Recycling appears nonexistent in Jordan, at least in the developed-country sense of the practice, save for at select locations. But unconventional recycling is alive and well, and it’s easy for residents to contribute to and even facilitate the process by separating trash before tossing it into dumpsters. Continue reading
Few professions are more grueling, dangerous and revealing than digging through trash. As work that is completely dependent upon the refuse of others, it is a window, of sorts, into a country’s economic soul. Continue reading
Up the hill from the office of the magazine where I work is an empty lot bounded by low concrete walls. Strewn with empty cigarette packs and squashed soda cans, this garbage graveyard is also teeming with tall purple thistles, beautiful in their own spiky way.
Well, not quite. You can smoke as you please inside your own home. But if the Jordanian Ministry of Health and Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) press forward as promised and ban smoking in public spaces, the days of inhaling your double-apple hubbly-bubbly in coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants could be numbered.
1 – The best falafel is found not at Hashem but at Abu Jbara (not the chain) off of Second Circle, behind the Belle Vue hotel. Their crispy little nuggets contain even more spice and flavor than Hashem’s, and they serve equally tasty hummus, mutabbal, and the like. What’s a bit odd is that if you sit indoors, you have to buy the falafel yourself from the shop next door, whereas if you sit outside, sometimes servers will bring it to you. It is worth the minor hassle, though.
They are nestled in the dirty corners of doorsteps and abandoned alleys, dropped haplessly by the roadside, even hung off of dumpsters. These are bags of uneaten bread, bread on which the government of Jordan will spend a whopping 260-290 million JD ($367-410 million) subsidizing this year alone.
AMMAN—Ziad had already donned his white onesie, its front smeared like a painter’s smock with bits of wax and honey as it rested over his Santa-like paunch. His 17-year-old assistant, Adnan, loaded buckets of sugar water into the bed of a pickup so ancient you could see the road through a hole in the passenger side floor.
AMMAN–As the sun sank closer to the horizon, the hostess emerged from the kitchen hoisting a circular platter about one meter in diameter and heaped with mensaf, the national dish of Jordan. Mensaf is one of my favorite dishes—ever—but that evening something else caught and held my attention.
“I love you,” he crooned, in English and just loud enough for me to hear.
I stopped in my tracks, unusually incensed, and in a split second had spun around. Enough was enough.
makes crossing this
With gas at nearly 4.50 USD per gallon,** you would think that Jordanians would be fleeing the streets (or perhaps taking to them?). Continue reading