A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

The hugsie-oosie part of blog culture

A few months ago, Ethan Zuckermann wrote a sentence that I have come to use quite often;

“Become a blogger and you wi’ll never have to have coffee alone again.”

In Jordan, I cannot even start to count the numerous cups of coffee that I’ve had with various bloggers from all over the world, both Jordanian and otherwise; went off to Riyadh, and one of the people on my primary-list-of-people-to-see was fellow Saudi “blogga sista” Farah. Every time, I find myself pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I am with the bloggers I’m meeting, and with specific bloggers, even feeling like they’re more of long lost friends than people I’ve just met.

This weekend, I got to meet around 90 bloggers from all over the world, most of whom I never read before- but within seconds, conversations quickly kicked off, whether they were about languages, culture, or operating systems.

Yet, but what really made me realize the implications of the intimacy of blogging was spending time with the bloggers whose blogs I’ve been following for years- Subzero Blue, Aquacool, Sabbah, and Madas.


When I arrived at London in the afternoon, the art freak in me was too excited to go museum touring in the few hours before dinner, so I just dropped my bags at the reception in the hotel and went to the Tate Modern(where I almost had a heart attack from the first hand beauty of works by DuChamp, Warhol, Mondrian, Rodin, and Picasso). Between figuring out the directions to the Tate Modern, how the hell to use the tube station, and where in the humongousity of a city I’ve never been to before is the restaurant at, I arrived to the dinner quite late. But after a day of extreme feelings in regards to foreign-ity, seeing Haitham, Eman, MMM, and Ethan, all of whom I’ve met once before, was like finding myself sitting in Wild Jordan and starting at what I’ve grown up staring at- Amman’s mountains.

bay 10602

I spent the entire next day with Eman and MMM, whether at the summit or afterwards when we went and spent the evening walking around London with another Jordanian blogger, Madas.

bay 10606 London

As for hugsie-oosie, one of the instances that made me laugh during the GVO Summit this Saturday was David Sasaki on the difference between bloggers and journalists-

“I feel like I’m a host at a party, talking to different people, like me introduce you to this person… tracking conversations. But in my mind, the blogosphere isn’t a “medium” as much as it is a cafe, a conversational space.
We should have more contact with journalists…I often end up meeting a blogger, and say “I know you, I read you, I’ve seen you on flickr”, and give them a hug. I don’t feel that way about journalists.
I’d like to… Would all journalists hug me, today?”

As for London, Roba is insanely in love with it; it is so beautifully diverse and so full of life. Add to that, the English are one heck of a beautifully dressed people(yes, yes, call me shallow, but it’s a very enjoyable experience looking at wonderfully dressed people, and damn, their shoes, their shoes!) Hopefully, I try to look for a chance to visit london for a prolonged period of time perhaps for an art course or something similar some time within the next few years.

As I didn’t get to see London during daytime for more than 2 hours, there are few pictures, most of which you can look at in my flickr photostream here, or you can just click on thumbs below.

bay 10537LondonLondonLondon


Global Voices


Why Abu Samer made a bad blogger(although I agree with his point)


  1. Fadi K.

    7amdella ala el salameh :)

    i was about to write to u cos i had doubts that u got a flue!! men gheir shar , because i feel like having a flue so far and u didnt ballagte for 2 days!!! so i don’t bafawel 3aleiky nor anybody. lets , see , i am the first to comment :), have i just won anything so far?

    u went there to attend a blogging summit there in London?

  2. Dar

    Weltchum Home , it seems that u had fun there , thats what really counts ……
    Fadi , how dare u to comment b4 me ! bs yalla the 2nd place is not that bad .
    Btw , Ruba ,I am excited to know what did u get me from London :)
    Cheerz !

  3. Welcome back!
    Well it looks you had good time there.
    I see that London has charmed you with all its classy buildings,clean streets,the art scene ,so you wanna move there?
    U remind me of 3ugla :
    “يمى بدي أبيع الأرظ و أهاجر على المدينة”

    So what have been discussed in the conference?I’m sure u’ve made us proud!

    Air Ticket JD500
    Visa JD136
    Fish and chips JD12
    Ditching classes Priceless!

  4. Welcome back Roobs ;)

    I totally agree on what Ethan said… I have met the most interesting people through blogging, and the experience has been amazing!

    The bit about journalism and blogging is quite interesting, and I have been thinking about that a lot! I’d love to hear more about this discussion… whether in a blog post, or over a cup of coffee ;)

  5. fish and chips for 6 pounds? firas wein 3ayesh inta?

    oh, the tate is nice

  6. really like u’re blog’s new look!!!
    very nice.

  7. Jameed,ya habeeb galbi…I know someone would pick up on this, and surprise surprise! if it’s not Jameed :p

    First of all JD12 = 9.55 GBP

    Now,here is the breakdown of the 9.55 Pounds:

    3.5 for the Fish and Chips
    0.5 Mushy beas
    1.5 Tip (Would vary according to cutness)
    0.5 Bebsi
    3.0 A travelcard for the Tube
    0.5 3elkeh min walad maskeen bel Subway station (or in Roba’s case, a busker)
    9.5! Ya zalameh eghltna o talbeen mennak el samah!

  8. Wish I could have been there!

    Maybe we will meet next year, at the next Global Voices conference, wherever in the world that is. :-)

  9. Roba:

    I enjoyed meeting you at the Global Voices Summit in London. (I blog about Cambodia). I wish I had known you were an art freak – me too. Tharum and I went to the Tate Modern on Sunday. Also enjoyed your flickr stream.

  10. Also, your photos are awesome! How did you do the tiled photos?

  11. Fadi, Allah ysalamak. And I do have the flu : Yes, I was there for the GV Summit

    Dar, thanks.

    Fieas, thanks. And I only ditched like.. 5 classes. Not too bad..

    Lina, it’s about time we have a cup of coffee! It’s been ages! Yalla you set a date.

    Jameed, it’s awesome…

    Foulla, thanks.

    Rachel, it would be very nice to meet you :)

    Beth, it was great seeing you too. I did the tiled photos by using the square sized copies of my images on Flickr( different sizes–> square, stick them next to one another).

  12. Tate modern! Do they still have the impression of the sun? what about the nudity art section? and how the hell did you take photos there?! (i did as well until the security found out …)

  13. “As for London, Roba is insanely in love with it; it is so beautifully diverse and so full of life.”
    Yep, that’s exactly what I felt – I was in London for the first time ever just 3 weeks before you! But I spent a lot more time outside – and took a lot more photos :).

    Greetings from Poland!

  14. She

    I spent 2 1/2 weeks in London several years ago. We rented a flat and had an amazing time! I think I actually cried when we left! I fell in love with the book shops and restaurants, and we spent days just wandering the streets, getting to know the city. I keep looking for excuses for another visit, but none have presented themselves yet. Good luck finding your way back to London!

  15. Ahalan habibti –

    How funny that we both made the Tate Modern our first stop! And I didn’t even know you were there…

    Meeting you on Friday night was a joy, but we *must* find more time to talk “for real.” If Amman works out for me, I’m counting on you to choose the best cafe in town for what is sure to be a very long gab-fest.

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