Amman is not only the capital of Jordan, but it is also the most popular and largest city in the country. Amman is the center of the countries political and economic culture. Jordan shares its borders with Saudi Arabia and Israel, making the country very diverse between cultures and religions (Schmidt, 2006). Amman, Jordan is the largest city in Jordan and reflects many western cities. For example, with commercial building and modern hotels. The people of Jordan are often called Jordanians and speak Arabic.
The country of Jordan is considered a mainly Muslim country with 93% of Jordanians practicing Sunni Islam.
One aspect of the Jordan culture that is unique is the naming after their firstborn son. In Jordan, parents take the name of their son. For example, if the firstborn child’s name is Omar then the father’s name would be would become Abu Omar, which means ‘father of Omar’ and the mother would become Om Omar, which means the ‘mother of Omar’ (Schmidt, 2006).
This is very significant and unique in this culture, for it builds a connection between the mother, father, and son.
In traditional Jordan families, it is understood the women are primary caregivers to their children, but depending on the family size, the mothers control over the children varies. If the family is very large then older siblings, aunts, and grandparents help raise the younger members of the household.
One of the most essential part of a child’s development is education. A child can receive a free public education free of charge.
This is so that all children can access it, and all have the ability to go. For children from ages 6 to 16, education is mandatory. The public school environment that Jordanian children is very poor, which can be very hard for children to properly develop in. Because of this problem, the USAID has trained educators in hopes to change the poor conditions in Jordan.
The Abbar family was a Muslim family that lived in Amman, Jordan. The Abbar family includes the mother Jana, the father Mohammad, daughter Remas and son Zaid. The family lived in a house that they shared with Jana’s parents Yosef and Salma. Yoesf and Salma occupied the top floor, while the rest of the family lived on the bottom floor. In Jordan, women are not seen as working professionals like men, resulting in, discrimination in the workforces. Jana has a master’s degree in communications but cannot find a steady job. Jana is 35 and is currently pregnant with the third child. Mohammad is 36 and owns a successful hotel in Amman. Remas and Zaid are twins. They are 6 years old and are recently started their basic education schooling. The family is very excited to meet their new addition to the family.
Since such a massive amount of the population of Jordan is Muslim, the childbirth practices resemble those of the Muslim culture. There are many traditions and customs that Muslim families must follow during childbirth. It was during Ramadan, when Jana began to feel nauseous and got the feeling that she might be pregnant. After taking a pregnancy test a few days later, she confirmed she was in fact pregnant. In Jana’s first trimester, she had severe morning sickness. She coped with this by usinghome remedies. She would drink a hot cup of ginger tea, for it helped reduce nausea. During Jana’s pregnancy, she had a few requests. One essential request was to have female obstetricians. This is very important to Jana, for it is critical that Muslim women maintain their modesty. Since Jana was pregnant during Ramadan, she was not able to fast, but this did not stop her from practicing any other religious tasks.
When she went to the doctor for her 8-week check-up, she could hear the baby’s heartbeat with the ultrasound. This brought Jana and Mohammad so much joy. In Jana’s second trimester, the morning sickness began to subside. Jana went for her 16-week checkup where the baby was about 5 inches long and weighed about 4 ounces. Since Jana was 35 years old, doctors recommended that she receive an amniocentesis, to see if the fetus has any developmental abnormalities. Jana did the test and lucky the fetus did not have any malfunctions. But, Jana did find out that she was having a baby boy. A few weeks past and Jana went back to the doctor for a 25-week checkup. During this checkup, Jana had to take the glucose test. During this test, she found out that she has gestational diabetes. This meant that for the rest of the pregnancy Jana had to check her blood 4 times a day and give herself insulin shots. Also at 25 weeks, Jana was able to hear the fetus’s heartbeat through a stethoscope. The fetus can also suck his thumb and has the hiccups. The fetus weighs about 1/2 1 pound. At 28 weeks the third trimester has begun. At this point, the fetus is about 16 inches long and about 3.5 pounds. When Jana went for her 36-week checkup her doctor said that the baby will probably come a little early. On February 12th, 5 days before her due date Jana was induced due to her gestational diabetes. During the birth only women nurses, midwives and doctors were present. Jana named her baby Ahmad. Ahmad was 7 pounds 3 ounces and 20 inches long. He was very healthy. Jana began to breastfeed and Ahmad got circumcised before he left the hospital.
In Amman, Jordan many of the women like Jana are Muslim, which is why birth customs are mostly the same throughout families. Once the child is born they must go traditional prayers. After Ahmad first bath, the prayer Adhad was recited in the right ear and the prayer Iqamah is recited in the left ear. This is a very traditional ritual amongst Muslims.
Throughout a child’s first year of life they physically develop in anyways. After Ahmad was born, he lost some weight, but quickly gained it back. At 6 months old he was 13 pounds and 5 ounces and 26 inches long which classified him into the 50% percentile for height. At this time, Ahmad was able to sit up. He was able to sit up for long periods of time by being propped up with a pillow. Ahmad was also turning over from his back to his tummy. At 1 year he was 21 pounds 7 ounces and 30.1 inches in height. Ahmad was able to clap and stand alone.
From birth to 1 year of age, children are in the sensorimotor stage. Cognitively, Ahmad has advanced in many ways. He experiences the world by doing. For example, Ahmad uses his senses and actions of touch, sight, hearing and grasping for new experiences. He begins to develop the idea of object permanence and that even if you cannot see an object it still exists.
Ahmad developed socially and emotionally. At 1 year of age, Ahmad will cry when his primary caregiver, Jana leaves the room. This is a sign of separation anxiety but is very typical to children Ahmad’s age. Emotionally, Ahmad expresses happiness, sadness and surprise. When he does cry Jana comforts him, which has built trust between them.
Muslims have many traditional events that are performed in their first year of life. Since Ahmad Is raised Muslim, Jana decided that he will be receiving these scarified performances. On the seventh day after birth, the Aqiqah is performed. The Aqiqah is a dinner hosted by the parents to celebrate the birth of their child. At this dinner, the family slaughters one or two sheep or goats as a tradition. One significant part of the Aqiqah is that, One-third of the meat is given away to the poor as charity, and the rest is served in a large community meal with relatives, friends, and neighbors. Many guests bring gifts for the new baby and the parents, such as clothing, toys or baby furniture. (Huda, 2018)
Toddlerhood is usually defined from one to two years old. During this time a child develops physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. Physically, Ahmad can walk, throw a ball, kick a ball, scribble on a piece of paper and open and close doors. Ahmad is showing favoritism to this right hand, by using more often than his left. Ahmad is becoming more independent. Ahmad is now 33 inches tall which is just about the seventy-fifth percentile. He also weighs 25.7 pounds.
Cognitively, Ahmad is still apart of the cognitive development stage. Ahmad shows an increase in memory for routines. For example, eating and sleeping. Ahmad also recognizes people and faces, not only in real life, but also in photos. As Ahmad reached closer to two years old, his parents saw some early signs of ADHD that they kept an eye out for as he developed. Ahmad was having difficulty paying attention and was fidgeting and squirming a lot more than usual. They did not know if this was normal for toddlers or if Ahmad was developing ADHD so they decided that they would bring it up to the pediatrician at the next visit.
Socially and emotionally Ahmad was on the right path. As an infant he would cry when Jana left the room, while this has not stopped it has improved. He has learned that Jana will be back. Ahmad also likes to play alone for short periods of time, likes to do things without help, and has trouble sharing (Healthyfamilies, 2013). Ahmad frequently uses words like, ‘mine’ and ‘no!’ when playing with other people or children.
Early childhood stage is between 3 years old to 8 years old. Ahmad’s physical development was not improving like his parents hoped. Ahmad grew from 33 inches to 38 inches and then began to plateau. Ahmad was not growing at an appropriate rate. Because of this, Jana and Mohammad brought him to his pediatrician to evaluate and was then referred to a specialist. The specialists determined that Ahmad had a deficiency in his growth hormone which inhibited him from growing at an average rate. The specialist recommended that he take a supplement for his hormone deficiency with daily injections. Otherwise, Ahmad was beginning to get his first adult teeth and was very coordinated. He began to play organized sports.
At this stage in Ahmad’s life he was in the preoperational stage. Ahmad could not focus and was very absent-minded. He was very distracted and could not focus on activities. Jana and Mohammad brought him back to the doctor because they begin to see a pattern. The pediatrician referred him to a neurologist where was diagnosed with ADHD or Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The neurologist recommends that he take cognitive-enhancing medication so he would be able to attention to the tasks at hand. Jana and Mohammad decided they would think about medication.
Emotionally, Ahmad had a difficult time managing his emotions. Ahmad was very angry and developed anxiety. Ahmad gets frustrated quickly and has trouble calming down. He also has low self-esteem, for he feels like he different than the other children.
Socially, ADHD made it hard for him to make friends and do everyday activities with his peers. Ahmad struggles with conversations, which makes him vulnerable to losing friends quickly. ADHD makes it hard for Ahmad to make plans and following through. This makes him seem very unreliable to his peers.
As Ahmad was just diagnosed with ADHD, the idea of medication was a concern for Jana and Mohammad. While Jana and Mohammad realize that medication would be essential for Ahmad in his development, they are hesitant because of their prayers. Muslims pray 5 times a day and Jana and Mohammad thought that if Ahmad was on these medications he would not be able to pray with a clear mind. Jana and Mohammad decided that the best for Ahmad would be to have him receive the medication, for it would be crucial to this development even if he will be on medication during his prayers.
Middle childhood is from ages nine to eleven years old. In this stage of life, Ahmad developed very well. Physically, after Ahmad began taking injections for his grow hormone deficiency he started growing at an average rate. Ahmad was now 48 inches and his growth plates were still open, allowing him to still grow. While 48 inches at 10 years old was not ideal, he was responding well to the injections, so they continued.
Ahmad continued to play sport, for he was able to control his emotions better. Ahmad was in the concrete operational stage of cognitive development. He was becoming less aggressive and frustrated. Ahmad is also about to think more logically. The medication has helped Ahmad focus in school. He started to learn how to live with cope with ADHD.
Socially, Ahmad is beginning to have to more friends and becoming more reliable, due to his ability to understand and control his emotions. Ahmad now has a good group of friends who share common interests in sports, especially basketball. Ahmad and his friends would play every day after school.
Ahmad developed emotionally in many ways. He is preparing to start middle school which can have a huge impact on his emotions. He is beginning to feel nervous, excited and optimistic. At this time, Ahmad is also being introduced to stress. He can become stressed when dealing with all the physical changes in his life.
Since Amman, Jordan is mostly Muslim people, Ahmad fits right in. Developing in a culture that is familiar was good for Ahmad. Ahmad knew that he, just like his friends, had to pray 5 times a day. This was significant because Ahmad and his friends developed like any other child in Jordan.
Ahmad was in his adolescence stage, which is from 12 years old to 19 years old. Ahmad was finally growing at the same rate as other children. He is now 68.4 inches and weights 140 pounds. Ahmad is also in puberty. Ahmad still plays basketball and is now taking his skills a step further onto the team at school.
Cognitively, Ahmad has greatly developed. He is in the Formal Operational stage of cognitive development. Ahmad has abstract thought on logical and reasoning. Ahmad thinks idealistically. He thinks about idea characteristics of himself and others around him. He also considers other perspectives when faced with an issue (Stewart, 2013).
Emotionally, Ahmad is learning to embrace his uniqueness. While this is typical for people around Ahmad’s age group, it is also typically to still seek acceptance from his peers. Ahmad is beginning to think about his future and what is career path will be (Stewart, 2013). Ahmad also carries out his own tasks with out supervision.
Ahmad was developed socially as well as emotionally and physically. Ahmad has begun his search for intimacy. Ahmad is feeling more like an adult with responsibilities. He wants more leadership roles, so he applies for a part-time job at a camp for children. Due to his ability to control his emotions he now follows through with his commitments (Stewart, 2013). Finally, Ahmad wants respect and does not want to be treated like a child anymore.
Growing up Muslims had an impact on Ahmad’s development. While Ahmad culturally fit in with his peers, he had a hormone deficiency which resulted in him growing at a different rate as his peers and Ahmad had ADHD. Studies show that in Amman, Jordan, ADHD is common among Jordanian school children (Beebe, 2005). Because of this, there are many ADHD specialists in Amman, Jordan that Ahmad had the privilege to attend and receive the best medication. While Muslims do not believe in a lot of medicine, growing up where medicine was easily acquired and specialized was very essential to Ahmad’s development.
For Ahmad growing up in Amman, Jordan and being a Muslim had an impact on his development. Although Ahmad has ADHD and a growth hormone deficiency, he got the best care due to the abundance of children in Jordan with ADHD. Ahmad went through many stages of development which resulted in the way he is today.
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