A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.


The first thing I noticed when I entered Jordan University several years ago was the plethora of quite hideous signage ligning up the walls of most of its buildings- official signage posted by the university staff, inofficial signs posted by students, as well as plenty of Islamist “graffiti” in the form of stickers. With time, I came to realize that each building (usually representing different faculties) has sort of developed its own style of signage that sets it apart from the rest, both in content and style, and I became really fascinated with the chaos of JU’s infographics, watching out for new signs in the buildings I took classes in.

You see, I grew up in a very “organized” way. In the highschool I went to for example, they were very peculiar about visual pollution and the fact that tape may leave marks on walls. The only form of signage you could see was perfectly printed plates of metal screwed to the tiled walls, sort of like this sign, minus the curves and the stuff sticking out.

Comparatively, the signage rules at Jordan University are non-existant, you can literally fill the walls with anything you want before someone else decides that his/her signs are more worthy of wall space.

This post is meant to take a look at the signage in the Physics Department, which I have the pleasure of taking 3 classes in (thus, I spend at least 3 hours a day there). The Physics Department’s signage is quite great when compared to signage in other departments, notably the Engineering Department, the Languages Department, and the Islamic Shareea’ Department. For one thing, they use the simplest form possible, mainly Sharpies, scotch tape, and colored paper. The content circles around silence and smoking, and there is also a notable lack of Islamist graffitti, which is more than I can say for most other departments.

On smoking:

“Smoking Not Allowed- Don’t be the reason of the harm of others”

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“This Building is Smoke Free”

On Silence:

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“Please maintain silence”

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“Sitting on the stairs is not allowed”

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“Grouping in hallways is not allowed”

Islamist Graffitti:
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“Mohammad- our souls are yours. Defend your Prophet. Al-Omareya Schools”

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“The Martyr the Shaikh Ahmad Yassin, was martyred during a cowardly assassination on Monday, the 13th of March, 2004. The Islamic Front, The Departments of Science and Information Technology”

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“The story of a nation that never died and will never die. The Islamic Student Union”

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“It is not permissible to enter these rooms, there are tools that are (illegible word).”

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“To the phsyics labs of first year students”

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“Important Notice * * *
This lab is only for the use of the following students:
– Graduate Students/ Computer Physics
– Al-Rozam Il Barmajeyah
Fine Arts and Design Department”

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“Pretty Loozan”

Ok, the one above isn’t a sign, it was drawn by a fellow design student on one of the chalkboards in the department, but it’s been there for a while…




Nerds. Make. Better. Lovers.


  1. Anonymous

    FFS get a life

  2. An interesting mix,
    I think the don’t enter room one is: there is a3ar6′ 3arabyeh,
    not that this makes much more sense anyway.
    My favourite is no gathering in the hallways, reminded me of 3’orbeh when abo reeshih is asked to :atfaraq 3an ba36’ak

  3. Thats part of University cultures . Back in Mutah University (Ayam el tayase), they used to carve names on seats in the faculty of engineering… my name is one of them. My favorite is “To the physics lab of first year students” .. the script is koofy 3ala andalosy 3ala roq3a :)

  4. If only people would ADHERE to those signs! And since they’re not, might as well take the signs down and limit the mess.

    I don’t know about Jordan University specifically, but have you ever noticed Mecca Mall’s abundance of ‘No Smoking’ signs dangling from the ceiling, each one barely a few feet from the other? And have you noticed the people that unabashedly light up and suck on the ciggy right there, beneath those signs? And the security guards that ignore them? Now, THAT’S what I don’t get!

  5. The University Management should do something about this … they should stop this ugly mess … and there is no point in sticking these things on the walls .. people don’t read and certainly don’t listen or adhere …

    I loved the expression “Visual Pollution” … So TRUE!

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