AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: May 2005 (Page 1 of 4)

Sunset over Amman

Placing my Amman in the hands of the incapable…

I was very pleased when I picked up today’s issue of Al-Ghad Newspaper. The front page of their “Our Life” part was dedicated to an issue that has been pestering the Jordanian high art society for the past 3 years- the sculpture “Humans and History” for Syrian artist Rabee’ Al-Akhras that’s placed on the Seventh Circle.

The article says that this sculpture has been attacked by Jordanian artists and critics because of its location, formation, expression, symbolism, and the insubstantiality of the material used to create it as the sculpture is already falling apart. Al-Ghad interviewed several foremost Jordanian artists who shared their opinions.

Sculptor Keram Al-Nimri says, “This work is an insult to the taste and culture of the people of Amman, and it is offensive to both the city and the cultured”. Art critic Mazen Asfour agrees with Nimri stressing that this work lacks the necessary connection between space and place, the connection between motif and setting, and the proper forms of expression, and he added, “What sort of committee that has no knowledge of art aesthetics that decided on this sculpture?! As critics and artists, we were very surprised at this work and we ask Amman Municipality to discuss this issue so as to place people of specialization and experience to decide on art works displayed in public.”

The whole article is available here(Arabic).

Kudos to Al-Ghad for their excellent “Our Life” section and it’s ability to tackle cultural issues that Jordanian media usually overlooks.

Freaking Out

Project due in three days and I can’t find my colors!
My room is a black hole, a BLACK HOLE I’m telling you. Place something in there and it is lost forever. Forever.

Church and Mosque

This ones for Rami.
Not the best of pictues, but I absolutely love this scene, which you can see quite often in Amman.
View from the National Gallery.

Visual Noise

Get It Louder– visual noise made by young talented designers and artists around the globe. The exhibitions purpose tackles a topic that greatly interests me- to examine graphic arts and design as a lifestyle rather than a career and as an integral part of urban culture.

Several works by artists I’m not familiar with caught my eye, including those of Peng & Chen, Wang Yiyang, and Guang Yu There are also some works by Scott Rench, who’s stuff I fell in love with when I first saw them back in January.

The pictures are awesome… Complete visual overload in such a delicious way! I’d absolutely love to attend such an exhibition.

I Will Never Do This Again

Having promised ourselves to do everything there is to do in Amman, the Sarahs and I decided to celebrate our day off by spenging the evening “relaxing” at Al-Pasha Turkish Bath in Jabal Amman.

Well, at least, I thought it’ll be “relaxing”, because it was the farthest thing from relaxing I’ve ever experienced in my life. Its just that, as far as I’m concerned, burning steam, a boiling jacuzzi and being massaged to death are no where near my idea of “relaxing”. Actually, this package works as well as the best sedatives around- it completely knocked me out. For someone like me, being knocked out is the ultimate hell, I love being awake, thank you very much. I honestly have no idea how I drove back home, and I have no idea what I did for the next several hours. The only thing I know is I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN.

Seriously, I don’t see the point. The whole idea of laying off drinking and drugs is to stay alert, and a Turkish bath strips you off everything including your alertness. At least with the other two there’s a buzz involved, with a Turkish bath it’s as if you’re in a vegetal state. Alright, I guess some people consider that relaxing, but next time I feel like relaxing, I’m hitting a nice chilled pool.

I must give the place some credit though… It is, afterall, gorgeously designed. I absolutely love the arches, the stained glass, and the authentic Arabic feel to everything.

AY, YAY SIR!

Guided by Iyas’ sarcastic advice to try to cut down on my caffeine consumption and Sarah’s desperate pleas to use sleeping pills, last night I accomplished something I have not been able to do in years- I WAS SOUND ASLEEP BEFORE 10:00 PM.

Those who know me and know of my sleeping habits will understand how huge this is, because my sleeping habits either involve vampiric routes (sleeping all day and staying awake all night, usually weekend/holiday deal) or baby naps(2 hour naps through out the day and night, usually weekday deal).

Here, here, I’m not whining, whining is against my belief system, and I actually prefer it that way because I’m more productive and more energitic after hours, but I still had to share this record breaking accomplishment(alright, I know I cheated with the sleeping pills, but regardless).

Nine Reasons to Love Jordan

Jordan’s Independence Day actually finished a few minutes ago, but since the country is officially celebrating it “today”, I will too.

Nine Reasons to love Jordan(ok, 9 Reasons to Love Amman, but gimme a break, I’ve lived here for less than two years, I’ll get to the rest of Jordan eventually):

1. Her mountains. They embrace you so lovingly in their valleys and peaks. They glitter like the brightest jewels at night. They exhibit Amman in all her glory.

2. Her authenticity. The sensation-baffling sights, sounds, and smells of Downtown Amman, the beauty of Jabal Amman, Falafel Il Qods.

3. Her Highness, the White City of Stone. I love it. I love it. I love it. The compulsory white-stone covering her buildings is probably one of my favorite things in the world.

4. Her sky. You won’t appreciate this unless you’ve lived elsewhere, the sky here is unrealistically blue!

5. Her cuisine. If ye dare condemn Mansaf thou shalt be transformed to naught. If ye dare condemn Ras-Il-Abed thou shalt be boiled with the pirates. If ye dare condemn Askimo Jabri thou shalt be thrown into a raging fire (yes, I’m strong enough).

6. Her Street System (or lack thereof). It’s amazing how you can be somewhere one minute and find yourself lost in a totally different place the other.

7. One word: this song. (Jeishana jeish il wa6an sameina bismallah! Gotta rock to the beat back and forth and clap while listening to it to enjoy the full impact. I feeel likee doingg the Dabkeehhh!!! Weinkom ya dabkeh people?).

8. Her 7ara system. Similar to the street system, but this involves the entertainment of children. Ah, many a days were spent playing soccer and riding bikes in the 7ara… My generation now “plays” indoors, but the next generation replaced us in our 7ara, therefore keeping the tradition of driving Sabee7a Al-Qabee7a crazy with the noise.

9. Her “Shelens”(recently, several Shelens[5 piaster]). Many a Shelens were spent on corn-on-the-cob, sha3er il banat, machine ice-cream from Jabal Al-Hussein, and slush.

I would have had a 10th one about her people(bow), but I decided to kindly pass out advice instead- THOU SHALT NOT BE NEGATIVE.

Revisiting the National Gallery

I was really excited about the National Gallery’s opening after the year-long “revamping process”, so my friends and I wasted no time in going to check it out after its opened its doors to the public last week.

And I must say, quite impressive! The gallery was enlarged to include another building, thus adding more space to display more artwork. It also now includes the old playground on Hawooz Circle, now transformed into a garden for the displaying of open-air artwork.

The new building also has a great cafe overlooking the Al-Abdali area(church and mosque overlapping, I love that view!), and a very cool library that will hopefully make my researching days easier and more enjoyable. The garden is also great, and it includes a beautiful Japanese garden, a yet-to-be-installed Andalusian garden(yaaaaay!!!!), a playground, and a restaurant. Not to mention that the very yummy Motta Patisserie is right across from the garden(killer eclairs!)

I can certainly see myself spending a lot of at the revamped National Gallery. I encourage everyone to pay this national treasure a visit.

Now, my favorite portion of posts, picture time(everything grows when clicked)!


The original National Gallery


Inside the original National Gallery


The new National Gallery


Inside the new National Gallery


Inside the new National Gallery


The cafe


The garden

Blog those shoes

Nike approached 20 of the internet’s most popular bloggers “of sneaker culture” and asked them to whip up the hottest shoe. Way cool, especially since some of these bloggers have excellent blogs. Some of the designs are great, and others are shockingly horrible, check them out here. You can also vote for your favorite design.
My favorite design would be that of Josh Spear. Above is my customized version of Josh Spear’s design, as you can’t start the customizing from scratch.
Ah, amazing how much you can tell about a person from their shoes…

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