A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: July 2008 (Page 1 of 2)


At first there was one.

And then there were two.

Next came three.

And the cherry on top was number four.

Roots and Homes

Where my father was born:

Nablus, Palestine, also known as Jabal Al-Nar, the mountain of fire.

My memories of Nablus as a child are of old stone walls, jasmines, tea with mint, and the smell of burnt pine wood.

My dad’s tales of Nablus are of cinemas, circuses, and family love.

The box with old pictures from Nablus is full of photographs of vintage cars, people dressed in gorgeous clothes, staged studio shots, and children climbing trees.

Where my mother was born:

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, also known as 3aroos Ilba7r, the bride of the sea.

My memories of Jeddah are of humidity, malls, and looking for the house on the beach where my mother grew up, only to find out that that beach has not existed in decades. It was covered with sand to accommodate the city’s growth, and the beach is now miles away.

My mother’s tales of Jeddah are of fishing for hours, eating ice cream at a place called Mechaniko Cream, and her father’s woodshop.

The box with old pictures from Jeddah is full of photographs of girls in white dresses, birthday parties, and them swimming on the beach.

Where I was born:

Amman, Jordan

My memories of my childhood in Amman is of a little, tranquil town, with a lot of green and sharp blue skies. My memories are of ice cream, playing soccer outside, and the sweet plastic smell of floaters and sunscreen. They are of a small, uncrowded town, with the taste of Jabri’s cake icing and the cool blueness of Slush Puppies. 

Where I grew up:

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

My memories of Riyadh are endless. For afterall, that is where I spent the bulk of my life. Some of them are great. Others are not as great. When I close my eyes, Riyadh is the smell of dry air, the sound of the call to prayer, and the shiny marble floors of its malls. It is the gingham print of our Manarat uniforms, the blistering heat of my glue gun, and the sound of a modem dialing an internet connection.

My reality now:

Amman, Jordan

The Amman of my childhood has dwindled to nothing but the taste of red popsicles. My experience is wholey different from my memories. My experience is off spending the days either sitting in the garden or at the various outeries that this city shyly provides. It is of Jordan University, our messy Syntax office where life is always bustling with energy, or the horribly crowded summer streets at night.

And there. You have it. The collection of cities that have shaped the way we grew up.

But… they’re all now extinct

What’s going on in my head




Language Bluff

It often happens that a few seconds are wasted staring at the horizon trying to translate a very Arabic word to the Syntax German imports or vice versa. Occasionally, a word is brushed off as being too Arabic for translation. At other times, in a twist of cultures and language, an otherwise untranslatable would just goes beyond the jest of translation.

Assaf talking to Dani: “You know, we just need to get a shabloneh and it’ll be fine. Ah wait, shabloneh, I have no idea what that is in English. Lina, what’s a shabloneh in English?”
Lina: “What the hell is a shabloneh? Roba, do you have any idea what a shabloneh is?”
Me: “Yeah, it’s like a ruler with circles and toilets and stuff.”
Lina: “Huh?”
Dani: “AAHHHHHHHH. You mean a schabelone! I know what that means, it’s the same word in German. Or maybe it’s a German word and you guys stole it.”



I guess the whole “things bursting out” of something style is all the rage these days. This ad is still pretty cool though. I like how 3D it is. Thanks Noori!

Calligraphy 2.0

Great news for anyone who missed out on the first fantastic calligraphy workshop, there’s going to be more!
I took a similar course with the same calligrapher (Saleh Nasab) a few months ago and it was awesome. You can see pictures and read more about that experience here and here.

For more information, contact Hussein AlAzaat [alazaat (at)] or check out the Facebook event group here.

Testing Orange’s “Order Online”

I’ve been putting off applying for a phoneline/ADSL service for a while now, mainly because in my head, applying is just a long queue of angry people waiting in line in a governmental office with grayish yellow walls for a guy drinking coffee to stop drinking his coffee and actually do his work. This image stems directly from the one time I went to pay the phone bill at the Bank Il Iskan building with mother when I was a kid, and that’s exactly how it looked like.

Yesterday, it occurred to me that since Orange has taken over the Jordan telecom company, things might have changed I might be able to apply for a phoneline/ADSL service online.

I log on to their website, and damn, there’s an order online button right up there!

I click, realize that the form is not Firefox compatible, whine about that a second, switch to IE-zeft, fill out the form, and then I click submit.

A second later, I get an email confirming the application with a note saying that a sales representative will contact me within the next 24 hours.

Seven good hours are left for the 24-hour promised timeslot, and I will probably not mind if they contact me within the next two days either. As long as I don’t waste a few hours of my day standing in line. I will update this post when I find out if their online service works or not.

Update: A sales representative from Orange called me at arounnd 4:00 PM, which is with in the 24-hour time slot. She was very nice and very helpful, and we set up an appointment for a different representative to come take the papers and the fees on Sunday. So far so good.

Bad habits

it’s 12:43 and i’m really sleepy and i really want to go sleep because i have to wake up early for work tomorrow and i haven’t been getting enough sleep these days and i really want to go sleep because i’m tired and i have less than seven hours to wake up and the clock keeps ticking and ticking and ticking there’s just never enough time in the day but really i need to sleep because yesterday i was sitting on a couch at the office and thinking maybe i should just go nap or something but i decided that was dumb and its 12:48 and i still need to sleep and i really need to sleep and i must go to sleep because i can’t function without sleep unless i’m doing the whole 2 hour nap thingy every now and then but i haven’t done that since i finished school i actually miss doing that the day felt longer that way but for now i cant really and i really need t

Damn it.

I can’t stop opening new tabs on my browser.

I am, after all, just another obsessive compulsive internet user.

Publish post.

That orange liquid

Every now and then, I go through a “my favorite drink in the world is Mirinda” phase, which I’m currently going through now. I loveee Mirinda. It’s so sweet and so soda-ish and slight sour and so orange and so smooth and has the distinctive taste of orange jelly candy and makes me feel like a child.

I guess this phase will last for a week or two or so, and then I’ll be back to my usual “Pepsi Max is the best drink in the whole wide world” phase.

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