AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Category: Amman (Page 1 of 56)

A Thank You Note to Toyota Jordan #ToyotaComedy

I don’t think I’ve done this before, but kudos must be given when kudos are deserved: Thank you Al-Markazia (Toyota Jordan) for your efforts in spreading comedy in Jordan, and for supporting entertainment and the arts.

They’ve been doing it consistently for years and years (I remember my brother joined one of their stand-up competitions a gazillion years ago), and I can’t imagine a better way to do marketing for good (and laughs!).

Around 2007, it was trendy for corporations in Jordan to support art and entertainment in Jordan. These days (and I know the times are tough), the list is quite narrow, and art is dying. I almost want to hug Toyota for the positivity.

I was following last week’s Nemr Abu Nassar #ToyotaComedy show on Twitter, and seeing messages of laughter, joy, and happiness from the audience made me really happy, too.

Jordan Gate Park: Genius Idea by Hanna Salameh Design

Here’s a genius idea on what we can do with the horrendous towers shamefully lining Amman’s skyline with their constant reminder of corruption, retardation, and poor planning.

Hello, US Aid, GIZ, et all… help us with something we actually need, please?

The High Cost of Starting a Business in Jordan

Watching Rami start Toffimelt during the past 3 years has been an eye-opening experience, especially in regards to how difficult the government makes it to start a business. In a country with limited resources, high unemployment, and a crappy economy, the barriers to job creation that the government places are simply absurd.

Here’s an interview with Rami on how difficult his journey has been so far:
toffimelt

Jordanian Lama Qubbaj Wins International Jiu Jisu Championship

Just found out that Lama Qubbaj, who won gold at the World Jiu Jitsu Championships in November, is now fourth in world rankings. The January rankings by the International Jiu Jitsu Federation also list Lama as the top Asian fighter for the start of the year.

THAT’S BEYOND FREAKIN’ AMAZING.

I feel terrible that I only just found out. Late is better than never, and who wants to miss out on the few silver linings we have in our cloudy lives?

Congrats to Lama, and congrats to Jordan. What an accomplishment.

How long did it take to walk from Philadelphia to Damascus during Roman times?

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The Roman road in Um Qaiss, the ancient city of Gadara

Living in Jordan means we get to walk on a lot of ancient Roman roads. Some way or another, the Romans built roads thousands of years ago that function better today than the roads the Jordanian government built last year. That’s the first irony.

The second irony is even better. Gadara was some sort of important cultural hub in the ancient world. It produced a number of notable people, according to Wikipedia, at least:

“Gadara was once called the “city of philosophers”. Among others, Gadara was home to:
Menippus of Gadara (3rd Century BCE), the Cynic satirist
Meleager of Gadara (1st Century BCE), the Cynic poet
Philodemus of Gadara (1st Century BCE), the Epicurean philosopher and poet
Theodorus of Gadara (1st Century BCE), the orator
Oenomaus of Gadara (2nd Century CE), the Cynic philosopher
Apsines of Gadara (3rd Century CE), the rhetorician
Philo of Gadara, the mathematician”

Can you imagine? Our desolate, rural North, home of philosophers, rhetors, mathematicians, and Cynic poets.

I know it was thousands of years ago, but it still feels like it must have been a parallel universe.

Anyhow, I somehow stumbled upon this amazing tool that shows you travel time between different ancient Roman cities.

For example, from Philadelphia (Amman) to Roma (Rome), it would have taken only 22 days on foot, and 19 days in a carriage. Meanwhile, from Amman to Gadara (Um Qais), it would take less than half a day.

Check it out here.

A Letter from Our Protectors to Their Mothers

It’s hard to forgot that the brave men who protect our borders from the horrors of the countries around us have equally-brave mothers waiting for them each night. This video is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

Public Transport Map of Amman, Jordan

AmmanTransportMap

Finally! This is amazing work by Syntax.

Theeb and Hope

Thank you, Theeb, for reminding us that opportunities could be created. You have inspired hope in a jaded generation.

The Word of Fear: “Injimad”

Update: So it turns out that the news about sounding the alarms today isn’t true, and Arabia Weather has retracted. Kudos to the Jordanian government for an amazing job done!

Don’t take this the wrong way. I count my blessings every day that we’ve only used the city alarms to warn people about a thin layer of slush. I’m also really proud of Jordan for being so organized with handling bad weather situations, successfully avoiding accidents and a crisis on the streets. But today’s “Injimad” alarm in central Amman is certainly overdoing it, and may turn the government’s future communication into the-boy-who-cried-wolf. The streets are dry thanks to a sunny, rainless day, so black ice can’t form in the first place. I understand that the government wants everyone to be safe and to avoid disasters, but what about all the people with businesses? What about restaurants, malls, and gyms? What about all the small shops that depend on day-to-day sales? So many people have already been hit hard by the media fiasco surrounding the “blizzard”, and by the fact that consumers were locked up at home all week. For next storms, and I say this as a citizen who really appreciates the government’s amazing efforts to keep everyone safe and sound, we could use a little more detail as to where the risks of black ice could be. Easier said than done, I know, but on days like today, it shouldn’t be too hard. And it will make us happy to oblige for years to come.

When will winter be over?

I’ve become much better at winter over the years, probably thanks to the fact that I don’t have to brave Jordan University’s lack of indoor heating and long freezing walks between classes. It sucked balls, because most of our classes were the three-hour kind, so once you made it to class wet and freezing, you had to stay wet and freezing for hours. Just the memory makes me shiver. I think we only got lucky once with the heating, when we had a 3-hour design class in the Physics Computer Lab. That lab had functioning radiators, and so many people would spend the class barefoot while drying their drenched shoes and socks beneath the radiators. Good thing no one stank in my department, eh?

How provincial, in retrospect. You’d think I went to university in 18th century Siberia.

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