A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: October 2005 (Page 1 of 4)

A little ancient family imagery


While looking at a batch of ancient pictures in my grandmother’s house, we came upon this photograph of my great-great aunt. I’m a huge fan of old pictures, and I was blown away by how interesting this one turned out to be, especially as the angle seems to be taken by someone with a very good sense of visual aesthetics.

Perhaps the aesthetically pleasing angle comes from the fact that this is not a professional studio shot, as most studio shots in those days were very systematic and mundane, like the photograph below, which I also found in the same batch.


This photograph is of my grandfather(wearing glasses), his two brothers, and their uncle, in a very conventional 1940’s studio shot- notice the symmetry, and how everyone is gazing in a different direction.

From the Jordanian Blogosphere

The Jordanian blogosphere has been making an appearance on a weekly basis on the Global Voices Online weblog for the past two months. The appearance is similar to the “Weekly Highlights” on Jordan Planet’s homepage, but it is more elaborate and more Jordan-centric, mostly trying to represent Jordan and Jordanian issues through the eyes of Jordanians rather than Western media, as well as images that showcase Jordanian people and daily life.

Please feel free to email me at roba.assi(at) with recommendations that you think should be highlighted in the Global Voices round up, with subject “Global Voices Round-up”.

If you are not a blogger but have interesting Jordan images, I urge you to start a Flickr photostream, and then email me at roba.assi(at) with the URL of your photostream.

Please, please, please add Creative Common’s to your Jordan images so that they can be used in the round-ups! Directions on how to add Creative Common’s to your images.

“Girl Playing the Flute” by Sabri Hakim

The Jordanian Blogosphere on breaking cultural borders:

Ryan of “Journeys in Jordan” remarks that “it is interesting how people come to learn lessons” and talks about her experience in trying to understand a different culture. Natasha Tynes reports about “Bridge For Peace”, which featured Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian DJs drawing over 800 people to Jerusalem’s dance club Haoman 17, then she says that she believes that “these initiatives should be highlighted in the local and the international press as it shows that in spite of the bloody mayhem taking place in our region we can still co-exist peacefully and even create music.” Lina Ejeilat reports that the Jordanian band RUM will be performing in Tunisia and Syria this week, and urges everyone anywhere close to “NOT MISS IT! Their music is amazing – passionate, authentic, vibrant… and different!”

Rami Abdulrahman meanwhile reports about an Iftar they organized in Sweden, “We sent our class mates an invitation yesterday to fast today and prepare for a night to remember, surprisingly, the number of fasting non-Muslims was far greater than I expected!”

Eman of Aquacool writes about Jordan TV’s efforts in its national campaign to relief victims of the Pakistan Earthquake, “For a -relatively- small community like Jordan, I believe the results of this campaign are a big success!”, and points out that Jordan will have an open day for Churches to gather donations for our Pakistani brothers.

Read the rest of today’s post on Global Voices Online.

Read all of the Jordan round-up posts on Global Voices Online Here.

Pet Peeve

I just hate it when people fail to Google something because “they’re too busy” or because it’s just simpler if they ask.

I’ve been giving out this website a lot lately.

Google it, you morons!


By Farooha

Favorite Color: Deep red, no questions asked
Favorite Food: Smoked Salmon! Yum…
Favorite Month: July
Favorite Song: At the moment, “Wonderwall”, which is just an absolutely awesome driving song, cheers to good music!
Favorite Movie: Hm, either The Lord of the Rings trilogy or Moulin Rouge
Favorite Sport: Typing
Favorite Season: Summer, definitely.. *sigh*
Favorite Day Of the week: Thursday
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Ganduia with Cherry Vanilla at Frosti
Favorite time of Day: Midnight

Interested in more? Read the rest of the tag here.

The Hell-o-Heaven-Meter

(Spotted at KSU in Saudi Arabia by Farooha of Farah’s Sowaleef)

Although I would think that the image is quite self-explanatory, I cannot help but elaborate. On one side is a head-to-toe vieled woman with a little check mark signifying correctness under the image, and a phrase that says “The Hijab of the Muslim Woman”. On the other side is another head-to-toe vieled woman, this time with a litte cross mark under the image signifying wrongness and a phrase that says, “The dolled up women.”

Between the image, there’s a hell-o-meter sort of thing labeled “Choose your destiny”, and apparently, the closer you dress to Miss Dolly-doll the closer you are to hell and vice versa(but please do notice how heaven is represented; desert accustomed eyes, anyone?) I will not even bother to translate what’s written in the middle.

God! And just yesterday I was having an argument at school because some girl said that covering one’s hair is a matter of “Logic” and “Islam” rather than conviction and culture.

There are so many things I want to say that I will not say because I do not want to sound culturally insensitive or intolerant towards other people’s ideas and beliefs, but for God’s sake! There are limits to tolerance!

Ameen Malhas once asked me a very thought-provoking question that I will pose now, “Is it intolerance to not be able to tolerate the intolerant?” (Albeit intolerance mixed with ill-logic)

L’Amour Nokia

Nokia_7380_2 Nokia_7370_2Nokia_7360_2

(So does “Je amour Nokia” spell “I love Nokia”? So much for 10 years of French at school.)

Anyway, the latest Nokia fashion phone collection, L’Amour, is just so hot that I think I have a crush on it. Oh, sweet plastic!

+ the delicious Shiny Shiny


Every time I go downtown, I find myself entranced by the overdramatic use of color in almost every single aspect of display. It really becomes difficult to fully take in all what the eyes perceive, unless captured by images which could be carefully studied later.

I’m aware that not everyone shares my fascination when it comes to the use of color, but these pictures are absolutely fascinating by their own right; the organization of objects and the mind-numbing variety.

Downtown Amman, Jordan

Downtown Amman, Jordan

Downtown Amman, Jordan

Downtown Amman, Jordan

More absurdity

While the whole deal about gravity was amusing, this deal is disturbing:

“Recently, a newspaper photographer was detained by the mutawwa (religious police) for photographing a row of trees uprooted during a sand storm in Riyadh. The reason given for his detention was that trees are God’s creation and that by photographing fallen trees, the photographer was making fun of God’s creation.”

[Source: Arab News via Saudi Jeans]


And while we’re on it, here’s a very interesting article on the use of hip-hop in the Islamic world.

Operation Smile

A friend just called and informed me about a fundraising mini-concert happening today(Tuesday) to raise money for the Operation Smile campaign. Operation Smile is a nonprofit organization committed to repairing childhood facial deformities, and they will be operating on children with such deformities in Jordan this December.

The mini-concert will take place tomorrow evening at Shisha in Sweifieh, near Hardees, at 8:00 PM. Tickets cost 6 JDs each and each includes a Ramadan drink, mezzas such as hummos and fool, and a live concert by the fantastic Jadal. Considerable portion of proceeds will go to spreading the smiles of children nationwide.

The Influence- Autumn Rhythm

“It’s all a big game of construction, some with a brush, some with a shovel, some choose a pen.”
-Jackson Pollock(1912-1956)

It was Pollock who first “broke the ice”- instead of using the traditional easel, his canvas was on the floor; instead of using brushes, he poured and dripped his paint from a can. He manipulated his art with `sticks, trowels or knives’, sometimes adding `sand, broken glass or other foreign matter’.

What I love about Pollock is how shocking his paintings are. They are also more real and expressive than a naive eye might imagine- this method of painting, called Action painting, results in a direct expression or revelation of the unconscious moods of the artist, and although it seems random, Pollock extensively edited the canvases by trimming or destroying the whole work.

+ Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas– an applet to help you paint modern art in the style of Pollock.
+ Short and Sweet Jackson Pollock biography

: The Influence
:The AlHambra Vases

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