Age: 21

“Roba Al-Assi is an art student at the University of Jordan who loves Warhol, tennis shoes, and any unique spin on an old design. With an enthusiasm for colour and design that is contagious, she inspires her readers to be on the lookout for something new in the mindane. Roba’s fountain of effervescent energy affects every medium she touches, especially when the caffeine is flowing.”

That’s what one of the pages of April’s Viva Magazine reads, written by long-time Jordan Planet reader, soon-to-be-blogger, and now, friend, Kinzi.

It was such an interesting experience reading something written about you when as perceived by someone else when you spend so much time writing about others. I love tennis shoes. I love Warhol. I love a new touch to a vintage design. How true! Kinzi also writes about how as a child, I used to imitate my favorite childhood series (“The Baby Sitters Club”), something I have never ever told anyone prior to talking to Kinzi.

The article also has my age- 21, something I have basically refused to tell anyone because Arabs generally don’t take young people seriously, and I didn’t want to be brushed off as “just another Westernized kid with too many opinions”.

But here you go, what should belong in the “About Me” for those who need it: I’m a 21-year-old, liberal, feminist kid “badaye3 7ayati” studying Fine Arts and Design. My paternal family is from Nables, a Palestinian town famous for soap and desserts. I was born in Amman, Jordan in a startling summer day on July 30th, 1985 (making me a Leo, whose ruling planet, the sun, is not a planet at all, but actually the center of the solar system, and I don’t mention this because I believe in astrology, because I don’t, I just like the fact that I’m a roaring lioness). I love how both Nables, where my roots stem, and Amman, which I associate myself with, are mountainous towns, thus somehow making me a mountain girl. Cool, eh?

My family moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia when I was 4 or something and that’s where I had a fantastic yet fake compound life amongst Riyadh’s Western culture. I moved back to Jordan late in 2003 to attend JU (which is not the most fantastic educational institute in the world but it’s been an interesting experience nevertheless), and I will be graduating in a year or so. I don’t think I want to do higher education because my attention span is literally around 30 seconds so it’s just much easier for me to learn on my own.

I’m really opinionated, quite skeptical, and I’m also pro-globalization, pro-capitalism, and anti-extremism. I consider myself a social person, although I have a very hard time getting close to people.

Ok. I think that was the first time that I wrote a string of factoids about me on this blog, and pehaps it was influenced by a conversation I had with Lina and Hala yesterday evening.

Sometimes, I wish I was anonymous.

(random fact for the none-Arabs: my last name, Al-Assi, literally translates to “the disobedient”)

(Other awesome bloggerettes were featured in the Viva article, namely Salam Najjar, Khalidah Mufleh, Lina Ejeilat, and Tololy. What can I say? Girl power! I think the issue should be available for another week or so, so if you’re really interested, go ahead and buy it, and maybe even send a letter to the editor about how much you loved the feature ;) )

32 thoughts on “Age: 21”

  1. Yasalaaaaam,
    Roba! you’re a celeb! hehehehe
    the photo is awesome and for sure you’re becoming one of Jordan’s most well-known bloggers ever!

    Everybody wants to be Roba! haahahahaha,
    And those Chucks,
    I salute you for such Loyalty…you’re awesome

    Some other chick would smudge her face and wear boots,
    not objecting but still you keep it real.

    Mabrook the lovely feature Roba,
    see you around..


  2. In fact I would have regarded you a couple of years older (and that’s a compliment). Not too many because students seldom are but anyway. Wish my opinions had been that mature as yours at that age. If I however think back and wonder how I used to think when I was 21, I can only blush and be happy that there were no blogs at that time, as I was simply a strange person then…

    In fact it’s always funny to learn to know more about people whose blogs you read. I couple of days ago I spotted Sandmonkey’s picture on his site. I had imagined him look to a little bit different (no worse, no better, just different) and I have no clue why.


  3. Roba, now that I have met you, the words don’t really do justice! Great gal, great guts, great hair! Thanks for the privelege of revealing a bit of who you are off-line!

    All you ladies are great! In fact, maybe I’ve said it before, but discovering jp has made life in Jordan much more fun!

  4. By all means, this is amazing!

    I admire how your artistic sense is reflected on your blog:)

    Well done, girl :)

    And the pic is just awesome! I loved the pose and the background!

  5. مبروك Roba,
    I’ve always enjoyed your blog. it is nice to finally put a face to the person I’ve been reading. Now I know what you,and SM look like.Who is next? :)

  6. Hmm, I guess you were right not wanting to disclose your age ;) The quality of your writing is that of a 30 year old, or more (complement), so I hope this doesn’t change my perception next time I read your blog :)


  7. Thanks guys!

    Laith, WHAT! Are you serious? 30 years old? Especially since you’ve met me and stuff. Anyway, why would it change the way you percieve my blog?

  8. Qal a 21 years old feminist, o btdros fan o kalam fadi! wil 3alam 3amleh i3tebarat o checking the blog regularly o comments o twab3o.

    7’alas ana batalt aaji tanik ti3qali, titjawzi, o yseer 3endik 5 qawareet, then I can take you seriously again ;)

  9. Roba,
    You are a well rounded person, I envy your parents for having you. I don’t really have much to add besides what the other bloggers have already said. You are ahead of your time, visionary in every sense of the word.I wish you the best in all of your endeavors.

  10. 21 yrs old !!!

    The first time I read your blog was about 4 months ago, and ever since, I thouhgt that you are older than 27 ! and I also thought you were studying a Master degree in fine arts, heh dunno why…

    we never used to see Arab girls with good opinions regarding politics and society delimmas..

    great blog you have,
    Keep it up :)

  11. Hi, how did they miss putting that in red rather than black?

    By the way, I first got to your blog as I was searching for design in Jordan… that was through google.

    Mabrouk , you are famous now :)

  12. What a wonderful photo!

    I’m pretty young, too — 31 — so I know what it’s like to be the youngest person in a room or a circle of friends. I think you’re awesome; I wish I had been as cool as you are when I was your age!

  13. Hi from London – Just a little note to say that I really like your blog. I started reading it when I lived in Amman in 2004-2005 (it makes me pretty nostalgic reading about Jordan). Keep going – Jordan needs more people like you! Cheers Nick

  14. I’m a Leo too!

    The picture is very, very cute. I wish I photographed that well. Keep up the good work. I always enjoy your blog.

    (Like Nick, I am nostalgic for Jordan when I read it)

  15. The Baby Sitter’s Club ?! ME TOO! I used to want to start my own baby sitter’s club…I think I still do, haha. Congrats on the feature :)

  16. Hey! I see you on Fox channel every Tuesday and Wednessday singing on “American Idol” you call yourself Kathryn. Last week you got over 45 million votes and likely you’ll win. Oh! not you? well! you have a twin maybe? Oh I could swear it was you. You look so much like her. Can you sing?

  17. im used to be the youngest always,,, since all my friends and co-workers are older than me,,, at least 2-3 years difference,,
    but now,,, being not-the-youngest ,,, mmm i dont know,, it feels strange :P


  18. Roba, I knew you weren’t anywhere near 30 of course. I thought more in the range of 23. Not that you look like it -21 to 23 is not that big a difference in looks anyway. I have looked almost the same for the last 10 years :P

    I guess this makes your mind more interesting since now we all know there’s even a bigger contrast than we thought between your mental and biological age :) So if my perception changes, it will be for the better.

  19. Oy, people, you think she’s beautiful just from the picture? Forget, I saw the real thing and she’s GORGEOUS, it gets better! HA, probably should not be encouraging you and probably will be kicked by those red sneakers, but Roba, you really are awesome, and I have been in a good mood all weekend not only coz I’ve been ‘home alone’ but coz I got to meet you and Lina, seriously! Amman just got SO much better for me.

    And I hate that I was such a loser at 21 and you are so not even close to loserdom. You know I’m going around telling people you’re my friend now, right? Ain’t gonna stop.

  20. Age is just a number. It’s what you do and how you act that really matter.

    Great article, Roba! Very nice to get to know a bit about you the person instead of just you the blogger.

  21. I’d come to allow with you one this subject. Which is not something I typically do! I love reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!

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