ID000: Labeling Orphans when it’s not their fault

ID000: Labeling Orphans when it's not their fault

I may not know much about religion and may not be able to recite verses of the Holy Quran or Hadith, but I know this much, Islam comes with strong support to widows and orphans, knowing that they are treated as second class citizens are should be given love and support more than anyone else.

A few days ago, a one year video remerged on social media platforms, and was shared by many of my friends on Twitter and Facebook, ID000 which is a documentary by SAE Institute Amman about orphans in Jordan and how they are treated. I was mortified. If you are a Jordanian, you know that you have a national ID, we all do, and that ID’s start with a significant serial number, so for example, I am born in 86, so my ID number starts with 986 followed by 2 because I am a girl, or 1 if I were a boy, where the serial follows those initial digits, however an orphan is discriminated against with a serial that starts with 000 because they are classified as bastards. The documentary is named ID000 according to this code, which as it turns out is the classification by the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the “Ahwal Madaniyeh division.”

As a Muslim country, I would expect our country to practice Islam properly, having an orphanage for orphans isn’t enough, how you treat them, not abusing they sexually, physically or emotionally is key factor to obeying the rules of our religion, however the 18 minute documentary shows otherwise, rape, crime, abuse, beatings and true discrimination among orphans. It even showcases an orphan who was abused by a police offer and slapped multiple times as he was judged by his ID. Think about it, if it the orphans fault they had lost their parents? Is it a child’s fault that their mother or father have sinned and therefore the 000 digit on their National ID should tell the world that their bastards and that their different? Where are the human rights on this? Why do they lobby against abolishing crimes of honor yet don’t lobby for the name of those orphans who need help, support, love and care. Why are those orphans kicked out of the orphanages which sadly is the only home they have ever known, although full of hate, rage and abuse, yet is the only home at the age of 18? True, but the time a human being is 18 they had developed enough soft skills and has went through an education that is supposed to be redirected into a career that one hopes to support for a life time, yet when living in unprivileged conditions such as those of an orphanage, what do you acquire to support you after your are legally an adult? I think they have acquired heart breaks, abuse, discrimination and demeaning beatings ,words, classifying them as no-body’s in the society, which made it no shocker for me to find out that many of those orphans either commit suicide, attempt to commit suicide or eventually become drug or alcohol abusers.

Islam enjoins upon Muslims to be careful about orphans. It advises to treat orphans be treated with love and care, where as it seems, at this time in our lives, orphans are treated harshly, more or less like a piece of property and often held in contempt.

SAE Jordan has re-uploaded the footage of the 18 minute documentary today after it had disappeared of YouTube last night, I will leave you to watch it and tell me what you think. But before I leave you with the video remember those stats: within the first year of leaving the orphanage, half of all orphans are involved in prostitution or crime, and 30 percent become addicted to drugs or alcohol. One in 10 commits suicide.


Director of Digital Marketing Strategy by Day, Blogger by Night. Mother to my lovely Hana and a food addict.

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  1. When you talked about this issue today,, first you made me very sad for these bad facts ,,,and on other side I was happy that we still can find remarkable persons like you who give real effort and time to help orphans and other needed people, really amazing.

  2. Thank you Lara, thank you.

  3. Thank you Amjad for your very kind words. I believe one way or another we need to fight this, we need to fight the corruption for the well being of the orphans of our country. The supervisors in the orphanages are appointed by the Ministry of Social Development, but yet are not being supervised or evaluated for the work they do, and quite frankly they are not being punished either.

  4. Her majesty queen Rania has heard this plight a few years ago. Therefore she founded Alaman foundation to protect these young adult orphans and help them find decent conditions after they leave the orphanages. However it seems people responsible for this foundation are not fulfilling their duties well. Maybe we can shower them with emails concerning matter

  5. Frist, Thanks Lara for this article and for the video link.
    I have a bad statement to tell, a year ago me and my sister, and 3 of our friends used to regularly visit the orphanage by the 8th circle (markez re3ayet el2aytaam)….we worked with boys under 12, girls under 18, the situation was unbelievable and something needed to be done about it. the kids wr super sweet and clever, but with a million mental and emotional issues. trying to help them, we wrote to her majesty queen Rania’s office. and they heard us, but what happened?! eltanmeyeh decided that the best solution is to divide sisters! they sent every girl or two to a different orphanage(not better orphanage) all across the kingdom!!!!!! they split the girls away from eachother, while the management of that crappy orphanage stayed the same! the mean principle, the uneducated supervisors and the poor poor cute/sad boys.
    we stopped going after what happened, specially when the kids blamed us for sending their sisters away, and the management made it very clear we are not welcome.
    some of the girls returned to the same orphanage now, we visited them few times, and i have to admit im not strong enough to handle this huge amount of sadness and unfairness in this world, i stopped going…………..

    • This is really sad and heart breaking…as far as I am concerned I always point the finger at “Al-Tanmiyeh El-Ejtame3eyeh” they are clueless… Their job is to keep a sense of family not to divide orphans who have created a family among themselves. However, with our government, there is so no such thing as hiring professionals to look after orphans, you need to hire someone who understands the psychology of those whom have nothing at all, not just pick any random woman/man from the street, give em a salary and call them an orphanage supervisor….

      • Honestly I still can’t stop crying, you brought back horrible memories – (and im not supposed to cry based on doctors’ orders 🙂 )
        I’m wondering if we can volunteer to be a part-time or full-time supervisors in orphanages? do you have any idea? or do you know anyone who can help?

        • Hi Nisreen, yes it quite the heart break…Let me do some research and see what we can to make it better. I’ll get back to you and if you hear anything do not hesitate to let me know 🙂

  6. […] is the deeply saddening issue of orphan harassment. I would like to thank Lara Hadi for her post ID000: Labeling Orphans when it's not their fault, which made me aware of this dire subject. Definitely worth a read, so please pay Sleepless in […]

  7. Hello,

    I just read came across your blog and would really like to help adult orphans in Amman.

    I am an outreach volunteer with a growing nonprofit organization called The Daya Project. We aim to encourage world travelers to support charities local to the places they visit while on vacation or business, and aim to make that support as convenient as possible.

    Currently, we are gathering information about charities, orphanages, and clinics all over the world, and I am the country manager for Jordan. I have never been there, but as you have experience or interest in supporting causes in the region, I hope that you might stop by and click on “Submit a Project” that travelers might consider contributing to. This would be a great opportunity to spread the word and help orphanages in Jordan.

    Additionally, if you know anybody that might like to help, please feel free to spread the word.

    Very Respectfully,


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