What the hell is this?

The pages you are looking at now are a part of the blog of Roba Al-Assi (notice the nice round “o” in the first name, and that’s ربى العاصي for those of you Arabic inclined). AndFarAway, started in 2004, was one of the first blogs to start in the Middle East, in a time before YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

Female. Just turned 30. Jordanian of Palestinian origin. Born in Amman. Bred and raised in the compounds of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Moved back to Jordan in 2003 to take up a degree in Fine Arts and Design at the University of Jordan. Currently making a living exploring, expanding, and enjoying the first love of her life, the World Wide Web. Spends her day as the Communication Manager of Bayt.com, the Middle East’s #1 Job Site, helping people create their lifestyle of choice by finding their perfect job.

Mostly writes about life in Amman (read here) and contemporary Arab culture (read here). Sometimes writes for magazines about technology (the first and last love of her life).

About this blog

‘And Far Away…’ was started in 2004 as a place to save ideas that motivate, inspire, or touch the imagination of Roba. With time, an Arab blogging community emerged and as a result of interaction with other bloggers, the space became more personal. Unfortunately, blogging died with time and AndFarAway became one of the last few blogs standing in the region.


That’s pretty much it really, but just in case you’re curious to know more, here are some absolutely random bits about Roba:

Liberal. Feminist. Overachiever. Messy. Optimistic. Cynical. Slightly cocky. Major listening problems. Rather humorless. Tiny attention span. City person. Generally a very happy individual.

Believes self-expression is an essential part of her identity. Complete nerd but partial geek. Looks forward to meeting new people. Obsessive by nature. Places logic above all.

Art aficionado. Infatuated with design. Fascinated by the power of brands. Loves minimalism. Finds red irresistible. Considers her mother and her brothers to be her life. Thinks that all the problems in the world should be solved with glue.

Ardent reader. Obsessed with robots, robotics, and Isaac Asimov. Finds words magical. Delights in science fiction and fantasy. Wishes she was an elve. Thinks colors are enthralling. Spends too much time cruising around Amman. Finds joy in the smallness of her life, when compared to the vastness of the universe. Space geek.

Loves the internet. Admires Andy Warhol, Marcel DuChamp, and Arthur C Clarke. Willing to live on soda, ice cream, and kubeh nayyeh.


Roba’s bookshelf: read

The Amber Spyglass
Maus I: My Father Bleeds History
The God Delusion
Foundation's Edge
Foundation and Empire
Fetish Systems
The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
Olives: A Violent Romance
Steve Jobs
Introducing Feminism: A Graphic Guide
A Game of Thrones
Blood and Gold
How We Decide
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
All My Friends Are Superheroes
History of the Arabs, Revised: 10th Edition
Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works
The Mists of Avalon

Roba Al-Assi’s favorite books »


This blog is dedicated to the memory of Sami Assi, who really enjoyed reading AndFarAway. He passed away in January 2009, after a two-week struggle with cancer.