A Small Post From Amman

When my notebook is not with me it’s my tradition to write my thoughts on the iPhone notes and probably copy them later when I have the chance. This time I decided to share mY thoughts with you. Fresh, raw, unedited.

It’s very hard to describe what I am feeling right now. It’s a mixture of happiness and sadness and bitterness and loathing and compassion and excitement and regret to name a very few.

My trip to Amman has been cut short, but at one point it was going to be cancelled before it even began. The circumstances were all pointing to the Dont Walk signal. But for once, i felt the need to ignore logic and go with instincts.

I needed to go.

I’ve met many wonderful people, bloggers and the blokes on Twitter. Sadly I haven’t seen them all, and their schedules with my failed plans made logtistics impossible to meet eveyone. But I am coming back in July. And I have to joke about the weather, at least the July heat is something i am very familiar with as a Dubai resident.

I’m leaving to Syria tomorrow, Tuesday. I’m going to go see my grandma, and my dad. I’m also going there as an incentive for mom to fly over to Damascus so we can treat her back pain she has been enduring. I’m very sensitive to pain, especially mom’s and granny’s and it’s mentally exhausting and brings me to tears just thinking about it. I tried my best to cheer mom up on mother’s day, and her birthday, but there’s very little you can do to a woman getting shots in her spine and is in pain. I can only fight my own tears as she spills hers and I console her by telling her I love her and that I am very happy.

Happy days have been few these days, making little triumphs seem like epic achievements. Nevertheless I haven’t been this content for some very long time. It feels strange and alien. In fact it even seems inappropriate. But I will embrace it. It’s a small gift from the universe I cannot be modest about and reject.

Cutting to the chase I guess all I really wanted is to thank Khaled (@shusmo). He lift a heavy burden off of my shoulders whilst I was there. I feel lighter now, just enough for me to push myself forward. Thank you Khaled.

Pilgrim in Jordan – Amman

In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. – Khalil Gibran

 

You may wonder, what does a pilgrimage have to do with Jordan? To say that my trip was a journey undermines its purpose. A journey may have little or no motif that lays the foundation on which the traveler directs his step.

I traveled to Jordan on a pilgrimage; the reasons I shall keep to myself. Through this reading (and the following posts), I hope you understand the purpose of my travels.

My arrival in Amman has been greeted with frowns – which I expected – and a 20 minute “interview” at the airport, given I am the only Syrian on the plane who suspiciously arrived when a bomb blew off in Damascus that very day. I have been alerted that such things are standard procedures, but I did not expect that I had to narrate my life’s story to the head of security for entertainment in an attempt to convince him I came to Jordan for tourism and not running away from serving the Syrian military.

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Amman is a beautiful city. Some of you might be raising eyebrows (I know some of my friends in Dubai did when I told them where I was going), but I am an honest person and I can honestly say I loved Amman.

I traveled more or less everywhere – from Jabal al Taj to Al Hussein Gardens. My soul, however, found its place in downtown Amman – specifically where Knafet 7abeeba is (yes yes I know, food!). The simplicity of the place won me over the snobbish Abdoun area (which I admit, is a great place, but I don’t like such “high class” regions in a city) and seeing 7afartal, kids running about, people selling all sorts of stuff and men group-hollering and whistling at ladies next to a mosque is something you can’t not be amused about.

Amman is much cleaner than Damascus – I admit – and is overall more “higher class” (arqa). However, the differences in social class is much more noticeable in Amman. Whereas in Damascus you could travel from the richest areas to the Old City without much of a change in scenery (bar the number of people per square meter and pollution), in Amman there is a stark contrast in the quality of the roads, houses (and number of houses) as well as the types of cafes and people – how they dress, act and live.

The constant factor in Amman though, is cabs :D Anything that can be physically or verbally done against someone’s genitals can be learned from cab drivers.

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It felt great to smell clean air. Clean? Yes clean. No dust, no humidity… a chilling, crisp breeze with clouds hung low. I miss the clouds, the blue sky, the clean fresh air – especially after the rain. The smell of the grass and the trees, and the wind, even if it is in downtown mixed with car fumes.

Amman was the start of my pilgrimage. This is just a post of many to come – the Dead Sea, Amman again, and the grand finale of Petra and Rum. So stay tuned, and enjoy the Amman’s photos on my photo blog (I will upload the rest when the appropriate post is published!)

PS: for a brief cynical overview of the whole trip, check out Hamza’s post

And We’re Back…

Am a bit exhausted, yet energized.. am truly happy, and utterly sad…

Many things changed in one week. Clearer head, clearer mind, new perspectives…

New meanings, new friendships…

Learned so many things, a lot I was aware of, right under my nose but didn’t see… and others totally new.

I have a lot to write about, and I dunno how to write them! One post? Two? Three?

In any case, I will catch up on your blogs and insurmountable amount of emails and will post something in a couple of days.