A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

And Far Away gets a facelift

I honestly have no idea how my last blog design came to be. I remember there was the blogger template, and I remember myself hating it. I also remember trying to find my way around HTML and CSS and changing the template to look like this with absolutely no prior knowledge or experience, simply trying stuff out.

Since then, the design only went through one minor re-design, but several major redesigns that never left DreamWeaver or even Illustrator:


Finally, and after a little nagging, I decided to go ahead and change the look of this blog. I daresay I like it a lot more… it’s more red for one thing ;)I also stopped Haloscan and will be trying Blogger commenting and trackbacking.

Anyhow, this new look is still in beta and no way near perfect, there are a lot of things I’m planning to fix as soon as I figure out how to do the HTMLing(or alternatively force one of the Planeteer techies to help me).

Oh, yeah it’s also best viewed with Firefox, so if you’re using IE, get a decent browser.

Get Firefox!

Blah, blah, blah.

Anyhow, this is how it’s supposed to look, if it looks like something else, please let me know!


Thoughts from the November Jordanian Blogger Meet-up


My friends . . . .


  1. promises

    Hey Roba, first of all mabrook on the new look, seems u used a bit too much of the lotion:p

    I liked the old one more :(, Ma beddi atfosek:p bas the other one was clearer to read,here the red and black are not combining too well , one has some hard time reading whats written:o I believe leaving the backgroun white and then having strips at the top and bottom would be best, Not that Im expert:p

    sowy iza tafastek :p

  2. Hey Promises, la2 bil 3aks :) The background should be white.. lol definitely not red on black! Thanks for the heads up, I will have to see whats up with that..

  3. Hmm, checked with a friend, he says he sees it white too.. what browser are you using?

  4. If you’re looking for a Web search window, go to

  5. promises

    Im still seeing it red:D

    Im not color blind am I? :p

  6. promises

    Ah Now its working.

    Nicii,me like!

  7. super devoika

    hey roba…
    nice makeover…
    where did u get the heading pic from?

  8. I absolutely love the header… it’s all more you than the old one! and I think you made a good decision going back to blogger comments, i’m already feeling so bad for my 4-month and older Haloscan comments that are gone :(

    but you might wanna add word verification cuz one irritating thing about blogger comments is tha amount of spam you could get!!

  9. Hey! Mabrook the new look :)
    It looks great, and the red is so you :)
    Good Job

  10. onzlo

    Nice i like the pic.. but a bit too much red, no? it feels a bit heavy now

  11. Much better than the old version. I don’t mind all the red, especially since it’s much richer than the retina-burning red of the previous version.

    Glad you got rid of Haloscan, but I’m still not a huge fan of Blogger commenting, or Blogger for that matter. Why don’t you get some real blogging software like WordPress or Text Pattern? ;) Still, being able to view the comments on the same page as the article is a big improvement, even though they seem a bit crammed together. Now if only Gravatars were activated…

    It took nearly 45 seconds before the white background popped up, which is strange considering the image size is relatively small.

    Mabrook on a job well done.

  12. Oh, and one more thing. It would be nice to be able to click on the post title in order to read the full account or view the comments, rather than scrolling down to the bottom of each post and click on the ‘permalink’ link.

  13. Dar

    wow i love this new design its pro especially the header ……

  14. Good job my artist buddy!! i am in love with the header!!

  15. mabrook ya roba,

  16. na3eeman!! ;)
    I love it.. seriously the green and red background are just perfect!

    on another note… WHERE’S THE PAST COMMENTS???????

  17. Costick, thanks for the tip.

    Promises, glad it worked :)

    Super Devoika, thanks! Photoshopped an image.. look at the shoes, they’re monotonous because I had to make them red with Photoshop. I’m planning on changing the header soon with something more Ammanish, but no one I know has red converses except for my pair, and they’re size 40 and everyone I’m comfortable enough with to boss around for a picture know is either over size 40 or under!

    Lina, thanks! Glad you like it :) Yeah, I lost a year’s worth of comments on Haloscan, bas yalla kheir. I hate the word verification thingy cause I can’t read it!

    Hana, thanks :)

    Onzlo, yes, white is much airier than maroon, it’s even a little heavy for my eyes, but I’m sure we’ll all get accustomed to it soon.

    Dave, thanks! I agree with you. Anyway, I fixed the post title to link to the permalink. As for the white background image, I’m using free hosting so it’s probably because of that.. Will hopefully switch to “real” blogging software eventually, I can’t be bothered at the moment.

    Dar, glad you like it.

    Amino ya Amino, thanks :)

    Sabri, Allah ybarak feek.

    Yazan, lol, Allah yen3am 3aleik!!

  18. That is so pretty Roba! It was wonderful clicking the link to your blog to suddenly be greeted with this amazingly pretty header!

    I love the new template and the siderbar.
    Good job!

  19. wow!! i loved the header!! it’s so you! :D
    and this color of red is alot nicer than the older one… i liked it to the extent that i can’t close the browser!! great work and mabrook! :)

  20. coool!

  21. super devoika

    roba hone…
    there is a glitch on the side column after “not all wonderers are lost” the text gets overlapped and u can’t acutally read it… that is when i viewd the site on safari… dunno if u can find ur way out of that…

  22. SC

    it looks so nice and much better than the old one, mabrook :)

  23. Hey Roba congratulations for the new look. Still what makes me come here is the contents of your posts.

  24. looking good :) the header’s nice, i like the creativeness of the headings in the sidebar :)
    i think i liked the old blog better though, it had a more unique look to it, this is very much a blogger template don’t you think?

  25. very very cool roba. i wish i had the talent to do this. mabrook!

  26. Roba, your blog looks great! I really like the header picture.

    One question – what’s the deal with haloscan commenting? Is it a common occurrence to lose your comments? I will switch back to blogger if that’s the case.


  27. 7ilwe walla..
    the colours are nice, ya3ni moo a7mar fa2i3 :)
    And the header pic is very artsy, good job, and as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t need any more adjustment.

    Btw I hate haloscan, good move :)

  28. LOVE the new look! Of course it couldn’t be without that pair of shoes. The pic is great.

  29. Fadi K.

    Him it’s nice, but i like the old one better… sorry for this.

  30. I like it :)

    Several years ago I was searching for pictures of Jordan on the web and came across one called “my red shoes in the red sea”; it was by a Canadian guy who was doing an IT project in Jordan and had a picture of his red converse shoes (just like yours) touching the water as he sat on a beach in Aqaba. When I discovered your blog I tried very hard to find that picture again to show it to you, but it seems that it is no longer on the web :( ra7at 3aleiki :P

  31. Great facelift. You’ve done a wonderful job.

  32. Rania, thanks a lot! I’m glad you like it :)

    Abeer, lol, good to know :) Red is cool right? ;)

    Fadi, thank you!

    Super Devoika, hmm it works well with Firefox and IE. I will have to try to see it at Noor’s who has a Mac.. Get Firefox ;)

    SC, thanks a lot :)

    Hareega, very sweet of you. Good to know.

    Oleander, yeah, I’m aware that some stuff look very templatish, all a part of being beta.. will change :)

    Linda, lol, I’m sure you have the talent, just try :)

    Lulu, thanks. Yeah, Haloscan deletes comments every 3 months I believe…

    Omar, lol, a7mar fa2e3 is good ;) Just too blinding for a blog! Thanks a lot though :)

    Arafat, would stop being my blog without the red shoes…

    Fadi, it’s ok, kol 7ada zo2o ‘3eir :) Thanks for being honest.

    Ziad ya Ziad, cool! Too bad I missed that.. I’m planning to do a few shots like that once I find someone who wears shoe size 40..

    Kevin, thanks!

  33. MMM

    At last…
    I really like this design. Great job Roba :)
    Cool photo for the header, nice colors, better organization…
    Thumbs up from me :)

  34. Big improvement. I really like the new header. Well done. Now you just have to get rid of the bullets consisting of overlapping squares.

    As I represent the Mac users here :) please check your side bar. It’s messed up in a major way on safari.


  35. Brilliant makeover. You spoke my mind in your entry when you confessed your little or no knowledge of HTML, I have been wanting to change the facade of the Box, to no avail. I think I will resort to an expert.

    By the way, your header image left me absolutely stunned. I have a similar picture that I took some four months ago and that I intended to put as a header, but I did not firgure out how to do that, so I did not feature it. I’ll mail it to you.
    Telepathy! Spooky.

  36. I like it. The combination of red, green, white, and black is not just nice, but very Jordanian too ;)

  37. I have no idea how these things work, can you guide me to a website about changing blog design for dummies?

  38. MMM, thanks :)

    Ahmad, LOL, Safari Safari! OK, I will have to try to fix that ASAP…

    Tololy, will be waiting for you to send me the header :)

    Laith, is it! I’m actually very much anti-green, and I’m always whining about how our flag absolutely does not match, but I don’t know what hit me! It sorta looks a little too Christmasy as well…

    Rami, LOL, sorry, I doubt there’s such a thing :)

  39. I like this one more, great job roba.. I even bought the same choose for my wife ;)

  40. Great, just great re-design Roba. I like this one a lot more, it’s simple, good-looking, and organized. Header image rocks! Mabrouk :)

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