A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Category: Amman (Page 1 of 55)

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.

zooksie 992

zooksie 495

The Best Indian Restaurant in Amman

I do love making blanket statements about restaurants that do one thing really, really well (for example: Brisket makes the best burgers in Amman). Rest assured that I only make these blanket statements after I’ve tried the same place over and over and over again, and only if I always leave with happy birds in my tummy. Every. Single. Time.

Okay. So, Indian food. Such a tough thing to get right in a country whose idea of “spices” is bland bharat, a safe concoction of black pepper, cinnamon, and nut meg. Indian restaurants in Jordan seem to stick to the “exotic spice” that most Jordanians are used to: kabseh spices. Don’t get me wrong, I love kabseh, but I definitely don’t want my Indian food to all taste like kabseh.


The only exception to the rule is Tandoori Oven, hands down the best Indian restaurant in Amman. While it is not cheap, their food is so good that I’ve never left unhappy about the amount I’ve spent (around 17JDs a person, inclusive of appetizer, main course, and soft drink). They have a wide variety of dishes for you to choose from, and even with the unpleasant decor, it still maintains a nice ambiance. Definitely avoid their stall in the mall though. Hindi is much better at fast-food Indian.

What to try:
My favorite dish there is matar mushroom. I also like their panak paneer.
Where to find: Next to Second Cup Abdoun

Security Threat Milestones

Jordanian kids about to start college have no memories of a world that was ever safe.

Let that sink in for a second.

They grew up getting frisked at hotels. Their parents’ cars strip-searched before entering the mall. People they don’t know rummaging through their backpacks and belongings before going into concerts, restaurants, supermarkets. Embassies surrounded by jungles of Czech hedgehogs and concrete.

Can you imagine being a 14-year-old teenager who can’t keep any secrets, because your privacy will certainly be violated while your mom’s standing over your shoulder peering into the guts of your open backpack? Can you imagine never ever having been able to sneak anything anywhere, or having no idea what it feels like to just walk into a goddamn hotel? Can you imagine not being shaken when you see huge, ugly police dogs going around sniffing the stalls inside a bazaar?

I remember a world that was safe. Yet, even I can’t get over not having my luggage x-rayed before I walk into a hotel or mall when I’m traveling outside Jordan. Are you serious? There’s no one here to search me? What about that creepy-looking guy who just walked in? I don’t feel safe with him not being searched. At least have a security guy stand by the entrance so I feel a little bit better.

Sad, isn’t it?

That’s the bleakness of our reality.

I would not feel comfortable without all the security precautions. I am more than just happy to give up some of my privacy for the safety of my loved ones, and the safety of my country. I am thankful every day to the fact that Jordan is a country built on security. I pray that no harm comes to anyone within our controlled borders, shoved between Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Palestine.

But I, at least, know what the awful political situation around us is making us give up. I remember a world that was safe.

Our neighborhood’s convenience store has a parking lot with two entrances: one is on the main road leading up to a traffic light, and the other is a smaller one around the back, leading into a small side street a few meters away from my home. Ever since I started driving more than a decade ago, I have always used the convenience store as a shortcut, going through the entrance on the main road and out into the side road. Last week, I was shaken when I found a security guard searching all cars before they entered the parking lot. The store has been around since we moved to Amman, and through all the shitty events that have happened in the past 15 years, it was never big enough to warrant a security detail.

So much for my shortcut.

بتونس بيك – طرب عالحطب (Batwannes Beek – Tarab 3al 7atab)

To quote Jana Zeineddine, this video goes out to those who love what they do, and do what they love.

What’s YOUR story?

(Trailer) بتونس بيك – طرب عالحطب (Batwannes Beek – Tarab 3al 7atab)

Kazdara: Jabal Al Weibdeh Art Walk


This is a really awesome event happening tonight in Jabal Al Weibdeh, 6:00PM till midnight.

From the event page: “For years now, Jabal Al Weibdeh has been the heart of Jordan’s creative community. A community which continues to grow each year with more artists taking up residence in the neighborhood, opening up studios, galleries, and creative spaces. In an effort to celebrate the thriving creative nature of Jabal Al Weibdeh, Malahi Entertainment Inc. is organizing KAZDARA, an annual Jabal Al Weibdeh Art Walk. All participating galleries, studios, cafes and organizations are given the opportunity to open their doors to the public for an eventful night. The goal of the walk is to create awareness for the creative work being done in the neighborhood, giving artists and organizations the chance to display their work to the general public.

Here’s the event page.

Visit Jordan

By Tarab 3al 7atab

If you want to send gifts to anyone in Jordan without having to look for a damn flowershop, my friend Mahmoud has just started out a website that lets you do that. The pictures are clear and the prices are fair, and it will save you lots of time and hassle. They also have cake.

I love it! And I hate driving around looking for flowershops.


Hey Summer – Where Art Thou?

The weather in Jordan is one of the few amazing things about living in Jordan, so uncharacteristically chilly whether in the END OF JUNE is really not cool. Where’s the heat at, yo?

And yes. This is post is like a space filler. Or a placeholder. I feel guilty that I haven’t been consistently blogging, but I don’t have much to say these days.

Except about the weather.

The weather is awful, I tell you, awful.

13 degrees is just not cool even in Spring. What the hell. I want to sit in the garden at night, and I want to sleep with my windows open, and I want to wear a skirt.

Yalla, summer?

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