The celebration was so raucous, Bob could hear it all the way from Washington DC! (Well, only because he streams Jordanian radio at work!)
Like the Germans, Swiss, Chinese and many others, Jordanians (and Saudis, Egyptians and most other Arabs) take a comprehensive school-leaving exam called the Tawjihi. Like A-levels or SAT subject tests, they take an exam in every school subject: English, Math, Geography, Religion, Chemistry, Computer Science, etc. The results not only determine whether a student can study at university, they also determine what subjects they’re permitted to study. The exams were mid-June, and students have been waiting on pins and needles ever since to get their results, which were announced on national television Wednesday and Thursday nights. Wednesday night the general scores were released, and Thursday the detailed subject scores.
As a result, there were fireworks on every side of my house, cars circling the neighborhood honking repeatedly, and shouting in the street. It was so loud that I kept having to pause my DVD because I couldn’t hear the TV over the neighbors’ celebrations.
On the other hand, I have to say that fireworks are an improvement over the previously preferred method of celebration. I heard recently that fireworks were legalized about a decade ago in Jordan in an attempt to reduce the use of celebratory gunshots at weddings and other gatherings. Fireworks seem far safer!