A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: December 2006 (Page 1 of 4)


The room is dark and cozy. I’m sitting back on a leather armchair, cowboy-boot-covered feet propped up against an ottoman. I’m smoking a pipe and watching the flames flicker hungrily in the fireplace, and I catch a glimpse of my reflection on the portrait resting on the mantle. There’s a look of satisfaction on my face; an old man who lead a good, productive, enjoyable life. An old man who met a lot of charming people, an old man with no regrets, an old man who welcomes whatever may follow.


From the many identities that I can easily fall under, the identity that I relate to the most is that of being Arab; first and foremost, I am Arab, and as far as I know from family history, I do not have a single drop on non-Arab blood in me.


I’m hopeful towards a very good new year. A lot hopes, a lot of dreams, a lot of wishes.


I’m sitting on my bed, which is currently a mess of clothes as the aftermath of trying to decide what I’m going to wear tonight. There are a lot of wires around me, and a lot of phones. There are also a lot of tissues, as I have a pretty bad case of the flu, my eyes sting and I keep having quite violent bouts of sneezing.
Another year has passed.


And you know, it just stops. Halts. Comes to an end. As if it never were. Like it will never be.
Somewhere else, distant, something new springs to life. And everything is forgotten, and all anything is anymore is a hopeful future.


2004 was a bad year.
2005 was so much fun.
2006 was interesting, useful, different.


Quoting Amin Malouf, “The identity cannot be compartmentalized; it cannot be split in halves or thirds, nor have any clearly defined set of boundaries. I do not have several identities, I only have one, made of all the elements that have shaped its unique proportions.”


Can you believe this is the third new year celebrated on the pages of “And Far Away”? We’ve been a long way, together, she and I. We affected each other, we loved one another, we talked, we laughed, and we remembered.


I believe that experiences take a big role in shaping who you are. 2006 was full of life-shaping experiences in almost all aspects of my life. And I have no regrets whatsoever.


Another year.
We’ll go through this together.

Quoting an introduction by a dear friend

“Roba has, well, the most retarded taste in music you’ll EVER see. You have to hear the tapes in her car! She listens to all this weird stuff like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and other sorts of punkish weird music. On the other hand, in Arabic, she only listens to Kathem Il Saher, Fayrouz, and Asala. It’s like she’s going through inner turmoil and confusion on whether to be a punk rock chic or a 60 year old grandmother.”

(and yes, tapes. Hear that? TAPES. Like stringy stuff in a little rectangle. You can’t even find those downtown anymore.)

Reason 436 on why I hate Sweifeyeh

Although what you need to do would take 3 minutes tops, its so crowded the closest you could park your car is 43654764 miles away and you have to walk for 15 minutes in the freezing cold.

Experiment with Love

My love for her is unreasonable; she has neither the history of Damascus nor the culture of Baghdad, she has not the mosques of Cairo nor the skyscrapers of Riyadh.

What she does have though is a million steps. The daughter of mountains can not but have a million steps, squiggling endlessly from mountain to mountain, a never ending bundle of lines that start at the center and edge outwards like veins extruding out a throbbing heart, giving life to the well-toned arms, the tattered legs, the dirty hair, and the jeweled limbs.

Amman. The city of stairs.

How I love her.

(Movie footage taken while going up one of the many stairs that lead from Downtown Amman to Jabal Amman for a group class project. Music by Rum.)

On Hunger

Photographs taken at the Tijara Milk Bar in Jordan University, where their Batata sandwiches are really good.

The Coke Side of Life

Though I might not be a particular fan of the slogan, “Welcome to the Coke Side of Life”, I think the campaign is absolutlely brilliant in terms of brand, colors, style, concept, and music.

I can’t seem to find the commerical, but here are the print ads, pretty eh?

Coca-Cola: Coke side of life, 1

Coca-Cola: Coke side of life, 3

Coca-Cola: Coke side of life, 2


What do you get when you mix the Eid Al-Adha sheep decor with Christmas trees and Santa hats? Well, something like this hilariously amusing poster copiously spread around Mekkah Mall.

Notice the two doey-eyed sheep smiling innocently on the right side of the picture, completely unaware that they’re posing for their last smiles. Mr. Muslim Mallman is carrying a gift box that says “Eid Mubarak” and a bunch of balloons, and he’s apparently dressed in his new Eid attire (notice the shiny yellow shoes)- I can hear him in my head singing with the voice of 50 out-of-tune children, “Ahlan, ahlan bil Eid.” Right next to him, Miss Christian Mallwoman is dressed up as Santa Claus posing behind a brightly lit Christmas tree, sprinkled with a sweet sprinkle of slush, and towering over her Christmas gifts, including a box that says “Merry Christmas.”

In the very center of the mall, there’s a really big (and just as ugly) Christmas tree. Painted on the glass railings like little guardians protecting the tree stand little sheep (some with three legs). 

Out in the streets, street sellers are walking around selling mistletoe and Santa hats. Right across from them on the pavements of Amman, little cardboard sheep smile at the passers by.

Ahhh… the beauty of holiday spirits.

Hey, the beauty of this is that I can do this in one go. So…

(Music: a mix of “Jingle Bells” and “Bokra il 3eed o men3ayed o mnedba7 rasa bo s3ayed”.)

Merry Christmas. Happy Eid Adha. Kol Saneh o Kol 7ada (ma3 ba3ad) salem.

(Roll credits: Terrible designer with good intentions at Mecca Mall, the sheep, Tkeyet Um Ali, and Baba Noel.)

Melancholy attempt at a self-portrait, April 2006, Beirut

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