A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: September 2011 (Page 1 of 3)

AndFarAway…. AndBackAgain

Following a suggestion by Naseem, I started a Tumblr blog called AndBackAgain.

As I’m sure you can imagine, I stumble across many beautiful things online on a daily basis. And because my heart is fantastically susceptible to beauty and brilliance in imagery and words, I linger on these things.

Now, with the help of, AndBackAgain is a visual flipbook of some of these inspirations, updated daily. Mostly, it’s nice design work, words that sound gorgeous when strung together, some geeky humor, and Arabic type. You can access it from the top menu.

Here are some of the latest additions to AndBackAgain:

I want this in MY HO, Coffee +,
#arabic type, Folk stories illustr,


لا ظلام كالجهل.
لكن كلمة “جهل” تختلف معانيها.

الجهل‏ هو حاله من عدم المعرفه.
لكن معرفة ماذا؟

Don Draper Pitches Facebook Timeline

This is actually one of my favorite scenes from the first three season of Mad Men.


September marks the seventh anniversary of AndFarAway, which is kind of crazy. So many different phases of my life, so many different incidents, so many different memories.

Through friendships. Through loves found. Through health. Through growth. Through first jobs. Through joy. Through things that change the world. Through deaths. Through college. Through self discoveries. Through lots of coffee. Through career changes. Through depression. Through fresh starts. Through sickness. Through obsessions. Through loves lost. Through addictions. Through revolutions. Through good conversations. Through boredom. Through technological milestones. Through pain. Through Amman.

It’s been a while, somehow. Yet, it seems like yesterday that I celebrated its first birthday.

But it wasn’t yesterday.

It was seven long years ago.

It was a different lifetime.

A different me.

A different you.

A different world.

Thank you for reading.

The Holstee Manifesto

Words to live by.

Via BrainPickings

Wuthering Heights

I absolutely love how crazy this song is.

Everything about it is absolutely nuts. Kate Bush herself is nuts. The Wuthering Heights theme is nuts. The video is the nuttest of all.

Oh, the joy of the peculiar.

Alphabets of the Arab World

And don’t think that the creativity is only influencing music.

Check out this brilliant work by artist Dia Batal:

(Hattip: Matthew Teller)

Climb Into Amman’s Artsy Heart

My long time e-friend Sakhr Al Makhadi has a fantastic article on Amman in today’s issue of The National, and not just because I was there during a part of the tour.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Sitting awkwardly next to grandfather Damascus, beautiful sister Beirut and busy brother Cairo, Amman sometimes looks and feels like the Cinderella of the neighbourhood, little more than a stop-off point for the country’s real highlights. But while other Arab cities trade off their history, this newcomer is fast becoming one of the Middle East’s creative capitals.

Amman is a city of seven hills, and almost every restaurant and cafe comes with an incredible view. It also means a lot of climbing: the staircases that twist and turn up the hillsides are a great way to explore. Just north of downtown, the city rises to become Jebel Al-Lweibdeh, and this is the place to head in search of Amman’s arts scene.

‘I love these streets,’ Roba Al-Assi tells me as her car struggles up the steep slopes and around blind corners. The passionate Amman advocate has become the city’s cultural diarist through her blog, ‘This is where the original Ammanis live, the old families.’ We get to the summit and it feels like we’ve left the city and stepped into a village. The streets are dimly lit, families sit outside their houses sipping coffee and an old man in pyjamas is chatting to his neighbour leaning over the balcony across the road.”

You can read the rest of the article on The National.

A Love Ode to Turtle Green

Turtle Green Tea Bar Amman

It’s official, I declare it to the world: Turtle Green is my favorite place in Amman.

The people who work there are awesome, their drinks are delicious, and the seats are amazingly comfortable. You can sit there all day working, reading, or just hanging out. Depending on your mood, you can choose to either disconnect yourself from your surroundings by taking a corner seat, or be a social animal by engaging in random conversations with strangers. There’s absolutely no way that you wouldn’t see less than five different friends on any given day.

Somehow, and I can’t place my finger on exactly how, Turtle Green manages to capture the most beautiful essence of Amman. It’s young. The furniture is worn, sturdy, and practical. The artwork is misplaced and random. The selection of drinks ranges from the utterly cliche to the deliciously different. Everything seems temporary, yet permanent. The owners are always hanging around, sans argileh and backgammon sets. The sharp corners are patched with leather, the signage is cardboard, and the tissues are placed in makeshift shelves. The regulars start becoming fixtures in your life, your 7ara comrades, though you might not know their names.

Turtle Green represents all that is beautiful about Amman.

During Ramadan, I spent a minimum of three hours on a (practically) daily basis lazing around on their couch. It felt like home. Alas though, as I am mostly boycotting Rainbow Street, I don’t hang around Turtle Green as much as I’d like to these days.

For the love of God, someone give some love to Weibdeh.

Things Apple is Worth More Than

1. All the illegal drugs in the world, as the worldwide illegal drugs trade is now worth an ­estimated £200 billion (~ $321 billion US)

2. The Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Stephen King and Twilight franchises combined

3. The GDP of Denmark

4. The combined GDP of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel.

More stuff here: Things Apple is Worth More Than

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