Creative Community Spaces: Jadal for Knowledge and Culture

Like most good places I stumble upon, curiosity is my copilot. The same can be said of discovering Jadal. As for how I know they are good: it is often just a feeling. Usually it’s instantaneous, a little like a perfume you fall in love with- you don’t always know just what it is that you love about it. At the end of a long hallway, at the end of a long stairway, the space opens up into a courtyard filled with tables, a little tiled-blue fountain and a few small,... Read The Rest →

Family Travel Diary: Feynan Ecolodge, Dana Biosphere

I don’t believe in the saying, “Save the best for last.” I’ve come to learn that life is short and that experiences should be enjoyed voraciously and immediately or they might just pass you by. Still somehow our trip to the Dana Biosphere was put on the back burner. It turned out to be a lucky save however, because friends were coming to visit and they made the perfect companions. I don’t know that they would say the same, from the back seats with our children, but they began some raucous games of “I... Read The Rest →

Day Tripping Jordan: Umm Qais

I love a city. I crave the activity, the proximity and the constant buzz. Living in a city makes me want to drink coffee, endlessly and smoke maybe just one cigarette at a sidewalk cafe. Although, if I’ve learned anything over the years of city living, it is simply, that I can not survive without escaping the city frequently. Not only does it buy me the time to process the thousands of ideas that walks about the city inspire, but time read through my notes, and create a more thoughtful, slow output of my fast... Read The Rest →

Jordanian Coffee Ducks

Finding a single Duck in the desert is pure luck. Finding many Ducks is hitting the architectural jackpot. Architect Robert Venturi coined the name “Ducks” for these architectural metaphors: buildings that project their purpose in a way that is sure to catch an exhausted driver or a bored child’s attention from the back seat. Typically found along interstates in the United States, it is plain to see that this joyful kitsch has also traveled about the world. Whether you’re on the sixth hour of an interstate drive across the United States with only... Read The Rest →

Family Travel Diary: Wadi Rum, Jordan

  To be faced with your own incredible smallness in a time in the world when all the likes and loves and the ability to swipe from country to country – has us feeling larger than life – is a gift I wish I could give to everyone. Alas, I can only give it to a few. My few. Wadi Rum was, without a doubt, the thing we were most excited about when we learned we were coming to Jordan. With all the Star Wars and Sci-Fi fans in my life,... Read The Rest →

Creative Community Spaces: The Dukes Diwan, Amman Jordan

  I have an affinity for free spaces, places where for creatives can come together at this particular time in the world. A thing I like to explore around the world as we go. A place that isn’t bound by religion, politics or consumerism. A place, preferably with some reminders of the countries past, where people can collaborate, create goodness and release it back into the world. A place where we can discuss our differences and move forward in spite of them. For other Creative Community Spaces in this series, please... Read The Rest →

To Dye For // Safi Women’s Association for Social Development

Like a chalk line, snapped hard, but not at all precisely, between the parched hills of Jordan and the almost suffocating quiet shores of the Dead sea lies a ribbon of dusty road that leads to the Lowest Point on Earth. The road is quiet and desolate in most spaces, but sprinkled haphazardly with small picnics, pre wadi hike meets and greets, umbrella’d plastic tables, rental sheesha pipes, cold sodas in old reach-in coolers that are plugged into seemingly endless extension cords that draw their electricity from God only knows where.... Read The Rest →

Creative Community Spaces: Darat Al Funun, Amman

  Amman is a large and sprawling city of about 4 million, that doesn’t include the great number of guests, which include so many of the region’s refugees. Amman is largely monochromatic, its architecturally similar building style (an ordinance, I am told, put in place by the King) spreads out over the bumps of the city like a quilt over a resting body. There are few parks in Amman to which people flock on the weekends for picnics and any highway roadside in Jordan, with a bit of shade, is coveted picnic... Read The Rest →

Petra // Family Travel

Petra is just a short, three hour drive, from our home base in Amman. One beautiful, fall Friday we load up and cruise out of town, music on, coffee in hand, while the kids spot dust devils spawning along the horizon from the back seat and the way back seat. Amman is built atop a series of hills and sends you down a luge of sorts each time you head out of town in any direction. You seem to descend to each destination from the center of the city, as if by airplane.... Read The Rest →

Ajloun Olive Harvest

My arrival checklist in a new country, includes cataloging, collecting and sampling all that there is to know about a place. To dig deeper, without being intrusive, to be patient and to know that I have two entire years, where many travelers have just a few days and to simultaneously realize that I only have two years when some people have a lifetime. And just like earning the trust of a child, the relationship of a long staying guest in a new country comes with a certain delicate dance, a shy smile, a kind gesture, a... Read The Rest →

 
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