A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.


“It’s so depressing Roba,” she said. “You turn on the news, and you can’t tell anymore. Iraq? Lebanon? Palestine? It all looks the same- ravaged destruction. I can’t take it anymore.”

I nodded my head sadly and turned to look at the amazingly peaceful view of Amman at sunset from the balcony of Wild Jordan, the Jordanian flag hovering in the horizon.

“It was terrible,” she continues. “It happened too fast. I literally packed only 2 shirts and a pair of jeans, I don’t have anything with me. I mean, can you imagine packing when you can hear the bombs falling around you? Boom, boom, boom. Ahhh, Roba! It is all too horrible. And look at me now! I’m a refugee! Again! Can you believe it? We were kicked out of Palestine, and now we are kicked out of Lebanon. I mean, wasn’t Palestine enough?! We got kicked out of two countries in less than half a century, by the same people! By Israel! How I hate them! Oh, my God. I’m still in shock. I can’t believe this is happening. Everything happened too fast. Everything happened too fast. What do I do with my life now?”

I just nodded, staring steadily at the speckles of light that shone like jewels on the mountain across.


The Real World


Holy Gator


  1. jess

    If I was going so such a traumatic situation I think I would rip my hair out if I was confiding in someone who turns into a mute such as your self. Too much for you is it Roba? Will that be your excuse? Or will you instead say that you ran outr of words to express what you feel? It’s ironic how some people have the luxury of detaching themselves so that they stare into space while others homes get torn apart, and we should be sticking up for each other. All I can say is, good for you for backing up your friend, a nod goes a very long way…

  2. Jess, this was but a snippet of a three-hour-long one-on-one conversation, so I assure you a lot was said on both sides. I am no expert in the field of psychology, and I cannot say what the stereotypical best way to react to such a situation would be. But I do know that this particular friend of mine wanted to vent after a particularly stressful period, and after spending the past few days being bombarded by questions.

    At the right moment, yes, a nod does go a long way.

  3. Sometimes you just cannot escape being speechless. This is a tragedy that is affecting hundreds of thousands of people and all I can wish for is a rapid end of the war in lebanon where people can go back there and rebuild this great country that is like no other in the Arab World. I hope they will also be able to stop anyone from gambling with thier country.

  4. Jason Bourne

    My heart goes out for this young lady.

    I however stand by Israel’s position to uproot terrorist organizations in the middle east.

  5. Jason, I will stand by anyone who uproots terrorist organization in any region. I personally was one of the people who did not see the logic in Hezbollah’s kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, but I also strongly condemn the unmeasured response of Israel against the Lebanese people rather than Hezbollah, which in turn accounts for terrorism.

  6. Onzlo

    Jason, me too, maybe we should start by uprooting Israel. Beleive me all those other troublesome terrorist will then wither away.

  7. I feel sorry for your friend and don’t know what to say..

    Palestinians were also kicked out of Kuwait after the iraqi invasion because many of them worked for saddam and his troops and supported the war against iraq, and only few people like me and my family stayed there.. and we’re all fine now.. the point is.. the thing that happened in Kuwait, was fair. worth it!

    but whats happening in palestine and lebanon, is sad..

  8. Hi! I liked reading your blog and thanks for sharing No human should make another suffer like these people.Wish you all the best

  9. I hope ur friend’s ok, comforting ur friends is a great deed and i wish there were more people like u that lsn and nod, some ppl just seem lifeless nd they call themselves “bestfriends”

    i just wana move on to the next issue… lemme get this straight.. Hezbulla is a terrorist organization? all it did was kidnap 2 Israelis and i know for sure theyr getting great hospitality by now, believe me and you’ll see that when they’re released, oh ya and the way they’re getting released, is with a trade of over 500 (if not more) Lebanese prisoners who are treated like crap in Israeli prisons, and most of them were kidnapped by the IDF or just held prisoners for the “fun” of it when Israel occupied the south of Lebanon, and what gives them the right to bomb a whole country for 2 soldiers? lets see how the “democratic” Israel elimnated some little “minor” points that might have made a difference n let a few ppl see a wee bit more sunrises.. now 1. Theres negotiation :) 2.International help (not military ofcourse) 3.A cute little trade and everyones happy… BUT NO!! “we’r Israel!! we gotta show our strength and save the 2 soldiers by bombing houses n civilians and giving out pamphlets saying: (WE ARE BOMBING UR HOUSE.. PLZ STAY AWAY FROM IT BECAUSE U AND UR FAMILY MIGHT BE TERRORISTS OR HIDING THEM AND WE JUST SIMPLY NEED TO MAKE U HOMELESS.. THANK U :D) wat kind of idiot warns u “hey i just wanted to tell u ur brains are gna be all over the place”, smiles, then shoots ur brains out? ill give u the answer, a sick twisted one, and thats what Israel is, just plain sick n twisted

  10. This is my first visit to your new blog, the new look,its sad because of your friend’s story, which is the story of thousands now, wish we know what to do, to change…nice blog..

  11. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while Roba, inspiring is the word..
    Sometimes silence can indeed be louder than the noise of war, words I have come to learn are not pure, mostly hollow.. Sadly though, words are our (Arabs) craft, if only we could master the art of silence the way you do Roba..

    Your blog is one of my favourites, a daily read. I have just started mine, please check it out. Keep up the great work.

  12. This is the fate of our people, the Palestinians, some of them have been kicked out of Iraq recently as well.
    As long as Palestine is lost this will be the situation of all Palestinians.

  13. Dennis

    i’m an american tv photojornalist living in the philadelhia area. i’m very saddend by these events — i side with no one, simply trying to grasp at why? i went to iraq on assignment in november of 2003 — death and destuction everywhere. it’s like the finatical versus the methodical. it’s so difficult to see the end game if any here.

    my father died in viet nam in august of 1969. tens of thousands of lives were lost on all fronts. nothing was gained as a result … so much lost.

    will those who engage in this conflict ever learn from the past. perhaps a future of war is much more convincing than exhausting efforts of tolerance …

  14. Even silence is a support btw,that is, its a sign of interest and respect .. I also hv a friend that got stuck in beirut & was out of communications reach for days before she made it to jordan..probably the most thing i wish when i stare to the sky and places of amman is not to hv the war extend to here for a reason or prayin

  15. basheer

    I quoted this from msnbc

    Unless Western-leaning and pro-democracy supporters in Lebanon can somehow rejuvenate the street strength they showed last year in their push for democracy, their side — the moderate side — seems certain to lose influence.”

    Do the Western-leaning Arabs think that their American master consider them equal like them or Jew ?
    Consider your stupid assumption. They always treated Arabs like dogs..

    I quote this Aljazeera:

    I do believe that the same racist impulse that considers Israeli lives worth more than Arab lives is at play here. I have no doubt that the lives of Arabs never meant much for the descendants of colonial powers in the region. ”

    So, why do you guys still believe in democracy, freedom etc ?

    Bush and his neo-con friends consider Arabs, regardless secular or not like dogs.

    So why do you guys still believe him ??

    I used to think like you guys, but I’ve changed since iraq invasion. They have no regard at all even to secular Iraqis..
    I don’t see any difference between Zarqawi and American forces in the way they treating Iraqis ( massive killing etc )
    Only Zarqawi doesn’t rape women, not like no moral American forces.

    Please repent your western-leaning thinking.
    join resistnace to western-leaning thinking and democracy..

  16. Jason Bourne


    I disagree. Some of Israel’s response is justified.

    Put yourself in their position? You are surrounded by people that want to eliminate your entire ethnicity (Jews). The ones that dont want to kill you brutally and video tape the killing, sympathize with the terrorist organizations that want to kill you. The rich sympathizers probably send money, food and aid to the terrorists…coz hey, they are after all Arabs right? The poor ones provide emotional support, glorifying sucide bombers by calling them “martyrs”.

    When I read the testimony of the families whose sons bombed UK a year ago, not ONE condemed their children. If I bombed innocent people, my father would disown me. He would hate the fact that he fathered me, and perhaps kill himself of shame. Why dont we see Muslim people doing that?

    There are 6 billion people in this world. You’d be surprised how many are getting weary of Islamic terrorism.

    Many hindus in india are running out of patience for Islamic extremism. India is a populous country.

    The world is becoming more polarized than ever, with Anti-Islamic countries on one side and Islamic countries on the other.

    US, Russia (think Chechnya), India (think Pakistan), Israel on one side and the Islamic countries on the other side. The swaying forces would be China and the EU.


  17. Jason Bourne


    Yes, the world perceives Arabs differently than Israelis.

    Bill Gates, the American billionare retired at 51 (at the height of his career). He could’ve gone down history as the greatest technocrat of all times. But, he chose philanthrophy. Bill Gates gives him money to aid the development of vaccines for diseases in poor countries. He is still married to the same woman he met 20 years ago. He is an amazing father, and spends much of his time reading.

    Compare Bill Gates to the Saudi kings and princes. Arab kings like to marry many women, and probably have harems. They race horces.
    Look at Saddam’s sons?

    The rest of the world sees the Arabs as people whose lives are subsidised by their oil.

    I am an electrical engineer and I dont see any research papers comming from universities in the middle east. They come from China, South Korea and India.

    Look at the economics of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia? Its a pity, that either of those welfare states cannot create a generation of students that push the envelopes of innovation. They have way more food, resources and infrastructure than students from india and china.

    Israelis? They are amazing to work with. They are smart, very hard working and incredibly skilled. I have worked with Israeli engineers for 5 years now, and I can tell you without doubt, that they are the BEST in the world. If the Japanese have their hard-work, the Israelis have their razor sharp focus and skill.

    When I go into a meeting with many people from Israel, I *have* to have done my homework.


    PS: I am not Jewish or christian. My parents were atheists and so am I

  18. Jason, you are falling into the category of stereotyping an entire race because of your rotten American media.
    I’m Arab and I’ve lived in the Arab world my entire life. I am not religious, so I will not go on defending any religion, but I will tell you that this war was not targeted at Hezbollah, but rather, the entire Lebanese population, both Muslim, Christian, and agnostic/atheist/etc. It is terrorism.

    Similarly, you would find that a lot of us will agree with you on the fact that Islamist terrorism is also terrorism (and if you follow the news, you will find out that we have also been harmed by it in recent years), but just like you said about how you justify the Israelis, I’m beginning to undertstand how these Islamists arise. Due to the last week, I feel so much negative sentiment towards Israel and I am on the very liberal side of the spectrum, can you imagine how many “already religious” people Al-Qaeda managed to recruit in the past week? It is unfortunately a cycle of hate that we’re all drowning in, fed from both sides.

    And about your illogical stereotyping of Arabs being bad, do you want me to recount to you how many rotten rules the West has had in history? The Dark Ages alone were terrorism at its best.

  19. basheer


    You have to understand who created this mess. Who give support to the despot leaders?

    Who gave the stolen land to Jews ?

    People like me wants to have an honest leader, but Western power and Jews want to install such a secular and despot leader to control them.

    Don’t you know that many of the enginering professor in American university are people from Arabs ? Do you think that only Jews are smart ? What a myth you created..

    Don’t you know that Zionist is the worst human being on earth ?

    Like I told Roba, I used to be in the same boat like her.. But I realized after all, Islam is the only solution. It’s being contaminated by secular people and extrimist people like Zarqowi.

    We don’t want your degrading way of life and freedom that you want. We don’t want alcohol, free sex, social ills that exist in Western sociecty.
    We want to learn technology but we want our Islam way of life.
    Unfortunately, the Western power wants the other way around. They don’t want Muslim to master technology, but they want to export their social ills so they can control Arabs.
    That’s why I regret what I was doing before supporting what’s so called ‘liberal value and freedom’.
    I really feel peace and happiness to return to Islam..

  20. Basheer, personally, I would rather shoot myself than live the “Islamic” way.

  21. Basheer, thats your opinion. Do not talk in “we”.
    There are as many ills in our society as there are in any other society, and as the years have shown, Islam is not the answer to anything.
    And please do not throw around stereotypical comments on this blog about anyone. Regardless of your feelings towards Jews, it does not take a rocket scientist to look at facts and see that it is a “myth” or whatever.
    When are we Arabs going to stop it with the damn conspiracy theories?

  22. Mina

    Discovered your blog a few days ago, loved it; it’s “ironic” that the first post which make me want to react to is… in fact leaving me speechless.

    As European we feel so useless, powerless.
    We have so much sympathy for Lebanon, as the only democratic entity of the area (Israël is not, and will never be, as israelian arabs will never be considered/treated equally as israelian jews – it’s stiking like appartheid), so beautiful, so fragile…

    PS: “Jason Bourne”, what a shitty pseudo lol
    wash your brain from Fox news and learn that the word “terrorist” ( can also be applied to Israël in this case.

  23. basheer

    That’s fine Roba.. You can shoot yourself..
    It’s your responsibility to your Lord once you’re in grave. Not me..
    Innalillahi wainna ilaihi rojiun..

    I just want to share my experience with you. I’m used to be like you except in male case. Have a girlfriend, disco, drunk etc.
    When I have problem I get drunk. However, it doesnt solve my problem.
    Only when I make salaat, I feel peace. Real peace.
    Nothing can describe with words…

    So, I just give you advice since we were in the same boat..
    Take it or leave it..

  24. chloe

    when has personal faith or religion become such an issue? what do u care who or what your neighbor prays for as long as you pray for the God you belive in, what is happening in the middle east has nothing to do with religion, its about america wanting the oil and its about zionism. i am neither lebanese nor arab nor jewish nor american or british, i am french, and it is obvious that the arabs being set against each other is a war tactic, i’m surprised they dont see it like that, islam is really not as is percieved i have many muslim neighbors and they are completly normal and kind, so its not about islam, if it was about “islamic terrorists” then why are the lebanese christians being targeted and killed? also question for jason… do you think that the isrealis have a right to be living in isreal after kicking out the palestians and taking their land? if so why do u belive that they have a reason? i would like to know what your sense of justice is that perfect strangers take your home so that you are later called a refugee and left without the passport living in a tent…? please excuse my english , its not very good. i hope u r understanding my point as well as question.

  25. Chaos

    Hi Roba,

    Impressive website, I like your writing style.
    It’s catchy. I just have one question. Why would yoy rather shoot yourself than live the islamic way? Can you define the “islamic way”?
    Am not trying to butt in, I apologize if that’s how it comes across. I just feel like when you make remarks like that, you should also clarify what you mean because many people don’t know much about Islam and it gives off the wrong picture.

    Keep up the good stuff :)

  26. Hi Chaos,

    Welcome here.
    Truthfully, my comment was directed towards a person trying to preach me into “guidance”, and I dislike that.
    To me, it is not about Islam, it is about the austerity of religion in general, regardless of which religion it is. Although some may disagree, and speaking from an agnostic point of view, all religions teach the same thing.

  27. Chaos

    Hi again,

    Ok I know exactly what you mean about the “guidance” part. I’ve had my good share of
    self-appointed “guides”.It could get very annoying and many times it will put you off the whole thing- in this case, religion.

    But if you take anything from this reply, please take this: don’t take religion from people. Seek it out yourself.You’ll be surprised to discover that most people who interpret religion are more austere than God Himself.Don’t take it from them.

    I once read about this convert to Islam – I think he was French – who said he was lucky to discover the beauty of Islam before he met any muslims.I found that painfully true.

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog- we have a lot of things in common! I’m an architecture student and have studied the history of art and absolutely loved it!!

    Great stuff!!

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