A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: June 2010 (Page 1 of 3)

On June

Can you believe that June is over? I can’t! It’s been the fastest month of the year thus far, and I haven’t really done much honestly.

At Bayt, we finally moved from the Abdali offices to a brand spanking new building on Gardens. Believe it or not, but Gardens has turned out to be an improvement location wise: it’s a much shorter drive, and it’s really easy to find a parking spot at 9:00 AM.

Happy drive and quick parking spot = happy Roba. Yeah, I’m simple like that.

June also saw my friend Sara getting married to longterm sweetheart. I’m really happy for her and Omar, so mabrook guys!

Can you really archive time?

2007: On March | On April | On May | On June | On July | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2008: On January | On February | On March | On April | On May | On June | On August On September | On October | On November

2009: On July  | On August | On September | On October | On November | On December

2010: On January | On February | On March | On April On May

Damn Punctuation Marks

When a bad fad goes bad, it goes REALLY bad. And that is what’s happening to punctuation.

Over the past year, I have noticed the increasing amount of terrible punctuation habits. I’m guessing that Facebook is to blame. I mean, when you see so many people adding a space before an exclamation mark, it must be right, right?

Well , I understand the logic , I have been a victim to such thoughts myself when it comes to other matters. But the problem with the punctuation fad is that it’s driving me nuts . I’m not a grammar nerd , really , I’m not . It’s just that sentences look so out of balance and so visually hideous without type being set in the right place .

So to clear any misconceptions about proper type and punctuation practices (and at the risk of sounding like a total smart ass), I have created this handy little guide:

Let’s Get to Know the Jordanian Blogosphere

The 7iber guys have put up a survey to get a better understanding of the Jordanian blogosphere. Please take three minutes to answer one of these, depending on whether you’re a blogger or a reader:

Take the Reader Survey

Take the Blogger Survey


Jagual El Usek

Such a funny song by Michelle Keserwany.

Here are the English lyrics to Jagal Il Usek, my own translation:

I was sitting in the cafe
with was nothing on my mind
and drinking Nescafe.

A guy came and sat across from me
wearing sunglasses and his hair was gelled
he said “Bonjour ya Demoiselle.
I am the cool guy,
I listen to 50 Cent,
my car is shiny,
and I go to every single event,
I have a villa in Faraya,
and the old Miss Lebanon is my sister.”

I pretended I was dumb and I pretended I was smitten,
I didn’t say anything and I wore a shy smile.

“Ana Jagal L Usek,
my eyes are colored,
I drink Vodka sec,
and my shirt is Mousseline.
My father is a colonel,
and I smoke cigars.
Give me your number je t’apelle,
so that we go out one day.”

Here I boiled over,
oh, no that’s just too much for me.
My face became red and smoke shot out of my ears.
And that was the day I discovered
why they say Eve is alive.

I said, “No way! Fate put us together!
My life before you had no meaning,
but oh the love of my life and the veins of my heart
lets get one thing straight from the beginning of the road.
“Love Relationship” in my father’s dictionary doesn’t exist!
You have to be serious for my dad to let us be!

That is…
We have to get married, and you have to get me a car.
We have to have kids, and call the girl Sarah.
And make a swimming pool, and change the light bulbs, and take me
away to China, and peel mangoes for me, and furnish the house, and get
me “jheiz” (clothes), and to cut the gazonet (?), and shine the glass!
Wow, the idea of getting married! I really like that!
Yalla, when are we getting engaged? So that I tell you where my house is?”

The cool guy turned green.
He put away his sunglasses, and he said,
“Ahh, sorry I’m busy, I have to go back now!”
And I was left alone drinking my Nescafe,
laughing by myself as I went up to Saffee (?)

I talked to him so nicely and I was so excited!
But he never showed his face again, I really have no clue why!

The cool guy disappeared,
the one who listens to 50 Cent,
the one whose car shines,
and who goes to every single event!
He had a villa in faraya,
and the previous Miss Lebanon… yeah! He’s her brother!
Jagal Il Usek, his eyes are colored,
and he drinks vodka sec, his shirt is Mousseline,
his dad is a Colonel! He smokes cigars, and he wanted to call me one day…

The Answers to the “How Well Do You Know Amman?” Quiz

By popular demand, here are the correct answers to the “How Well Do You Know Amman Quiz?
Try taking it to see how you score before you look at these answers though! :)

1. Which of these places is on Sharia Street?

2. Which of these historical people conquered the city at some point in time?

3. Which of these neighborhoods is in Al-Abdali?
Sports City

4. Where does the name “Al-Weidbeh” come from?
A plant name

5. What was the coolest place to hang out for teens in 1996?

6. Which of these places was popular 20 years ago and is still popular today?

7. Which of these characters actually still lives in Amman?

8. What street was called Abu Baker Il Sedeek Street?
Rainbow Street

9. What’s the only place that serves argeeleh in City Mall?

10. Where is the Duty Free Shop in Amman?
Ammoun Hotel

10 Steps to Master Twitter like Ashton Kutcher

We saw the four stages of “getting” Twitter, so now’s the time to understand how to use it.

I know that many of people who read AndFarAway are not only very active on Twitter, but use it much more effectively than I do.  The reason I’m writing this post because I am really, really tired of people giving up on Twitter after half a second and then deciding to claim that those who know how to use it are “dumb” and “narcissistic”.

Seriously. It’s easy. Just follow these awesomely easy 10 steps to use Twitter like a rockstar. I mean if all those lame celebrities can do it, I’m sure you can too.

10 Ways to Learn Twitter

1. Download the HootSuite Firefox plugin, TweetDeck application, or Echofon Firefox plugin.
Maybe even all three, because the truth is: the interface sucks, and you won’t be enjoying Twitter if you’re stuck in your browser window.

2. RT. RT. RT.
RT stands for “retweet”, and you RT a tweet when you want to share something interesting said by someone else with your followers. An RT is like a personal recommendation. It’s very important to RT only interesting stuff, because it defeats the purpose otherwise. Be social. Support tweeps who said something useful or have an event they want to publicize.

3. Reply.
I don’t practice this point as much as I should, but as is the case with blogs, replying to tweets that you were tagged in is really very important.

4. Play Twitter Games.
Twitter games like FollowFriday and MusicMonday can make Twitter more fun and introduce you to interesting tweeps.

5. Share interesting links.
I mean, we all read stuff online all day, and there are so many awesome links that should be shared. Your followers would appreciate a great link, trust me.

6. Keep it simple, stupid.
There’s so much beauty in 140 characters. Mainly that people who shouldn’t blab can’t blab. Anything can be said in such a short format if it’s worth it.

7. Brand yourself consistently.
Choose one Twitter profile image and stick to it, for god’s sake. People who keep changing their Twitter profile pictures are so annoying, because when you’re looking at the stream, you are looking at icons, not names.

8. Schedule tweets.
Use HootSuite or any other similar tool to schedule tweets to assure that your account is constantly updated. Even if it’s a weekend.

9. It’s actually okay to tell your followers what you had for lunch.
As long as that’s not the only thing you say all week.

10. Notice the time pattern.
Depending on where you are in the world, you’ll notice that there are different time patterns. In Jordan, for example, tweeps are most active early in the morning (9:30 AM), around 12:00 PM, and around 4:00 PM. Target your coolest tweets at these times.

I hope this answers the question I am always being asked, “Why the hell do you like Twitter?”

Read the first post in this series of two: “The Four Stages of Getting Twitter”.

Don’t forget to follow me and to RT this post! :)

Follow AndFarAway on Twitter

The Four Stages of “Getting” Twitter: Infographic

Twitter has a steep learning curve. Most people join Twitter, use Twitter, and keep Twitter without having the littlest clue on how to use it. 

Take it from me, an obsessive-compulsive trier of all sorts of web tools that need effort.

Facebook? Easiest thing in the world to get used to. Stalking tendencies are instantaneous, as soon as you realize that you can keep up with what your friends are doing. LinkedIn? Okay, it’s boring as there’s not much to do, and that damn “Your profile is only 80% complete” message keeps pissing me off. But still. LinkedIn after all is about accepting acquaintances and hoping to use the connections some time, one day. Blogging? Ooh, this is a hard one, and that’s why there are so many orphan blogs, and yet it’s still much easier than tweeting. After all, what needs to be done on a blog is so simple: you find a subject you like, and you blab. Blab. Blab. Blah. Nice as pie.

Twitter, on the other hand, is an orientational disaster (though not as bad as Google Buzz, which I don’t think anyone has figured out just yet). I mean, seriously, when you sign up for a Twitter account, the most important question is glistening like Las Vegas neon lights: What the hell can I do with these 140 characters?

Here’s what I mean by that:

(click on image to expand)

There are four stages of “Getting” Twitter.

Stage 1: Complete Inability to Understand Twitter

That’s all of you guys sitting in your tech-phobia and thinking “What the hell is this crappy 140 character shit? I don’t care what you had for lunch. Narcissistic bullcrap that adds no value. Mark my words: Twitter is not going to exist a few months from now, except for lame losers.”

People in this stage have either tried Twitter and completely failed at figuring out how to use it (thus the steep learning curve), or have never tried Twitter because they “don’t follow crowds”.

Ha. More like you didn’t get it, darling.

Stage 2: Trying (and Failing) to Enjoy Twitter
This is the hardest stage to overcome in Twitter-life, and I really feel it for those who are stuck in this phase. The people here somehow see the value of Twitter, but cannot figure out the perfect enjoyment formula. Is it about following the celebrities? Is it about collecting friends? Is it about reading great links?

It’s a hard, hard world out there, me son. The good news is that the end of this post tries to dissect the perfect Twitter experience, so go right ahead.

Stage 3: “Ohhh, So That’s What Twitter is About”
This stage has a very small life cycle. Once a user figures out what the hell to do with the 140 characters, life becomes pretty.

Stage 4: Addiction Phase
The Twitter addict has got a personal taste of Twitter Heaven, which includes but is not limited to: meeting kick ass people, creating a personal brand, improving career prospects, reading curated links and information, staying on top of news and happenings in short bursts of plaintext, and getting help in making decisions and doing research. 

Twitter rocks.

Did you enjoy this? Then don’t miss out on the follow-up: The 10 Ways to Learn Twitter

Don’t forget to follow me and to RT this post! :)

Follow AndFarAway on Twitter


If you liked the first AndFarAway quiz — Do You Have What It Takes to be a Rainbow Crowder — you will like the second one too, titled “How Well Do You Know Amman?”

Put your thinking hats on, it’s time to test your knowledge on this city of ours.

Share your results with us in the comments section!

How well do you know Amman? Share your results with us in the comments section :)


I really, really love this Mashrou’ Leila song called “Fastateen”.

Such a beautiful song!

Jackventures – Hilarious and Screwed Up Adventures in Amman City

LOL. I love this guy. So funny.

My favorite one is the Dowar Il Kilo one :) Hilarious!

[via Qwaider]

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