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War of words breaks out between Jordanian artists on social media

By Rana Husseini - Oct 10,2019 - Last updated at Oct 10,2019

AMMAN — A social media exchange between two veteran Jordanian artists drew mixed reactions from social media users over the past two days.

Comedian and actress Amal Dabbas was reported to have filed a defamation and slander lawsuit against actor Jamil Awwad, alleging that he "tarnished her honour and reputation on social media".

Meanwhile, Awwad, 85, reportedly wrote on Tuesday on his Facebook page that "the police will soon come and arrest me over a lawsuit filed by Dabbas against me as stipulated in the Cyber Crime law, although I suffer from difficult health conditions".

Awwad's post drew many comments from social media users who at first called on Dabbas to drop the charges against him, which prompted the actress to issue a statement to explain her position.

The actress said she had to file a lawsuit against Awwad because "he posted on his Facebook page that I am a supporter of Israeli occupation".

"I did not want to file a lawsuit against a colleague of mine. But what he said really tarnished my honour and reputation and he has no right to do so," Dabbas was quoted as saying in her statement.

Later in the day, Awwad apologised to Dabbas in a post on his Facebook profile, stating: "Ms Amal Dabbas, please be assured that I did not mean to offend your honour in the post I published. Your honour is preserved." 

Nevertheless, social media users wrote hundreds of posts mostly critcising Awwad for using the "wrong terminology against Dabbas" while at the same time crticising the Cyber Crime Law that allows individuals to be imprisoned in certain conditions.

"Awwad should not be arrested for sure…but what he said about Dabbas is really shameful and he has no right to offend her and utter words that violate her reputation and dignity," columnist Basil Alrafaih wrote on his Facebook page.

Farid Btoush wrote on Facebook cricising Awwad: "What he said is unacceptable and the only solution is for the two to reconcile for the sake of the art scene in Jordan and for our future generation.”

Mazen Mihyar provided a "peaceful solution to the problem".

"What Awwad said about Dabbas was not correct at all and he should have immediately apologised and at the same time it would have been better for her to file a complaint against him at their union rather than file a lawsuit against him. This would have prevented a big problem".

Dabbas originally came to fame in a series of dramatic works presented with well-known actors Nabil Sawalha and Hisham Yanis, who staged hilarious yet daring plays about social and political issues in Jordan and the Middle East during the 1990s.

Meanwhile, Awwad is considered one of the most famous actors in Jordan, having performed in many television series, including "The Hard Decision", "Nimr Bin Udwan" and "Al Taghreba Al Falastenya".

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