue. As the waiter checks to see if the outside customers are okay, Jordan News asks how this occurrence impacts their business.

“Let’s say it can get bad. We call the police all the time. We called six times tonight, and what happens is that they disperse when the police come, and then they just come right back when they leave,” said an employee at “Soul Food” in Abdoun.

Congregations of teens outside of a corner in Abdoun, where disruptive youth are impacting businesses. (Photo: Zaina Zinati/Jordan News)

The employee mentions that the rest of the weekend is also bad, but nothing compared to the chaos of Thursday. “It affects our business so much on Thursdays because we have families that come and see this and then avoid us. They don’t want this kind of interaction, so they opt not to come to this location,” said the employee.

Across from “Soul Food” is a dessert shop called “My Cookie Dough,” with a dense cluster of people in front of the entrance. Mohammad Magableh, an employee at the Abdoun Branch, says that “They honestly give us such a hard time, and it’s the fault of the parents. It impacts our business so much,” he said in an interview with Jordan News.

It’s important to note that within the shop, there are no customers. All of the tables are empty, with the employees waiting to toil. “They smoke, they curse, and they can get violent. The girls as well, a lot of times we have to also ask the girls to leave,” he said in reference to the empty store.

“Sometimes they come as couples, and they think that this area is somewhere they can meet up without their parents knowing. And we don’t want those kinds of problems, so we have to kick them out. Okay, we’re a liberal city, but we don’t want this kind of reputation either,” said Magableh.

He shared that they come in groups as soon as it gets dark, and they don’t disperse until well into the night after the shops have closed.

“My Cookie Dough” has a second branch in Khalda that experiences the same problem as their sister location. Still, the seclusion of the Abdoun site makes it much more appealing for those wreaking havoc, according to the employees.

As a first-year college student, Ahmad Abu Saleh has seen this behavior before from his classmates during high school. “I’ve met a few people in my class who used to get bullied, and after like one year, they grew up and had this bad behavior. They do it without thinking. They think that they are cool and that everyone will be afraid of them,” said Abu Saleh.

The disruptive youth are usually seen with cigarettes in their mouths and wearing their senior letterman jackets, representing what school they attend. Some sit on cars that don’t belong to them, while others block the cars trying to leave, but the reason for their behavior is unclear.

Abu Saleh says that even after he changed schools, he still saw the same trends. Teenagers acting out disruptively to show off to their friends. “I am disappointed, but honestly not surprised. Nevertheless, I’m sure no parent would be proud or accepting of these actions if they knew about them.”

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