Public following news on possible Kasasbeh swap deal with concern

AMMAN – Jordanians on Wednesday were preoccupied with news concerning a possible deal between the government and the so-called Islamic State (IS) group to release Jordanian pilot Muath Kasasbeh in return for terror convict Sajida Rishawi.

The government on Wednesday said it is getting ready to hand over Iraqi death-row prisoner Rishawi in exchange for Kasasbeh, who was taken hostage by IS in December when his plane crashed in Syria.

People across the Kingdom have been trying to keep up with the latest news on the issue, and have taken to various social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to express their opinions on the matter.

Law student Salma Ghanem, said she has been checking for updates on Kasasbeh since she heard about the possible deal on a local radio station Bliss 104.3.

“I’ve been anxiously checking news websites for updates. I mostly check The Jordan Times and Saraya News. I also check international news outlets such as CNN, but they do not have quick updates on this specific issue.”

Ghanem added that she has “full confidence that the Jordanian government will do all it takes for the safety of our Jordanian pilot. Muath’s fate remains unknown; I am not too optimistic, but I am, by all means, hopeful.”

Also voicing her concern, Nour Maraqa said the developing story has grabbed her attention and that of her friends. 

“I think I first read about the issue through a Jordan Times article — I even shared it on my Facebook page the moment I read it,” the 21-year-old noted.

“The whole Kingdom is praying for Muath and our hearts go out to his family in these hard times,” Maraqa added.

Interior designer Ghalia Haj Hassan said she has been regularly following up on the Kasasbeh story. 

“I first read about the release of Rishawi on Roya TV’s website. I usually check Al Ghad daily’s website or Roya’s online page for quick updates,” she told The Jordan Times.

“We are all waiting in anticipation for the return of the freed hero,” Haj Hassan added.

This piece was published in The Jordan Times.

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