Jordan MP calls for actor's nationality to be stripped over Netflix film portaying crime and poverty in Amman

Jordan MP calls for actor's nationality to be stripped over Netflix film portaying crime and poverty in Amman
2 min read
25 January, 2023
A Jordanian lawmaker has called for an actor to be stripped of his citizenship after a film portraying crime and poverty in Amman.
Al-Hara tells the story of a hustler navigating the streets of East Amman [Getty]

A Jordanian lawmaker has urged the government to revoke an actor's citizenship after he defended controversial film Al Hara.

The film, whose title means 'The Alleys' in Arabic, tells the story of a hustler navigating the gritty streets of East Amman. It has received criticism for allegedly portraying Jordan in a negative light.

In a recent interview, Al Hara actor Mondher Rayahneh defended the production, arguing that it shed light on marginalised groups in Jordan.

The remark drew the ire of MP Suleiman Abu Yahya, who called for Rayahneh to be stripped of his citizenship in a parliamentary session on Monday.

"I call on the government to revoke the citizenship of Rayahneh after his fierce defence of the content of the movie Al-Hara," Abu Yahya said.

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Abu Yahya said Jordanian filmmakers should avoid social realism and instead take inspiration from Turkey's cinema and television productions, which often glorify their country's history and promote tourism.

He also urged lawyers to take legal action against Rayahneh.

Abu Yahya's remarks followed a similar tirade from MP Muhammad Abu Sa'ilik, who criticised the film in parliament a week earlier.

Al Hara was approved for showing in Jordan by the kingdom's Royal Film Commission, after several scenes were removed for alleged obscenity. The film has also been shown on Netflix since January.