Phenomenon of Insha’Allah

“Insha’Allah” is like a drug that helps you relax, take things easy and reduce responsibility. Convenient and practical painkiller of everyday troubles. You can get it without any prescription and almost every Arab use it. However, there is a catch – this antidote can cause addiction.  

* Please read this article carefully before you start using “insha’Allah” or cunsult with a native because this expression  used improperly threatens your career, private life or health.

After several months of living in Jordan I finally realized that almost nothing is in our own hands. Everything depends on simple Arabic expression “insha’Allah”. It means no more than “God willing” and locals use it quite often. This phrase comes up when speaking about future plans and events. Muslims believe that everything was “written” so people can’t change “Allah’s will”. Nevertheless, and I know it from the experience, it might be an expression that is used to show that we’re not intending to keep a word.

* Along with it useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The unwanted effects of “insha’Allah” often improve as your brain adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your Arab friends if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

First situation: Friend asks you to help in homeworks in the near future. You should say “Yes, sure” (because it’s impolite to refuse to help). Of course, you can also come up with some excuse but if you think to slow you can add universal ”insha’Allah” in the end of the sentence. And now it doesn’t mean that you’ll do it for sure and your friend can’t blame you if you’ll change your mind because not you but “the absolute” doesn’t want it. And it’s forbidden to oppose his will.

* You will not use “insha’Allah” for longer than is necessary. If you use it over a longer period of time, your body and brain can become used to it and they will not work as well. This is called tolerance.

Second situation: You can hear “insha’Allah” even in a taxi. After you say your destination a taxi driver might say this words. What does it mean? Isn’t he confident of his driving skills? Don’t worry and know that in this case it’s just an expression, something like “hopefully”. So I will be a millionaire soon, “insha’Allah”.

* Make sure you follow the instructions this article has given you carefully. If you are unsure either about your dose or how to use “insha’Allah”, ask your friends to explain this to you again.

Third situation: Even if you arrange a meeting at exact time be ready to hear “insha’Allah”. If your mate is late… well, nothing you can do.

* If you are planning a trip abroad you are advised to carry a description with you because “insha’Allah” is a controlled drug. 

I’ve learned that there is a bad and good “insha’Allah”. Sometimes you just have to sense a tone to see a difference. First one doesn’t obligate to do something and warns that some changes in plans might happen. Good “insha’Allah” just shows that a person emphasizes the importance of God in its life.

* Use “insha’Allah” exactly as this article and your Arab friends tell you to. Once you have been told what dose is right for you, keep using this dose unless you are told otherwise by more experienced.

Now don’t be surprised why it’s so popular. It’s possible to use it almost in every problematic, uncomfortable or dubious situation. I think I will smuggle a couple of pills to Europe.

by Rad

Bedouin traditions

Bedouins, comes from Arabic word “bedu”, which means “inhabitant of the desert”. They mostly live in the south of Jordan. Probably most of you have heard about Bedouins, about their traditional clothes, nomadic lifestyle, beautiful handicraft, amazing tents and so on. So, that’s why I’m not going to talk about them. I’ll tell you a little bit about their traditions and culture.

If there is a happy occasion, that the child is born in Bedouin village, what should they do? Of course, slaughter a goat or a sheep and eat it. Important is to share the meat of the animal with everyone around you.

Then the child grows older and older. The child will have some questions about the life – why is the sand yellow? Why is it hot and so on. Well, they might ask their parents, but Bedouins are clever people – they will not answer you directly. Instead, they will tell you a story. It’s up to you, to get the answer from a story. Bedouins believe, that direct answer to question means that the person is shallow and has limited intellect.

Then comes the time in Bedouin life, where they want to find the significant other. It is surprisingly “easy” for them to do that, because the pressur from parents is usually not very strong. Young couples usually date for a about a year – which means the male can visit female and they can talk, share views and get to know each other. If that doesn’t work out – there should be no disgrace to the  woman family and the life goes on. If they decide to get married, then it’s party time!

Bedouin wedding, which I had a chance to attend, was amazing. For three days they set up a huge tent, where everyone are welcome. I literally mean everyone. If you’re a stranger, don’t know anyone – you can still come. The party lasts for three days and the groom has to pay for the food and drinks. First, when you come, young boys will offer you Bedouin coffee. It is followed by tea. Then, when the food comes, you can hear some gunshots. After that they bring the mensaf – rice and lamb meal, with nuts and delicious sauce. Of course, eating with hands. After that, you can wash your hands and enjoy a cup of tea. Did I mention, that only men are allowed to be there?

Life goes on, Bedouins, like all people, like to have friends over. But don’t worry, if you’re not a friend. If you come near Bedouin house, they are obliged to invite you in and provide a shelter, food and drink even to their darkest enemies. In case of war, they need to defend treat you as you would have been their family members.

Bedouins offer you coffee, which they boil three times. First cup is for the host, he pours it and drinks – to feel safe. The second cup is poured and tasted by the guest – that he would feel safe. Third cup is served by the host to the guest. And you can drink coffee for eternity – until you but a cup on the palm of your hand and cover it with other and wiggle a bit – that means enough.

If the marriage doesn’t work out – don’t worry, life goes on! Divorce is not considered a sin or something to be ashamed of. Both parties can initiate the divorce. Though, wife has to go back to her father place, after the divorce.

When Bedouins die, they need to be buried in 24 hours. They have a simple grave, with a stone on the head of the body and in the feet. When they visit the grave, they take off the shoes, say a prayer and eat a fruit. If there are children, they get a sweet treat. Also, the leave the clothes of the dead on at the grave, so who ever needs them, can take them.

Welcome to Wadi Rum!

by Nikolai

How to make a very traditional Jordanian dessert

As Kamila has already mentioned – a volunteer is only happy when he’s full. If you started your day with a piece of Zaatar bread and had some Hummus and Falafel for lunch, you might like some Jordanian dessert for supper. Here’s a delicious one that’s easy enough to make. Jordanians call it ‘’Rozzeb haleeb’’ (‘’رز بحليب”); literally translated it means ‘’rice with milk’’.

First, you’ll need some rice (depends on how thick you want the rozzeb haleeb to be). Check out the picture to see how much rice I used (look at the strawberry for measure  J ). Cover the rice with some water (I used 6 cups of water) and boil it in a pot until the rice is soft. You can also first leave the rice in a bowl of water for some time before you  start cooking so that it will be softer and wouldn’t take too much time for boiling.

Now you have approximately half an hour off to have some tea and homemade Latvian candies. 🙂

When the rice is soft it’s time to add the second important ingredient – milk. I used powdered milk/creamer; so I mixed approximately 15 tablespoons of it with a glass of warm water, stirred it properly and added it  to the boiling rice.

Add about half a cup of sugar (the sweetness depends on your taste; I prefer it to not be too sugary).

In a few minutes mix 1/3 of a cup of corn starch with 1/3 of a cup of water, stir the mixture properly and add it to the boiling rice. The more starch you add the thicker the rozzeb haleeb will be (the consistency should be in a range of a thick liquid drink to a jelly-like pudding).

You can also add some citric acid or lemon juice to the mass.

Stir the mass properly so that it won’t get burnt while boiling. In approximately 10 minutes it should start to swirl heavily. Turn off the oven and fill the hot rozzeb haleeb in dessert dishes. I made six portions out of the amount of ingredients I used.

Rozzeb haleeb is usually served with cinnamon. I added some coconut flakes and pistachio as well.

Let the dessert cool and – Sahteen! Your rozzeb haleeb is ready!

by Dace

Goodbye Jordan? No, See you soon!

Life in Jordan is exciting and challenging in a good way! After living in Jordan for 6 months some things in life have changed a lot! For example, from now on I will be extremely aware of water waste. After living with limited of water for four girls, I will appreciate the opportunity to take a long shower with a pressure and won’t let the water run while I do the dishes. On the other hand, I will appreciate the fact that I can do laundry more than once a week. I will miss the good weather but at the same time love the fact that we have central heating in Denmark. It will be nice to finally go out without harassment, but on the other hand, all the benefits you get in the daily life in Middle East will be taken away from you in Europe. So you will get cheaper alcohol but wait in the line like everybody else. So at the end of the day – what do I prefer? The luxury of taking a taxi and at the same time pay way less than Europe has been a nice experience. In general being able to travel cheaply to other countries in the Middle East has been absolutely amazing as well. I will leave Jordan as less of a control freak than I was before I came. I will still organize, arrange and make lists but Jordan has showed me that in the end everything will be fine. I will leave with this, but will be back for sure! So if you meet a colourfully dressed Danish woman making lists on the bus about life– feel free to say hey!

by Karina

Voice of the streets in Amman

This is a collection of street art I have delightfully found on my own while wondering around on the hills of Amman. Facing diversity, splashing colours!

I developed a keen interest for street art because I see it as a great creative tool to send a message across. It is an expression of the self and rather a response, a reaction to several stimuli. You can find sprayart in public places, which are saturated by the advertising and billboards or as a reach out to create a communicative act, to let your voice be heard. The pattern that I observed travelling to different countries is that street art, per se, represents a sort of catalyst transforming the public space, where urban art, indeed, is the voice of the young, an opportunity to re-claim the street as a space of expression and freedom.

Call it vandalism, peaceful protest, cosmetizing or empowerment, at the end of the day the label is not minimizing its powerful message. For me, street art is a witty way for statements and raising questions.

Enjoy! The collection will be updated each time I encounter new murals and stay tuned for a future article on: Voice of the streets in Jerusalem!

1.Jabal Al Qala’a: work by An Urban Reflection (non-profit community arts residency programme inviting artists to connect with different areas of the city)

2.Downtown: work by WOW Baladk (the first regional street art festival in the Middle East. 25 artists and graffiti painters)

3.Skatepark downtown

4. Various murals and graffiti from individual (anonymous) artists

by Oana

Europe and its Other – an “EVS in the land of the “Others’s” view on current political issues in Europe

The attacks on the „Charlie Hebdo“ satirists have again stirred many discussions about Muslims living in Europe. The answer of Europe is the preparation of “Anti-Islam” legislation as well as an outburst of a series of anti-Islam protests. Noteworthy in this respect are the “Pegida”-protests in Germany and Austria’s “Islamgesetz”, which has been tabled in parliament in December 2014 and has received a lot of support since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. But are such answers really the right and especially most effective ones for dealing with the problems of constantly increasing radicalisation as well as fundamentalism in Europe?

Je suis CharlieEurope, as pointed out by Edward Said, has created some parts of the world, and especially the Arab world as a constitutive moment of its own identity. To understand this idea better, it is worth taking a look of one of the sources of Said’s thoughts: the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel’s dialectic. Hegel analyses the phenomenon of a society’s necessity to have an „Other“. This “Other” is a constructed identity which is filled with every characteristic which constitutes the opposite, the exact other, to the identity which is the one actively constructing. Characteristics are especially given in those categories, which are considered as very important for the constructing identity.

In the case of Europe, those are especially the following: religion, human rights, gender equality, justice, liberty and security and minority rights as well as LGBT rights, amongst others. It is therefore clear why Arabs are seen the way they are seen in Europe: as too strict and too old-fashioned about religion (arguments sometimes even go as far as considering Islam a bad religion), as barbarians who do not understand the concept of (Western!) human rights, as a folk who has an unfair justice system and who is too inhuman to accept minority and LGBT rights.

What Europe, or at least Europe’s society does not understand is that it supports, if not even creates a conceptual chiasmus like this as it is, as described above, constructing an opponent other while also wanting to spread its ideas and „europeanise“ the world, as will be explained below.

Since the establishment of what is now called the European Union, Europe has been aiming to become one if not “the” big normative power in the world. The political interests of this are quite straightforward: If European values are spread out to the world, Europe will benefit from a better economy and can better play out its political interests in the world as a result of increased leverage.

Je ne suis pas CharlieTo start with the less obvious one, European values once successfully spread out to the world will also bring Europe’s economy a boost. Spreading certain norms means spreading a certain culture, thus spreading opinions, views on how to live in the world and a believe system which helps to identify what it is that is considered as bad or good, or worth and not worth an effort. It also means the spread of the ideas and how to live your life, what aims and life goals people should have and are considered as „conform“ with society and also how food shall be prepared and eaten. When Europe therefore succeeds to successfully convince others of its culture, more products can be exported as societies will try to imitate European culture. And not only that: with more research put into the more cost-efficient production of originally „European“ products will help Europe to get its own products cheaper or to, with imitating other States’ newly developed technology, to produce more cost-efficiently.

Second, if Europe managed that the world conceived it as a „normative power“, Europe’s leverage and decision-making power would increase significantly. This means in the following that Europe could create a safer and more peaceful world, and especially a safer and more peaceful „neighbourhood“ for itself. It is especially its „neighbourhood“, the Arab world, where more and more threats are perceived from. Examples include the problem with Syrian jihadists from Europe (and coming back to Europe after fighting in Syria), the higher criminal rates in Europe of people with migrant background and the radicalisation.

For Europe to become such a “normative power”, it is important to understand the concept of norm creation and dispersion. Besides others for this article less interesting characteristics (the intrinsic nature of the norm, a link to the local culture and the actor’s prominence), the most important thing for a norm to successfully spread in the world is to have or at least give the “Other” the feeling to have positive narratives about it. Nobody listens to someone if it clear that he/she is not respected or does not make a positive impression to the other person. In the same way, Europe’s norm will be perceived as bad and “حرام” (harām) if Europe’s negative feelings about this part of the world are obviously negative.

Europe will therefore, to overcome this self-created conceptual chiasmus, need to focus more on its view on Arab society itself and on the Arabs living in Europe, instead of going out to world thinking it can spread its norms despite its radical destruction of “Otherness”. The promotion of education about “intercultural learning” and exchange programmes, (and youth exchange programmes, in particular) between Europe and its “Other”, the Arab world, will help to foster a more positive image of Arab society in Europe. Integration programmes, including the fighting of the extremely high unemployment rate of Europeans with an migration background, many of which have Arabic roots will, on the other hand, help to positively influence European’s view on its Europeans with migration background, the “other people”, which are living in Europe.

So therefore, my beloved Europe, please make love instead of creating more cleavages between you and your Other – it will not only save you and your people but perhaps also help to in the end finally spread your well-appreciated and valuable European ideas and concept of human rights to the world. It is, in the end, just a double win-win situation for you: you will be safer because of less fundamentalism on your ground, the Arab world will benefit from your liberal ideas and concept of human rights, and this, my dear Europe, will make you consequently even more safer as your neighbourhood will threaten you less. Good luck!

by Hana

Never give up on your stupid, stupid dreams

As an average Estonian, who’s rather slow and knows at least 10 different ways to cook potatoes, I’ve often thought of, what is it that made me abandon everything I knew and reach out for something unknown. While being on a plane to Jordan, enjoying, what I thought was my last beer in the next six months, I started to repeatedly play these thoughts in my head.

never give upFor as long as I know, I’ve always had a dream to live abroad. But life has its own ways, or how people here say – in shallah – and as the years flew by, it seemed even more and more impossible. Besides, I was having a pretty good life in Estonia: I had a challenging work that changed the world in its own way, rather comfy apartment and a loving husband and a lot of good people around me. Of course, as any other European, work really seemed the most important thing in my life, leaving me less and less time for other things I enjoyed. Or at least used to.

Yet, when I got the phone call “Do you want to go to Jordan for the next 6 months?” my first though was “Why not!”. Well, by saying that I found the missing link between me and my dreams.

Of course, there were still many loose ends which didn’t let me to be confident about going to Jordan. After all, I had to reorganize every aspect of my life in Estonia. After a month or so, I started to notice, how everything came together, like puzzle pieces which fitted perfectly. Pausing my life in Estonia seemed to be the only and at the same time – easiest thing to do. And for how long had I thought about it? How many “it’s too difficult to get it done”? At the end, it took only a decision to get it done.

Now, after two months in Jordan, I have no doubt, that it was the one and only thing to do – to make a decision and start working towards it. And for two months I’ve been living my dream. There were moments, where my dream-life had no hot water or no water at all, there were moments, where I lived with 8 people (which is pretty unusual for Estonians who are desperate about their personal space), but it was still a dream-come-true.

And I guess now I understand why I wanted this. Why I was so desperate to get out from my every-day life, do go somewhere, where everything is complete different and strange. Especially, while the whole world tries to convince you, that there’s nothing good in Arab countries.

Well, based on my experience, the world is wrong. I’ve met the kindest people in the world and for the first time in a long time – I’m not overworking or stressing about things that I have no power to change. My mind is busy enjoying life, not thinking how to make more money in shorter time. For the first time in years, I understand that it is okay. It is okay to not worry about what’s coming. And those small obstacles, like having no water or showering with ice-cold water, they made my dream even better! Because they showed me exactly, how less I need and how much I take as granted. It shakes off everything you though you needed, but you don’t, leaving only the true values and beliefs that you carry within your heart. You might think that people don’t need to go to Jordan for that, but apparently they do. Otherwise the safe, everyday routine will get absolutely every piece of you, while making you believe that this was what you wanted from life. But did you?

What I’ve learned? I’ve learned that the moment you decide to reach for your dream, you’ve already done half of the job. What about the other half? Well, it seems like it will get done anyway, whether you do it or not, it will get done.

So, never give up on your dreams, no matter how stupid or silly they seem to be. They’re worth it!
And note: if you’re now thinking that fulfilling your dreams will take too much time… well, time will pass anyway, whether you do something with it or not.

by Keku

How I met the mother

MotherThere she was. Standing in the hallway, a lady of around 60 all veiled in black. “Don’t shake hands, just say marhaba, smile and be very respectful”. Oh my God, how is this going to work out, a very religious Saudi lady and five guys in their early or mid-twenties in one apartment… But Bilal said she is only staying for a week or so, we will manage it somehow. And what else did he say, wait a minute, “We are Arabs, dude, we respect women more than anything, OK…” So her son introduced us to her and that was it, that day we didn’t talk to each other. I remember how careful I was not to do something which is not in according to Arab custom. It seemed so strange to me when I saw her from the end of the hallway how she was sitting on a couch and smoking so that the smoke was coming out from the only not covered part of her body. What’s more I always thought she is arguing with two Iraqi flatmates because she was speaking so loudly and dramatically. But as days passed, we all got used to each other and therefore also relaxed. She stopped wearing the niqab (only hijab), I realized she is just so passionate in explaining everything and we could laugh on not understanding a word each of us would say – those conversations usually ended with her saying “Lazim Arabi, Kritšof!” (You have to learn Arabic, Kritšof – yes, I got a new Arabic nickname). Not to mention I didn’t think on Arab customs any more.

Mom’s leaving with us brought some advantages as well as some disadvantages. I will start with the latter. Sometimes it’s just not so comfortable to live with somebody’s mom in the house. It’s just a feeling that is different I think you know what I mean. It is for example a bit strange to invite some friends to come over and tell them: “Yes, but we are living with a mom here, you know, but of course, no problem, everyone can visit.” Of course, she doesn’t mind if somebody is coming, but I don’t feel like inviting people that much. Another thing is that the kitchen is her territory, so to say. I would put the garbage bag on the other place, I wouldn’t leave food on the stove, I would buy less food at once etc. And in the morning I would sometimes rather sit in the kitchen on my own.

But this kitchen thing is also a part when the positive side starts. You can’t resist to power of her food. It may sound like I am spoiled but eating her home-made Arabic food is as I say: “A wooow!” Imagine mensaf, magluba, lasagna, pasta, rice with vegetables, sauces… It’s amazing. Besides that I learned some words like kursy, lazim, ma fee mai, awlad, mushkele etc. from here, which both together means she might make my evs experience slightly more Arabic. Intercultural learning as we say.

And as it comes to intercultural learning, I think I learned the most when she came back again for the second time. A European reader would probably (I admit I did) find this unimaginable – a mother of a 19-years old university student comes to the flat in which he is leaving with young flatmates, stays for almost a month and after few weeks she is back again – whaaat!? Who is that guy? Not that in Slovenia you wouldn’t find people leaving with their families up to the age of 30 but it is different when mother comes to your place. Interestingly I got three completely opposite answers when asking locals about this issue: “Well that is cultural, she may stay there for a year!” “She came to cook and to clean? Yes, that is normal, until you get married.” “Yes it is OK for us, my relatives are also coming for a month next week.” The people who told me that of course didn’t mean that I should stay in the apartment at any price and I admit I was also considering moving out when the Estonians (Keku and Niki, the volunteers who in December replaced Iraqi guys in our flat) decided to do so. But I decided to stay. There were many arguments and contra arguments for this decision, but at the end I decided as I did and I don’t feel sorry. I needed few days to adjust to her presence again but it doesn’t bother me anymore. Gregor and I call her “mama” (mother in Slovene) and she really is our Arabic mother in a way. We shared some nice moment and even celebrated her 56th birthday together. I like it when we are on our own, but it’s also nice, when she is here.

At the moment “mom” just returned with Bilal, Doriane and Kamila. She and Dodo became like old friends, they are talking, laughing and pat each other on the shoulders. I’m laughing quietly to myself as I am thinking: “Wow, this is just perfect scene for the end of my article.”

by Krištof

The Power of English

I, like my peers, grew up speaking English. It flowed from us as one would expect a plant to bloom. There is an inevitably and valueless nature to its presence in our lives. Why be grateful for salt, when everyone has it, or at least should? I have never before considered the price of salt, nor have I my mother tongue. I grew to manipulate, disregard and chide my language; like one may treat a dog that will always come back and always be yours, collecting slang and dropping letters. But travelling on the EVS, and more significantly teaching English, has changed that perception.

To begin with, every human I meet is expected to speak some, if more, English. Expected to aid and communicate with me effectively in my mother tongue, apologising, often profusely when, in its native home, a person has to rely on their own language. Every International, expected to converse with me expertly in my language, and it seems, with one another. No effort is expected on my part, for I have a British tongue in my head. Perhaps not even gratitude, for it is my right to call over a taxi and say, “Do you speak English?”, because surely they must.

The inequalities were more startling once I became more familiar with the value of my language to others in their lives. Because of the ever increasing importance of industry, tourism and non-profit organisations, English has become the key to improving and elongating one’s career. Speaking eloquent Arabic and being good at your job is not enough. English is the key to the door between cleaner and manager, between a handful of bleach and money. Britain complains consistently that foreigners are coming over and taking our jobs, but what we cannot see beyond the White Cliffs is that our influence, archaic and imperialistic though it may be, and language is taking foreigner’s jobs. Stifling and restricting them, forcing them to engage in an alien language in their own country.

So thus, we have a gift we did not thank anyone for which is life changing to others, gained by the Great British imperialistic march (arguably, the American influence in the global economy is a significant contributor to the power of English, but one cannot deny where their language stems from either). And suddenly, it is a currency. My mother tongue is worth at least £10 an hour, a gun for hire for those desperate to engage in a foreign industry that stifles their progress. Our ill-begotten gains are still a valuable source of income for us and a yoke across the shoulders of other nationalities.

One of my adult pupils has a motivation and determination that rivals that of British children, crouched behind the bike sheds, hoping to avoid yet more obligatory education. She has never missed a lesson, never missed a note, never failed to thank me as she leaves. When she first entered my class, she neither had the confidence or the ability to string two words together in English. Last week, for the prize of a Snicker (yeah, I know, serious stuff) she retold in English the (also Arabic) story of Red Riding Hood. There were mistakes, there were stumbles, there was the shaking of hands as I placed her on that stage, but she did it. Off her own back, she told a story in English, in entire past continuous tense. She steeled herself against insecurities, fears and linguistic challenges, to do something that left this fluent speaker…speechless.

So there we have it, some gifts are priceless. It just took me 23 years to realise that.

by Katie

Jordanien aus Sicht eines Deutschen

Ich bin nun seit mehr als 3 Monaten mit dem Europäischen Freiwilligen Dienst in Jordanien und arbeite in den Flüchtlingslagern nahe der Hauptstadt Amman.

Jordanien war nie ein großer Name für mich in der Geschichte des Mittleren Ostens und gerade deswegen habe ich viele neue Erfahrungen gemacht, die ich so nicht erwartet hätte. Natürlich ist Jordanien wie die meisten umliegenden Länder geprägt von Religion (93% gehören dem Islam an). Man kann dies am besten Freitags beobachten, wenn die Straßen am Morgen wie leer gefegt sind, da die meisten Leute zum Gebet in die Moschee gehen. Der Fakt, dass viele Frauen in der Öffentlichkeit nur verschleiert zu sehen sind (sei es Burka, Hijab oder Niqab) bedeutet nicht, dass die Bevölkerung Ignorant oder unaufgeschlossen gegenüber Christen ist. In der Tat sind sehr viele Leute in den Flüchtlingslagern interessiert in unsere Bräuche und respektieren unsere Tradition, obwohl diese Camps konservativer sind als die Hauptstadt.

Zu Beginn musste ich mich erst etwas akklimatisieren. Ich hatte zwar keinen „culture shock“ aber die Lebensweise hier ist gerade im Vergleich zu Deutschland in gewissen Bereichen unterschiedlich. Besonders wenn es um Planung und Pünktlichkeit geht kann man sich nicht immer auf gewisse Zeiten verlassen (Vorsicht! Nicht verallgemeinern). Zum Beispiel existiert bei dem Bus , welchen wir zu den Camps nehmen kein Fahrplan und er verlässt Amman wenn er voll ist, daher ist es manchmal ein kleines Abenteuer ob wir rechtzeitig zur Arbeit ankommen oder nicht. Auch Straßenbahnen gibt es nicht, deswegen muss man sich auf den Verkehr und Taxen verlassen, man lernt jedoch schnell wann man das Haus zu verlassen hat um rechtzeitig am richtigen Ort zu sein.

Auf den ersten Blick mag das Freizeitangebot hier etwas klein sein, wenn man jedoch genauer hinsieht findet man zahlreiche Aktivitäten, wie kostenlose Kinovorstellungen, Kulturabende mit traditioneller oder westlicher Musik und Tanzeinlagen, Konzerte, Flohmärkte, sportliche Aktivitäten wie Fahrrad fahren oder den neuen Skatepark benutzen. Diese Freizeitaktivitäten sind jedoch nicht der wichtigste Teil während meines Aufenthalts.

Der Grund weswegen ich hier bin ist mit Flüchtlingen zusammen zu arbeiten. Die Aufgaben während der Arbeit reichen von Sport und Englisch Unterricht, Basteln und Singen oder einfach nur Zeit mit Kindern und Erwachsenen zu verbringen um von ihrer Kultur zu lernen und ihnen auch unsere Kultur nahe zu bringen. Es ist besonders schön zu sehen wie Kinder, die während meines ersten Sportunterrichts eher träge waren, das nächste Mal darauf bestanden haben länger Unterricht und mehr Liegestützen zu machen.

Es gehört zu Kultur, dass Gäste bei einheimischen Familien oder den Camps mit Tee und Essen versorgt werden und manchmal geschieht es auch in einem Taxi, dass der Fahrer darauf besteht einen Tee für unterwegs zu bezahlen.

Natürlich gibt es auch unsicherere Gegenden in der Hauptstadt wie in fast jeder großen Stadt in denen Frauen nicht alleine unterwegs sein sollten, aber meistens ist es kein großer Aufwand Freunde nach Hause zu begleiten und sie zu einem Taxi zu bringen, welches sie sicher bis zum Haus fährt. Auch die recht häufig anzutreffende Touristen Polizei, welche sich besonders um die Sicherheit von Ausländern kümmert trägt dazu bei, dass man wenn man Fragen nach dem Weg oder ein anderes Problem hat nicht fürchten muss in der Großstadt verloren zu gehen.

Das Wetter ist nicht wie von einem „Wüstenstaat“ zu erwarten immer sonnig und heiß. Es gibt sogar wenige Tage in denen es schneit und in und der Verkehrs in großen Teilen still liegt. Im Moment bereiten wir uns auf den Winter vor, da in den nächsten Tagen Schnee erwartet wird.

by Andres