Jordan has witnessed an increase in societal violence in the past few years. A shift in paradigm may be occurring in the country with people more likely to resort to violence to solve their disputes. More and more incidents occur where fists, knives, batons, guns and Molotov cocktails are used by civilians against each other and against police. Violent riots causing damage to private and public properties, as well as tribal clashes, are on the rise on the streets of Jordan. We are also seeing a huge increase in brawls at universities, often resulting in fatalities, injuries, destruction of property and the disruption of education for days. School children also are more inclined to engage in group fights at their schools, on the streets and in their recreational areas.
An award-winning news report in December 2011 warned that Jordanian civilians own 350,000 licensed small arms, and that, according to specialists, there are around one million unlicensed weapons most of which are automatic. In a population of less than seven millions, the percentage is staggering. Festive fire continues at weddings and other occasions in spite of legal repercussions. In August 2012, 22 people were injured by weapons fired to celebrate success in the general secondary education exams.
Action on Societal Violence- KAFA was established in response to this emerging phenomenon in the country as an organized attempt to pre-empt it from developing into an intrinsic part of the social norm. We are aware of the enormity of our stated mission and the challenges ahead, but we feel that it is part of our civic duty to do something before it is too late.