Online Since 2004.

The Six Crowds You Meet in Heaven

Well, if your heaven is Amman at least.

A little visual intro of how the various “people groups” of Amman collide:

Amman Jordan by you.

Of course, these are most definitely not every group in town, rather, the ones I am most familiar. Which do you belong to?

And who are these crowds exactly? Well, a little explaining is always fun…

1. The Rainbow Crowd

Books @ Cafe by a. ateeq.

Conglomerating in Jabal Amman and Weibdeh, the self-acclaimed Rainbow Crowd are to Amman like flower-power-children were to San Francisco. That is, freeing themselves from societal restrictions, choosing their own way, and finding new meanings to existing in this world (in the Amman context of life, of course).

They dress in ways that 92% of society find peculiar, and they listen to music that other people do not find amusing. They all seem to belong to a sort of secret cult with transparent forehead tagging that allows them to recognize one another.

The Rainbow Crowd people are usually creatives or wanna-be creatives. That includes starving artists (who are not starving), expats who left the comforts of their first world lives to hippie-around with idealistic dreams, and well, that’s about it.

Meet them at: Jabal Amman house parties, Books@Cafe, Room 29, Jordango.

2. “Tantat Il Bakalorya”

Amman Jordan by you.

Bakaloryans don’t get offended just yet. This term does not refer to just you, but actually to everyone who went to any of the schools that fall under the same category: New English, Baccalaureate, Choueifat, etc.

Although it might have been over a decade since they tossed their graduation caps, they still hoard around one another like no one else exists in this world. They are always very smartly dressed, whether fashionable or not. Their cars are nice, their houses are gorgeous, and they have a very refined taste in architecture, music, and about everything else. They all work at their families private businesses, making a lot of money doing so.

Usually, they hang out in each others homes, except for the few days a week when they meet at the nice places of Amman, like Nai, or Vy, or the Sheraton’s overpriced terrace (The Sanctuary).

Meet them at: Nai, The Sanctuary, themed house parties in Abdoun or Dabouq.


3. “Shelet il Arageel”

Bel Mondo Cafe by you.

A drive through Amman on a nice summer evening will get you to appreciate the huge number of people who inadvertently belong to this group. The argeeleh crowd is also the most diverse, as it includes many people from the other crowds as well.

The argeeleh people love their nicotine, deliciously inhaled via waterpipes, flavored to death with the most unexotic Mediterranean fruits: peach, watermelon and mint, lemon, guava, cherry, melon, just to name a few. The argeeleh menu is often more comprehensive than the food menu, with season specials.

The plenitude of different places all around town that provide ample space for this group to come together also helps in establishing a very colorful population. This population includes people from all walks of life and with varying degrees of conservatism, liberalism, outfits, beliefs, and cash.

Meet them at: Tche Tche, Shahbandar, Talet il Jabal, Cafe Doner.

4. Abdoun Peeps

Amman nightlife by adamvanloon.

Abdoun places in a nutshell: born to blossom, bloom to perish.

All made true by the people who move from one new hip place to another new hip place, catered to by the coffeeshops, restaurants, and bars that open and close depending on the season. They’re cool today, gone tomorrow, only to be changed to a different place with a different name, a different menu, and a different look.

The Abdoun peeps are usually fashionable, although of course fashionable is not always good. They’re also usually under 20, meaning that they probably never really saw heyday Abdoun, when the city’s favorite form of entertainment was going round-and-round the roundabout.

Met/ Meet them: Prana, Irish Pub, Coffee Nation, Leymoun, Houston’s, Broadway, Mirador.

5. Shabab Abdoun

Not to be confused with the Abdoun Peeps, Shabab Abdoun are usually college-age guys trying to find cheap entertainment. The entertainment usually consists of parking their cars somewhere with a view in Abdoun, and buying 15-piaster coffee water from street vendors strategically parked next to them. Then, they’d spend hours coming together and just chilling out.

Shabab Abdoun could also be from any other group, they might just be broke or not in the mood to put on the whole act.

Meet them at: The hill behind Blue Fig, the new ring road.

6. La3eebet Il Shadeh

sultan cafe by Frederik Ohsten.

With a couple more JDs to spend than Shabab Abdoun, La3eebet Il Shadeh ensure they have a whole night’s entertainment with their deck of cards.

They conglomerate at “guy-only” coffeeshops to smoke, drink coffee, and lethargically kick each others asses, while discussing the problems of the world. They know each other’s weaknesses and strengths (when it comes to cards of course), and generally only look up from the table when there’s a really cool goal on the football game being shown on tv. This is also the most mysterious group to myself, as I do not know how to play cards, and generally cannot see the entertainment factor.

Meet them at: Don’t really know, I know that my brother keeps referring to a place called “So7beh”.

Which do you belong to?

Possibly Related:

The Five Arab Guys You Should Never Date
The Five Women You Need to Stay Away From

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28 Comments

  1. Hal

    AMAZING!!!!

    I love this :)

    But it worries me that I have no idea where places like Room 29 and Jordango and Shahbandar and Leymoun are. Have I been gone that long?!?!

    Plus I dont belong to any of these groups! You need to create an Online Groupies group for people who spend all their time on the internet chatting and carting their laptops all over town to catch some random free wireless from their cars.

    Long live free wireless.

  2. Darling, you’re in category number 2.
    I love the idea of that though.. internet tweeple. Me and you!

  3. I am not an Ammanite, but if i were i’d probably be in the La3eebet el Shaddeh group .. guy cafe’s are awesome .. the smoke bothers me, but it is a nice/entertaining atmosphere usually.

    baah .. i haven’t played cards in 2 years !! damn 3’orbeh :-(

  4. Isam

    i’m La3eeb Shaddeh and proud … but another thing you didnt mention is, and i forgive u bcuz u said u dont know alot about us , is that before 10 or 11 pm … we can belong to any group of the above … u finish ur date or tal3a or party and u hit the gahweh …

    some places are : Ga3deh . Tarkasat . Balat el Rsheed ( yes ppl play cards there) . Horse Shoe and Foxes ( any gahwe 3al shamaleyye ) … and many many more …

    tofa7ten o seven up diet … o shdet trix law sama7t ;)

  5. According to this, I’m in purgatory!

  6. I’m a Rainbow person living with a Bakaloria guy for nearly 6 years now (and I STILL don’t have a nice car).

    Of course, I’m not an idealist, as I hate the human race, but still.

    Thanks, Roba!

  7. Nas

    lol most creative post i’ve read on the jordanian blogosphere in a long time.

  8. Sniffing wireless encrypted network packets to extract the WEP/WPA2 Keys was my fun job from 2005-2007 in Abdoun :P long live free wireless yea, but wireless passwords are no issue, crackable !

    za3tar, man, shaddeh is teslayet el 3’orbeh, depends actually on where you are, am in kuwait now, and sometimes i feel am very excited while dealing the cards lol, its just because ‘ no more guys ‘ like in Amman to hang out with like the old days, makes you excited while recalling those moments ..

    Rainbow : am a Batata Guy and Wild Jordan..
    Abdoun : i love quite places ( Rabwet Abdoun hill – New Dahyet Al Yasmeen Road’sTalleh)

    and after the card game ends with a fight as usual :P & after it ticks 2 AM, i like driving around Raghadan’s bus station when only wind is there.

  9. Brilliant post Roba! I think I belong in the Rainbow Crowd as well :D though don’t know Jordango!

  10. za3tar, hehe, I guess I’ve never been to any of these places. What’s the atmosphere like in them? I always imagine it to be sooo lethargic!

    Isam, thanks for the list of the places. Didn’t know you could play cards at Balat Al-Rashid, it always seemed more cultured!

    Nadine, haha, well, if that’s heaven, purgatory can’t be much worse.

    Nas, thanks dude.

    Mesh, can you send me a software or something that cracks wireless networks?

    Razan, it’s what used to be called Libarie du Paris (or something) on Dowar il 7awooz sabeqan.

  11. Great job Roba :)
    I need to check out Room 29 when I’m back in town.

    It just occured to me, where does a place like Jafra fit in these days?

  12. Bardees

    Roba I agree with them,it’s a wonderful and funny post :)
    I think I belong to the Rainbow crowd just because I feel great hanging out there,
    and also with the argeeleh crowd,although I still deny it as a habit :p
    I think Lemon belongs to the argeeleh crowd if we’re talking about the same place:)

  13. @Roba: Yeah, it can be sometimes be lethargic, and other times it is energetic. I don’t know how to describe it … it is just a guys/”bros” environment :-D … i’d invite you to join, but that would take the magic away … i guess boys will be boys .. and at some level we all want a childish no-girls-allowed club.

    Of course, you can try to pull a “Mulan” (i can’t believe i am using that reference) and just disguise yourself and go in an exploratory mission :-D

  14. Lina, Jafra belongs in the argeeleh crowd for sure.

    Bardees, yeah, it is also argeeleh. Bas it’s in Abdoun :)

    Za3tar, if I’m gonna pull a “Mulan” I’ll start with the “New Yurk Nigt Clob”. I am sooo curious what these places are like!

  15. I don’t belong to any of them therefor I am in limbo.

  16. Rainbow…lol… I’d suggest googling the Rainbow Symbolism…. I don’t think many of the rainbow group would really wanna go rainbow! xD

    Auf Wiedersehen.

  17. Bashar

    heheheeh love this post!!! 2 thumbs up!

  18. hey Roba, Cracking Wireless Networks will require an OS ‘Linux Actually’ and some hardware, not just a software, if you like, notify me and i’ll be arranging some info an email it to you.

    Roba i would suggest ‘when you are free’, that (as there are many people in this blog who’ve been out of Jordan for a quite time, & am one of them), just if you & commenters can list (i.e new & cool places, cafe’s , restaurants ) to go to this summer.

    I remembered this because I’ve received and email this morning about Souq Jara :( i remember guys and bands playing music on the stairs, i miss that :(

  19. 7aki, limbo is cool. Do you feel yourself floating?

    Abed, I assure you that anyone belonging to the Rainbow crowd will not care about that. They are… free.

    Bashar, thanks dude.

    Mesh, personally, I haven’t been anywhere past Rainbow Street in ages, I can give you a good list of the places there, otherwise, Id be useless!

  20. Ali

    I’m from the Rainbow Crowd, I just love it there.

    Awesome post roba, I love it.

  21. don’t assure me, I don’t care really xD

  22. Hi Roba,
    Thanks for the post, its always fun reading a youth’s perception of their surrounding environment, its usually mildly entertaining. I couldn’t help but notice a peculiarity in your groupings. The categorizations are all area-centric (abdoon, gym, nightclubs, coffeeshops) with the exception of bakaloria (sp?) type people. Are there not enough schools in your nation or has the bakaloria cult historically garnered the hatred/bitterness of your people to deserve a category of its own, comparable to say a historical landmark such as rainbow street. I also saw that you referred to other schools that fall within that category as well, but none deserving of the title. Sounds like those kids all have it easy, something which your subtext clearly pokes fun at/doesnt like too much :)

  23. Issa

    I agree with Godot. Most people who actually use the term “tantat il bakaloria” are either jealous or plain stupid. Roba , why don’t you mention the school that your brother attends? It’s reputation isn’t much better

  24. Hamdan

    1.Roba you forgot the fact the Book@cafe serves argeeleh , so the rainbow crowd should fully intersect with the argeeleh crowd ….

    2.There’s no mystry in the cards joy , it’s a “girls-free” Environment , so basically you can shout and curse as loud as you can , the louder you are , the more recognized and appreciated you are by the cafe owners and attendees.

    3. Rainbow argeeleh shadde crowds rock…..

  25. mo

    i got this post as a fwd on my email .. and it reminded me of ur style so i came here to check and lo and behold i was right .. so ya just fyi this post is circulating as a fwd without giving u credit for it hehe

  26. commando

    uuhh.. you left a group out !

  27. Godot, actually, there are absolutely no negative connotations, when I have sarcastic posts, I don’t mind poking fun at anyone. My brothers’ went to one of those schools, and I did too back in Saudi Arabia, so it’s just the easiest thing to write something about a group you sort of belong to. Bakaloria was the first of these schools, its also the most extreme in terms of these characteristics, which is why I used it as a title.

    Hamdan, that’s true, but the info-chart looked better this way :P

    mo, loool, that’s really funny! Thanks for the heads up man, I didn’t realize it was doing its rounds as a forward. 3ad I hate forwards! People must now be cussing me out :)

  28. mahmmud

    i just loved it keep it up

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