A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: April 2014 (Page 1 of 2)

Inside the Lives of Egyptians in Their Homes

Via 7iber, here are pictures taken by Magnum photographer Bieke Depoorter of Egyptians in their homes.

They’re absolutely stunning pictures.










The Logo Evolution of AlQuds: “Village Style” to American Diner to Gaming Center

Another chapter in the hilarious rebrandings of Falafel Al-Quds, which now looks like a gaming center:

alquds 2

Take a look at the history here

Via BeAmman

Why you should NEVER ask me for a favour

You know what really irritates me? People who tell me: “Can you do me a favour?”

No. I don’t want to do you — or most other people in the world, in fact — any favours.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like being helpful. I’d like to think that I’m a very helpful person, because I’m always happy to help in any way I can.

It’s the linguistic insinuations of a favour that I really hate.

In the Oxford dictionary, favour is a noun that means “an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual“.

Beyond what is due.

Let’s do a little more dictionary magic. Due is an adjective that means “of the proper quality or extent”. Synonyms of due are rightful, suitable, adequate, sufficient, enough, and ample.

Ample kindness is enough kindness to give, says I. Plus, for the most part, a person you don’t really care about is the one most likely to ask if you can do a favour. My family and closest friends will just nicely ask for my help, instead of emotionally blackmailing me with the idea of “favour”.

And then the way these conversations are carried out.

– “Hi Roba.”
– “Hi.”
– “Can you do me a favour?”
– Silence for a few seconds, then, “It depends on the favour”.
– “I just need you to send me that file.”


Sending you a file isn’t a favour. It’s you know, sending you a file. Just ask for the god damn file. Taking a quick look at your wife’s CV isn’t a favour, either. It’s you know, 10 minutes of reading. Just ask for my help, and I’ll be happy to give it. Linking out to your stupid video IS a favour, and I don’t link out to shit I think is stupid, regardless of who you are. Make something not stupid and I’ll link it out next time.

And don’t give me crap about linguistic niceties. Niceties will be the end of us as an Arab culture.

I don’t want to do anyone any favours. I don’t want anyone to do me any favours either. Really.

Thank you.

Watching the tragic comedy that is life from premium seats.


Farewell, Seventh Circle, for now

I can’t say I’ll miss you.

But that doesn’t matter. This is Amman, after all.

In 15 years or so, the government will probably build you up again, like they did with the Fourth Circle.

It’s a story of taking apart and rebuilding our circles in this city anyhow.

So apparently, under-eye bags, or aegyo sal, are hot in Asia

So, from Quora:

Asian people think that having aegyo sal makes them cuter and more youthful looking–like it softens their appearance. People go so far as to get surgery or put tape or makeup under their eyes to get this effect.

Wow, this is really cool. I personally don’t have feelings towards the area area beneath the eye, and don’t notice it much at all. But now that I’m looking… they’re right. The “aegyo sal” does actually look better.




Support JoBedu!

The GENIUS JoBedu is up on Eureeca with a call for crowd funding.

Go ahead, support the awesome tribe:

YALLA! Do it :)

Not Art, an Art Project by Warsheh

My design crush, Warsheh, has done it again.

From the project’s Behance page:

This is Not Art.
It’s not deeply meaningful or vaguely philosophical.
It’s not calculated or exact.
It is in fact, a series of posters designed from classic paintings.
A simple reinterpretation of how we saw them.
Our tribute to art and design.

Check out their interview with the Huffington Post.

NOT The Conversion of St Paul

NOT The Valpinçon Bather

NOT Venus Bathing

NOT Saint Francis in Meditation

NOT Girl with a Pearl Earring

NOT Portrait of a Young Girl

NOT The Skater

NOT Doge Leonardo Loredan

NOT The Death of Marat

NOT The Birth of Venus

NOT Whistler’s Mother


Almost Done with My 20’s… And Life Is Still One Giant Highschool

I did not subscribe to highschool cliques when I was a student.

I avoided the typical nerds, because the typical nerd is one-dimensional, spiteful, and a socially-awkward loser. I avoided the “mean girls”, because I hated anyone who collected an army of fans with weaker personalities (or less money).

Fortunately, my best friend Nisreen also happened to be my classmate all throughout highschool. We navigated the journey to adulthood shunning the conventional highschool roles. We were both always top of our class, and yet you could never describe us as nerds because we both had listening problems and were never really “there” (I later realized that this is was the result of a reading-writing learning preference, and an absolute inability to comprehend auditory information, which unfortunately is the most common method of teaching).

We were just ourselves. Life was comfortable. We graduated and started real life, and stayed comfortable in our own skin.

You know though, when you’re a kid, you assume that these highschool cliques and roles disappear as you grow older… that people sort of “level up”. That’s what adulthood seems like, and that’s what you’re made to believe by the adults around you.

But its been 11 years since I finished highschool, and every day, I realize how highschool never really ends. The cliques are still there, and the kids who were losers grew up into adults who are losers. They married other losers and befriended other losers. The “mean girls” still collect a museum of drooling fans willing to do their bidding, buy them drinks, and carry their stuff.

It is so strange.

Happy Birthday, Gmail. Thanks for Making the Internet a Better Place.

From the category of “Virtual Stuff I Perceive As Human”, it’s Gmail’s 10th birthday and oh, what a wonderful decade its been.

Gmail came out around the same time AndFarAway did, and I scored an invite by posting a blog post about wanting one. It was such an awesome thing having a Gmail account then.

From a post in 2004:

Ok, I officially hate Hotmail. I thought they were supposed to update all their accounts by the beginning of September!
I mean seriously, I’ve had Gmail for about a month now, and I already have 7 MB in it. I’ve had Hotmail since 1998 and I have to be so careful with what I have in it so that it doesn’t reject emails!

Happy birthday, Gmail.


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