A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: May 2007 (Page 1 of 3)

On May

I stopped striking away at the calendar sometime in mid May. The first half of it was painfully slow, but I have no idea how the rest of it managed to come to an end. But it did… and here we are at June. May changed everything.

Life is finally back on track.

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On April
On March

فيسائلني القمر يا حلوة ما الخبر

I first heard of Macadi Nahhas in a comment that was posted on this blog, and I’ve been wanting to hear her live ever since. Today, I finally got the chance, and I must say, I was totally blown away (and I am not particularly sensitive to music so that really is saying something). Her voice rings with music even when it is unaccompanied by any sort of musical instrument to the extent that she is even comparable to Fayrouz.

She unfortunately didn’t sing much, but she did sing some of my favorite songs ever, including “Sahar il Layali”, “Methel il Nejmah Wil Gamar“, and “Ahwak”. She sang “Ahwak”, a song I absolutely love, without any instruments and it was absolutely breathtaking.

Great show. I can’t wait to get the chance to hear her live again.

Here’s a video that I can’t stop listening to of her singing Ahwak:

أهواك بلا أمل و عيونك تبسم لي
و ورودك تغريني بشهيات القبل
أهواك و لي قلب بغرامك يلتهب
تدنيه فيقترب تقصيه فيغترب
في الظلمة يكتئب و يهدهده التعب
فيذوب و ينسكب كالدمع في المقل
في السهرة أنتظر و يطول بي السهر
فيسائلني القمر يا حلوة ما الخبر
فأجيبه و القلب قد تيمه الحب
يا بدر أنا السبب أحببت بلا أمل

Here’s a video with a little “collage” of the show:


It didn’t really sink in yet though, but well, I actually have nothing to think about for the next couple of days, and that feels really good. Will not check my email yet… may fill you in later I guess :)
Now is the time to read a few books… catch up with friends… asee3 for a few days… Yay.

Jadal + Vengo + Canteca Da Macao

As I have had a rather hermit-ish year, I didn’t really go to many (to be more honest, any) concerts during the past several (many) months. But because we live so near by The Courtyard and thanks to their booming sound system and plethora of events, I get to feel like I’m almost in every musical event they hold.

A couple of days ago though we went to one of the events of the Spanish Cultural Week, where Jordanian bands Jadal and Vengo opened up for “legendary” Spanish band Canteca De Macao. I have heard Jadal play several times (once live at Battle of the Bands a couple of years ago), but I’ve never even heard of the other two bands, although the Spanish one is being marketed in town as “legendary” (would be glad to be enlightened as to whether they’re really legendary or not by anyone who is more aware of Spanish music as I know nothing about it).

The concert started with Jadal with their Arabic rock, and they seem to have a huge following amongst Jordanian youth. I must admit that they were the main reason I went to the concert as I have heard so much about them, but honestly, I was disappointed. Although their music is quite excellent, there is too much distortion and the lead singer needs to do a lot of work on how his vocals relate to the music being played by the band. What really impressed me about Jadal though is their creativity, their music is certainly quite innovative, and has huge potential. My favorite Jadal song was “Salma”. That was really good.

Vengo played next, and like I mentioned previously, I’ve never heard of them before, yet they were a pleasant surprise and the part I enjoyed most in the concert. Their music is pretty good, the singing is not bad at all, and they had some really enjoyable songs.

Finally, the “legendary” Canteca Da Macao got on stage, complete with fire-eating magician, crystal balls, and greenery-infused microphones- they were nothing like any band I’ve ever seen in my life. I wonder what they smoked/drank/ate before they got on stage- the energy was crazy.

I’ll leave you with a little video from the event:

For more, check out Khobbeizeh’s video of the event.k

Been Busy

A lot of things happening these days… I’m sorry for not replying to emails, I haven’t been checking my mail because I need the peace of mind until I’m done with my graduation project. Ok, that’s all for now I guess.

Team Cre8iv

An initiative at this year’s Cannes Festival through Reel Ideas Studio is a “focus on global networking and the evolution of shared ideas”, and so what they did was create international 4-person teams to shoot documentaries at Cannes.
My soon-to-be-ex-adviser and friend Tarik is one of the people involved in the teams, and it’s pretty cool. They have their experience in a blog-like setting with videos and all. It’s worth checking out, although it’s in Flash, and , ehhh, I hate Flash, its very un-user friendly! I can’t even link directly to their blog… but what you can do to check it out is go to Reel Ideas Studio, click “On the Ground”, and find the blog for “Team Cre8iv”. After the 23rd, you can even see the documentary they created. You can also leave them your feedback.
Looks like fun!


One of my least favorite things about living in Jordan is that we cannot spend as much time with him as we would like. Although he was quite the workaholic, my childhood is full of the fondest memories of us playing a collection of games he invented for us, of him helping us learn the lines and act out the scenes of historical Arabic movies (“Man minkom moshtaqon ila sayfeee!”), and of him taking us on road trips as often as he could.

Most of my earliest memories involve my father, rather than anyone else. My father, you see, was the first man I ever loved.

I remember him standing on a cliff and throwing us into this little place where the Dead Sea meets sweet water, when we weren’t old enough to swim. I would always climb back up and ask for more. I remember him teasing me when my mother and I would “fight”, something we still laugh about often today, “Roba, aslan Mama ma bet7ebek” is a very popular family joke. I remember him playing this game where we would run through the doors while he tried to get us with little stress balls. That was one of my favorite games ever, if not my favorite.

Dad taught me a lot of things in life, both directly and indirectly. At a very early age, he taught me the importance of defending myself, even if it meant confronting someone much bigger. All it takes, he shows me, was some courage, and if courage doesn’t do it, well, there’s always four of us, and he taught us to stick together. When I became a little older, he taught me how to enjoy the finer things in life; how to enjoy a good meal, how to act like a “gentleperson”, how to always choose quality, and how to be generous, for no one could possibly be as generous as he.

Dad taught me the value of reading; I really started reading the alphabet when we were in the car and he would ask me to read the storefronts and signs as we drove around Riyadh. He taught me the value of information; I was always amused at how my father knew the answer to almost everything, and every time I would read, I would try to remember what I was reading so that I would one day know a lot too.

Dad taught me to love unconditionally, even though some people might not deserve it. He taught me how to value good friends, through different countries and different lives. He taught me to give without expecting anything in return, he taught
me to be easy-going, he taught me that life is a matter of priorities.
He taught me to work hard, to expect the best, and to appreciate the
different types of dates. Dad taught me the importance of being friendly, of treating everyone with respect, of not judging people from where they come. He taught me to be welcoming, and he taught me the importance of saying hi :)

Today is his birthday, and like every year, I find myself helpless as to how to give him an ounce back of all the love he gave, and still gives, to me. Unfortunately, due to distance, I cannot even give him a hug or a card. Perhaps next year.

For this year though, I will have to settle for this; Happy birthday Baba, from myself, Hisham, Omar, and il-Qazam il-Shereer. We love you more than we love the world, and we thank you for everything.

Icecream and lollipops on a rainy night in May


Speed of Light

When we first moved to Amman a little less than 4 years ago, Amman was still Amman; everything closed on Fridays, almost everyone around was Arab, and the most decent shopping you could do was with the few brands that had just started opening in Share3 il Markat (AKA “The Brand Street”).

A few months later, Mecca Mall opened, with its plethora of renowned stores, and the world of Ammani life changed. In the years that followed, so many new commercial projects were and are being undertaken that it is hard to keep up anymore. There are cranes in the horizon everywhere you look, new structures everywhere, construction sites getting marked daily.

Whenever I go to a part of town that I haven’t been to in a few weeks, I am always shocked by what I see. They closed off the turn to Jabal Amman from Shmesani, making it impossible to get to Jabal Amman lest one goes through the Fourth Circle. The other day I discovered that my beloved Rainbow Street has been closed off to be turned into a pedestrian road by October. Abdoun looks nothing like the Abdoun I spent my teenage years in. Buildings in the older parts of Amman like Shmesani and Weibdeh are getting knocked off left and right to make way for more modern commercial structures and parking space. Last week I found myself in Khalda and was absolutely shocked to see the towers peaking out of the mountains.

Yet, I haven’t left town for over a week in 4 years.

Here’s a picture of a “new” Ammanite view courtesy of Lina (she has a lot more pictures of construction taking place too):

And last but not least… they’re actually doing something about visual pollution in the form of signage. I was shocked to see Ahmad’s pictures of the Markat Street, because I was just there a few weeks ago, and it hadn’t changed one bit then.

Amman is changing, and it’s changing fast. Nothing is ever closed on Fridays anymore, the crowd at the malls is a cosmopolitan mix of people from all over the world, and you can get really decent shopping done at City Mall. Even more decent than that in Saudi Arabia.

Personally? I love it :) Of course, everything has a negative side to it as well, but for now, I’m enjoying the changes.

Crayola Sculptures

These are brilliant.

+ Design Boom

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