A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Author: Roba (Page 2 of 305)

In case you ever wondered why cartoon characters wear gloves

To be honest, I never did.

But this is really cool, anyways.

Wild Delicacy: Hindbeh

One of my favorite dishes in the world is hindbeh. Aside from the wonderful flavor, I also love its simplicity: chopped leaves, lightly cooked with onions and lemon sauce, and drenched in olive oil. Yum.

Up until a couple of years ago, I never stopped to wonder where the leaves come from. And then I discovered that it’s literally dandelion leaves. You know, the stuff that grows between the tiles of the sidewalks of Amman.

Amazing how something so wild can turn into something so exquisite.

The Peculiarities of Language: ما تنكسني

Update: My brain totally punked me. Seems the connection between Arabic “Nakas (نَكَّسَ : فعل)” and English “Nix” is nonexistent. Pretty cool that the word means the same thing in three completely different languages!

I’ve been subconsciously wondering for a while if the word “Nix” (put an end to; “he nixed the deal just before it was to be signed”) comes from the shady presidency of Richard Nixon. My subconsciousness thought it must come from Nixon, because how other than politics would such a difficult English word make it into Jordanian vernacular?

Let me explain.

“Nakis” (literally, “to nix”) in Jordanian has a similar meaning to “Nix” in English. I am assuming it is unique to Jordan, but I honestly have no idea if other countries in the Levant use the word, too. A quick Google search looks super Jordanian:

Unfortunately for my curiousity, “Nix” is much older than Richard Nixon. It actually comes from from German nix, dialectal variant of nichts “nothing,” from Middle High German nihtes, from genitive of niht, nit “nothing,” from Old High German niwiht, from ni, ne “no” (see un- (1)) + wiht “thing, creature” (compare naught).

That means that “Nakes” somehow made it to our vernacular in a much more random way.

Any theories?

Intermission: Kale

Let’s take a small intermission from this hiatus to all meditate together on how kale (in all its foreign, hyped-up, “superfood” non-glory) is the same food as delicious, hard-to-find, celebration-worthy and definitely glorious لخنة نابلسية.

Proves over and over again that the Levantine kitchen is among the best kitchens in the world. Where the hell else would something as gross-tasting as raw kale be transformed into the most delectable dish?

Madaya Mom: Brilliant and Sad Comic Book from Marvel


Take a minute to look at the details of the comic book panel above.

The water spills on the tiled floor.

The carelessly-uncovered bathroom drain led.

The laundry, piled neatly amidst so much squalor.

The woman, hand-washing laundry, clinging to what may be the last remnant of normal life, even though hopelessness is clear in her body language: clean clothes.

This panel is from “Madaya Mom”, a comic book just released by Marvel, which was influenced by actual correspondence with a mother-of-five in the besieged town of Madaya, Syria.

It is the woman’s hopelessly ironic clinging to sanitation that drives this painful comic home. You see, Syrian women are known to be borderline OCD when it comes to cleanliness, often forgoing all common sense to ensure that there isn’t a speck of dust anywhere they can see or cannot see.

“Madaya Mom” is a brilliant initiative from Marvel and ABC News. It reminds of Art Spiegelman’s Holocaust masterpiece, “Maus”.
You can read the comic book for free online.

Sometimes, it’s hard to keep in perspective how horrifyingly close I am to helping Madaya Mom and her five children. You know, they’re just a couple of hours drive away. But light years unreachable.

Old, Beautiful Pictures of Signage in Amman

Take a look at this beautiful post celebrating Amman’s handlettered store fronts before the curse of Photoshop on Hussein Alazaat’s blog.

Red Bull Sound Clash Jordan is Back!

Posted by Red Bull Jordan

We’re back for another round of Red Bull SoundClash in Jordan.

Last time this event took place was back in 2014, and oh boy, was it a night to remember! El Morabba3 and Autostrad rocked both stages like nobody’s business.
Read the rest of the post.

The Jordanian Royal Guard at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

So cool.

How to Fall in Love with Turkey Sandwiches

At the ripe old age of 30, I had my first turkey sandwich.

It was late at night. I was starving. There was a ready-made turkey sandwich in the fridge, and allergies be damned. Amazingly, nothing happened.

Since that fateful night, I’ve become obsessed with smoked turkey. I eat it almost every day. I love trying it with as many condiments as possible, from ranch to horseradish to dill mustard. I keep sampling the different brands too – my favorite is a brand called Salamah that was recommended by our neighborhood-deli guy, but it’s really expensive, so I keep trying different brands to find a cheaper one that tastes as good. I’m also really excited to try all the stuff I’ve never had the chance to taste in my life: turkey pizza, a real club sandwich, turkey sausages.

Maybe one day soon I’ll even brave eating a real turkey.

Turkey recommendations, anyone?

Being Allergic to Chicken
Discovering that my Chicken Allergy is Gone
This Was the First Bite of Chicken in My Life
Second and third experience with chicken… good and not so good
I successfully ate half a smoked turkey sandwich

The History of Urbanization

Nothingness. The cradle of civilization. The equator. Europe. Modernity.

Pretty crazy.

Page 2 of 305

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