A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: January 2005 (Page 1 of 6)


A Barbie Galadriel with pointy elven ears!

Update: I am now the proud owner of a Barbie Galadriel.


Today, I needed to get 60’s/70’s style doll-cloths for a certain project, so I hit the toy stores, and damn, what a shock I got. You see, when I was a kid, dolls were pretty. Their make-up was mellow, their cloths were stunning, and their bodies were always so graceful. Dolls were art!
That certainly cannot be said for this generations “fad” dolls that I got to see today at the toy store. Take a look yourself:

Here’s a close-up on their faces:

Em, really, what are they trying to do exactly? Prepare today’s little girls for a future of collagen-stuffed lips and brow lifts? Teach them that it’s appealing to mismatch lip-liner and lip-stick and have eye-shadow reach the forehead? And what’s up with the very bizarre body proportions? You know, the average human body is 7 heads high, and the perfect body is 8 heads high. These dolls are 3.5 heads high. Yeah, go ahead, ruin the little girls’ aesthetic senses as well.
Ah, I hate you.

The M Sorter

Hehe, welcome to the world where creativity proves pointless. The M-Sorter sorts M&M’s, Skittles, and other types of candy by color. I don’t see the point, but whatever, I’m all for funky weird ideas, especially when they have to do with color.


Amman Yesterday

As much as I love Amman, I have to admit this; Amman is a very sleepy city. Unless it’s the summer when Amman is crowded with late-nighter Gulfians, we’re a city that goes early to bed, so there isn’t much to do after the sun sets.
Yet, in a country where the median age is 22.2, there’s a good amount of lively folks looking for something to do while the rest of Amman slumbers, so they resort to the many cafes, restaurants, clubs, and bars. And thus, they remain indoors and out of sight, undisturbing to the senior population and to the school-goers.
So last night, after about 30 minutes of cruising around trying to think of an interesting place to go to, we ended up in Abdoun(like 70% of the times we cruise around trying to think of an interesting place to go to).
But wow… what a pleasant surprise we had! A good amount of the lively folks had decided that no more lying dormant, for last night they had a reason to celebrate.
So on were the Jordanian flags, loud was the honking, and “Jeishana jeish il watan, sameina bismallah!” was permanently booming out of cars.

Here are some photographs my friend Sara managed to capture among the chaos:

Notice the flags sticking out of cars windows(my car had a flag too)

It was sooo crowded! The line of cars seemed endless.

Finally, when we were done enjoying the chaos, we decided to go have brownies with icecream at Planet Holywood, doesn’t it look yummy?

Eleven Minutes

I finished reading Paulo Coelho’s “Eleven Minutes” last night. You see, I was never, and probably will never be, a big fan of Paulo Coelho- his books attempt to scrape life to find deeper meaning much too much for a person like me. Yet, I do love his very smooth writing style, and Coelho’s books always manage to make me stay up till the early hours of dawn turning page after page.

“Eleven Minutes” was no exception when it comes to Coelho’s writing excellence, although my favorite Paulo Coelho book remains “Veronika Decides to Die“. “Eleven Minutes” though does contain some interesting insights into analyzing the bigger difference between love, passion, and infatuation, and of course, like all Paulo Coelho books, it philosophically tries to break the essence of life apart.

The book opens with a rather bizarre sentence: “Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria,” and the rest of the book is a narrative of Maria’s observations and experiences, her emotions, dreams and efforts to comprehend life. And like all books that start with “Once upon a time”, “Eleven Minutes” ends with a happy ending.

Other book reviews on AndFarAway:

The Mists of Avalon 
All My Friends are Superheroes 
The Lord of the Rings
His Dark Materials
Harry Potter
Blood and Gold
Fatal Identities
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Alchemist
Eleven Minutes


We just finished watching Underworld“, a movie directed by Len Wiseman.
It’s basically about an age-old fight between vampires and werewolves, and I have always loved mythical creatures, so naturally, I loved the movie. It reminded me a lot of Van Helsing, but I definitely liked this movie better as the plot was much more interesting and had a few cool twists.
Yet, I’m rather fed up with the whole Matrix-style karate, and I’d never understand why all the vampire movies have to have that gothic theme(the only vampire movie I’ve ever seen that wasn’t gothic was Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and then they had to ruin Queen of the Damned by making a beautifully written book into a gothic movie).
Really though, nothing beats a good old Anne Rice book and the best of all vampires, The Vampire Lestat.

Love is a Drug

Scott Rench’s work consists of computer generated images that are printed with a ceramic glaze onto a large canvas of clay. The new image is output onto transparent film that acts as a stencil for transferring the image to a silk-screen. Glaze is then used (instead of ink) to print the image on to a slab of clay. Once completely dry the slabs are fired.
Wow. I love it. It looks really fascinating, and the mix of clay and computer graphics is rather odd.

Amazing. Now there’s an art I’d love to learn!



When I was having a squabble with a friend about the pros and cons of globalization, he asked me how I would feel if any of my much loved little Amman-y cafés went out of business due to the lure of the newly-opened, international Starbucks.


Although I do love their coffee, sheesh, I’d die if I had to go to the much overcrowded and impersonal Starbucks every time I felt like having coffee(which is often, mind you). After all, the beauty of Amman lies in the dormancy, the inimitability, and in Nescafé. It lies in the countless hours parked outside Cups & Kgs, numerous 30 uroosh spent on Nescafé machines, and many an espressos drank in Lavazza.

Lavazza(or Salam Kanaan’s Gallery Duinde)- a lovely little art-gallery-turned-café, tucked away safely in Jabal Amman so no one has ever heard of it(thus its always empty and perfect for talking). I had to share these pictures:

Lovely, right? It’s cosy, artsy, with mismatched couches and cheap coffee. They also usually put very weird music that you can’t help but get bouncy to…


So today was the fifth prime(I think) of LBC’s Star Academy 2. I didn’t really get to watch all of it, but I was home in time to watch the results of this weeks nominations. The nominees this week were Katia Haraka from Lebanon, Eman Mezher from Lebanon, and Salma Ghazali from Algeria.
Thankfully, Salma Ghazali was the one the audience “saved” (with a whopping 70-something percent of the votes). I think Salma is by far the girl with the cutest personality in this years season. Yeah, sure, her voice isn’t the best, but at least she’s natural, sweet, and has short hair.
Go Salma.

If I Were…

Inspired by Subzero Blue:

If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a “Nai“, a Middle-Eastern flute(listen to samples of nai here).
If I were a song, I’d be Pink Floyd’s “Time”.
If I were a word, I’d be “jeans”.
If I were a color, I’d be red.
If I were a home, I’d be a Manhattan, glass-walled, above the clouds apartment.
If I were a place, I’d be a little cafe in Jabal Amman called Lavazza.
If I were a car, I’d be a practical sedan.
If I were an animal, I’d be a vampire.
If I were a fruit, I’d be a green apple .

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