Culture minister ‘bears responsibility’ for outrage over explicit novel

(Photo: Jordan News Agency, Petra)

AMMAN Minister of Culture, Haifa Najjar, said she bore responsibility for public outrage over a novel condemned as explicit during a speech before a parliamentary committee, Al-Ghad News reported.اضافة اعلان


The novel in question, “Mira”, drew public criticism for appearing in the Culture Ministry’s Family Library.


Najjar, during a speech before the Parliament’s Committee for National Guidance and Media on Monday, announced that members of the committee that approved the novel had resigned collectively.


Mira, by the Jordanian writer Qassem Tawfiq, was published in 2018 by Dar Alaan for Publishing and Distributing in Amman within the Family Library Project.


The novel sparked outrage amongst social media users who called for it to be removed from the ministry’s Family Library because it contained explicit content.


“We must reconsider the novels and stories produced by the Family Library,” said Najjar. “This error must be addressed.”


“Our national (Jordanian) narrative must be presented within the context of our history, values, and moral and spiritual magnitudes that takes into account religion, customs, and traditions,” she added.


Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh, on November 30, directed the Culture Ministry to review all novels and literary works that the ministry supports through the Family Library Project and to withdraw all works that do not fit the values and traditions of Jordanian society.


The ministry had withdrawn the novel a day before, on November 29.


The director of the Family Library Project, Ahmed Rashid, said in previous statements that the ministry had found content in the novel “that some people do not accept”.


He told Al-Ghad News that out of respect for Jordanian and Arab readers and the ministry’s aspiration to avoid publishing any content that could offend the public, the ministry decided to withdraw the novel from the shelves related to the Family Library project.


The ministry launched the Family Library Project in 2017 to promote cultural awareness and critical thinking.


Read more National news
Jordan News