Archive for September, 2008

Mosa Hijazeen, a relative of yours?

Mosa Hijazeen, Som3a, is a Jordanian comedian. We are of the same family. Both of us are of the Hijazeen family.

Every Jordanian has his family name written in his identity. What family you come from is an important thing in Jordan. One of the important things that a bearing a family name will bring you, is this type of question, “Is this person a relative of yours?” Or in other words, “Do you know this person, his name is X. He is of your family as well?!”

This is an account of the people who will ask me, upon knowing my family name, “Is Mosa Hijazeen a relative of yours?”

  1. Place: The housing bank for trade and finance\ Amman Downtown\ Saqf Al Sael branch.

Date: 06.02.08.

Reason for being in this bank was that I drew money to buy shares in the Jordanian company for extracting oil from the oil rock, JOSE (The company’s name is something near this).

Person Asking: A nicely dressed, handsome, but not optimistic accountant. He processed my request.

My answer was: “From the family!”

  1. Place: Faculty of Medicine\ Mu’tah University

Date: Somewhere in the middle of March 2008, hours before the first month exam of Histology.

I was studying with a student who is from south of Jordan, from the governorate of Tafila. I don’t know his name, but his family name is ‘Saudi’. I don’t usually learn my colleague’s first names. Often, I only learn their family names.

We had been revising ‘Connective Tissue’ lecture for sometime when we paused for a little break.

“Oh!” He said as if he remembered something important. “Is he a relative of yours?” He then stopped giving himself time to remember.

I didn’t give him time and said: “Soma’h? Mosa Hijazeen?”

” ” The guy brought a smile on his face. Yes, it was about him his question was. I was correct in my guess. He commented then: “You are always asked this question?”

“Yes” I gave a prolonged yes with a very big smile.
My answer was: I don’t quite remember. I think that we both left it unanswered.

  1. Place: An office in Orange company-Jordanian Telecom- building in Marj\ Karak.

Date: 23.02.08

I got sent from the office in Qaser to Engineer ‘Yanal Nawaeseh’ in Adnaneah town. I arrived there after taking the university bus only to find that the place was as empty as a cemetery. Fortunately, a pick-up of the company stopped beside a nearby tent wanting to buy fruit from the man inside the tent. “Are you Engineer Yanal N?” I asked a guy who came out of the pick-up. He was not but he was too helpful and directed me to their offices in Marj.

“Engineer Yanal, Please?” I asked a person who was sitting in the first office I found inside the Orange building. I was directed to the office immediately after the first one.

The man took the modem and the wires of the ADSL connection which we had since more than a year (From 6/2/2007). “What is the name of the owner of this line?” He asked me working his fingers on the keyboard in front of him.

“X. Hijazeen” I answered him and he started typing on the keyboard. After that, he asked for our phone number. Then he asked: “What is ‘his relation’ to you?” Call me stupid, but my mind immediately went to Mosa Hijazeen. I can’t blame myself! Whenever I hear somebody talking about someone’s relation to me then it is my relation to Mosa! Anyhow, I interrupted it this way and answered: “Who? Soma’h?” I smiled.

” ” The man was didn’t reply. I then added explaining: “Mosa Hijazeen” The man then brought a little smile to his face (Actually I didn’t see it, because I am still not able to look people directly in their faces when talking to them. How I decided on that? Simply, because a smile is always drawn when Mosa’s name is mentioned.) He said: “No, I mean the owner of this phone line?” I told him that he is my father and immediately after that tried to explain my stupid answer. “I am always asked this question, I thought…” The man then commented what made both of us laugh, most of the two was I. He said: “That was the ‘second’ question I was going to ask you.”

After all, it didn’t turn out that I was wrong to talk about Mosa from the beginning.

My answer was: After very little hesitation on what to answer, I answered: “He is from the family”

1930 Smakieh vs. 2005 Smakieh

The first photo was taken in 1930. The second photo, of nearly the same place, was taken on Friday, March 25, 2005. It was taken by, the now, Dr. Fadi Ababseh.

1930 photo of Smakieh

2005 photo of smakieh

New About Me Page

This was the text in which I put in the “About Me” section of my Blog. I don’t think it should continue to be in that place any longer. I am sending it into archive as a simple post. I need to make a new About Me section which is:

  1. Concise.
  2. Informative.
  3. Logical.

Following is my first “About Me” page.I am so embarrased of what is written below. This is why the font is “struckthrough”.

Welcome to this interview with the owner of the “A Man from Moab Blog”, please welcome with me the so-called: “Moabite!”

– We know that the time of readers of this page is too short, so I would like to start directly with my first question: “A Man from Moab” Why did you choose this name for your Blog?

I chose “A Man from Moab” as a name for my Blog for 2 connected reasons. The first one is that I want to conceal a part of my identity-my name. As a result, I started searching for a name that is somehow related to the topics I am most interested to blog about. Since I have a huge passion for history, traditions, religions, societies, cultures. I found that a name inspired from the Ancient land of Moab I live in now, can carry such connotations.

– Why conceal ‘a part of your identity’? I understand that you consider being a Moabite an identity?

I will start by the last question, when in the ninth grade; I published my first personal website on the web. “The problem is that no one ever visits my site!” I complained to a gifted cousin of mine who has a PhD in computer science. I like the answer which he gave me: “No one will search the internet for your name!” His facial expressions were of someone who is not amazed of a natural result. “Instead, write in your website, for example, that you live X Kilometers from Petra!” So, here I am, exploiting the history of the place I live in to bring people to my Blog. The small plateau I live in was once a part of the Moabite kingdom so I am using it.

I believe that person’s identity is not only his name; it is his nationality, religion, traditions, ethics, emotions. To sum up, I am only hiding a part of my identity which is my name.

– I am sorry, let me change the question then, why conceal this part of your identity?

I want to allow myself the biggest degree of sincerity. For example, so I can state that I caught my cousin smoking –could you imagine the situation of my cousin if his father knows because of Moabite being a gossiper?!

– Why a guy living in a deserted, impoverished and unheard of village is writing in this Blog?!
I have never had the chance to travel outside of my country, even worst, not to travel within my geographically small country –Not visiting Petra as a most devastating example. As a result, I feel great happiness when I read about the lives of people living in other countries, of people living in a different society than the Eastern Jordanian Society I live in, of people who doesn’t have the same traditions that my Christian-Jordanian surrounding has, of people that don’t have the same taboos that a Jordanian guy like me pays much attention to get himself far from –Religion, Sex, and Politics, people who have different understanding of the same world all “animals” live in.

To sum up, it is how the bible put it: “Do others what you want others to do you.” Till this date, January 29, 2008, I don’t have any Blog address of a person who writes about his own routine life. I am sure that there are many people out there who have such Blogs, but I haven’t reached any of them yet- will you help?, and I hope that I will some time soon.

– Why Blog in English? Why leave your native language?

I blog in English not because I don’t disrespect Arabic but more reasonably because:

1. I know that not a single soul in my surrounding would care about the notion of reading. I know that those who would care to read don’t know Arabic, so I am blogging in their language.

2. English is the single language by which you can reach the hugest spectrum of readers from all parts of the world.

3. To get a good university degree or to get a good Job, you need to have good English. Surely I am improving my English practicing this hobby.

– Any request from your Blog readers?

Firstly, if you observe any error in my Blog, I will be very gracious if took time to refer them to me (Language errors please [:)] ). Secondly and most importantly, I wouldn’t mind your concealing your name when writing a comment if this will help you to be as honest and direct as possible.

Picasa2: Moab (Karak) – Jordan

smakieh karak simakiya Simakiyya kerak hijazeen moabite amanfrommoab a

A tributary of Mujeb valley -Biblical Arnoon Valley- in modern Karak (Kerak), Ancient Moab, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

This image was edited using the Picasa2 program. Windows installed on this Toshiba Satellite is Window Vista Home Premium. Picasa2 program comes with the windows programs.

Before coming to know the abilities of this program, I used to go through a huge hardship editing and enhancing photos. The program I used was Photoshop.

On the one hand, no program can be compared to Photoshop. On the other hand, Photoshop is very complicated for me, a modest computer user. What is more, Photoshop consumes huge amount of the computer resources, especially RAM. As a result, executing tasks in this program will need some time not to mention wasting your time wandering through a large number of menus and windows’.

Picasa2 is a great solution. You can now crop, adjust contrast, adjust shadows, adjust highlights, etc. Just in small easy steps. How helpful!

Good bye Photoshop and welcome Picasa!

The Official Photo-editing program of Moabite’s Blog is: “Picasa”

Close View of a Rabbit Embryo in my house in Smakieh Karak Jordan

 

 

Rabbit Embryo

When I first opened one of the balls, shown in photos one and two, I was amazed at the shape of the Embryo inside (Is what you see in the palm of my hand a fetus or an embryo?)

Does this embryo look like a human embryo? To me, its hands and legs look similar to those of a human embryo. I think!

If there is similarity between the embryos of human beings and rabbits, is this a proof of the “Theory” of Evolution? Is the theory of Evolution true? How can you make sure if evolution is correct? Where is God in all of that? Hard questions that need answers.


 

Update 31/12/2011: They say, “the best things in life happen by chance”. Is this saying true? Does it always work?… To my amazement, the above  photos, and in particular, the last ones, have become the main generator of visitors to my Blog.  Read more here!

Update 8/9/2012:  The rabbit embryo photo has gone viral and is being shared by hundreds of thousands of Arab users on Facebook as an “aborted human baby”.  So far, it has 125,000+ likes on Facebook! See the details in this post: “My Rabbit Embryo Photo has gone viral and is being shared by tens of thousands of Arab users on Facebook as an “aborted baby” صورة طفل اجهض .. بالله عليك لا تخرج قبل ان تضغط لايك وتقول سبحان”.

Close View of a Rabbit Embryo in my house in Smakieh\ Karak\ Jordan

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Rabbit EmbryoImage481

When I first opened one of the balls, shown in photos one and two, I was amazed at the shape of the Embryo inside (Is what you see in the palm of my hand a fetus or an embryo?)

Does this embryo look like a human embryo? To me, its hands and legs look similar to those of a human embryo. I think!

If there is similarity between the embryos of human beings and rabbits, is this a proof of the “Theory” of Evolution? Is the theory of Evolution true? How can you make sure if evolution is correct? Where is God in all of that? Hard questions that need answers.

 

Update 31/12/2011: They say, “the best things in life happen by chance”. Is this saying true? Does it always work?… To my amazement, the above  photos, and in particular, the last ones, have become the main generator of visitors to my Blog.  Read more here!

Update 8/9/2012:  The rabbit embryo photo has gone viral and is being shared by hundreds of thousands of Arab users on Facebook as an “aborted human baby”.  So far, it has 125,000+ likes on Facebook! See the details here!

Phone Book of 104 year-old Jordanian Man

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What do you see in the above image? Writings of a little child who has just learnt to read and write? Don’t you the lousy writing and the disarrangement tells you so? If I didn’t know the owner of the above writing, I would have probably had the same prediction.

This is the phone book of Issa Nwesser Abdallah Dahabreh, Abu Kamel. He is my Grandfather. Last February, he was around 104 year-old. Ma-Sha-Allah!

Abu Kamel lives in a village called Shatana. It is situated between beautiful mountains north of Amman, the capital of Jordan. It is part of the governorate of Irbid.

Nowadays, in the 21st century, there are still illiterate people in Jordan. Abu Kamel, however, learnt how to read and write more than 90 years ago.

… This post needs more information! My father is the only one who can help me! But when can I visit him? I am not free till February. I need to put it on my windows calendar. Sorrowfully, this program comes only with windows Vista. I can’t download it on my PC because my old 8 year-old PC doesn’t have enough resources to meet the very demanding requirements of Windows Vista! Poor me!

Spring of 2007 vs. Spring of 2008

smakieh karak simakiya Simakiyya kerak hijazeen moabite amanfrommoab a man from moab amanfrommoab.wordpress.com hijaizn hijazeen akaseh ziadeen nasraween akasheh balau' hejazin hejazeen hijazin smakieh karak simakiya Simakiyya kerak hijazeen moabite amanfrommoab a man from moab amanfrommoab.wordpress.com hijaizn hijazeen akaseh ziadeen nasraween akasheh balau' hejazin hejazeen hijazin

Moabite having an Adventure

What was I thinking about Moabite Having an Adventure

Early Diary Entries

I always  had the idea of writing diary. It was in the sixth grade that I first said to myself, “Why don’t you start to write?”. Days passed. After finishing Tawjihi, I went in a visit to downtown Amman. During which, a terrorist attack happened. Some tourists were killed and many were injured. I was meters from where the shooting took place. After such a remarkable day, I wrote my first diary entry. I wrote what happened that black day on a small notebook. I wrote it in Arabic.

During the next months, I started my first semester in the faculty of Medicine in Mu’tah University. During this period, I started a diary. This diary, however, was on computer. I used to type diary in Microsoft Word and save it on computer. I don’t know how many entries I had written, but I know 2 things. First of all, I didn’t write daily and even weekly. Secondly, at the moment, I only have 3 entries left. Did I write more than 3 entries? Did I delete what I had written by mistake? Did I write anything worth counting? I don’t know!

Here are the 3 remaining historical documents, my early diary entries:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I woke up this morning at 6:30 in the morning, I ate my breakfast wash my face wear my face then head to the circle at about 6:45… when I went out of our own door I looked at abo al abid’s house where I found aziz wearing his clithes at the door… I looked at him witing for him to look at me in order tht I say to him : good morning! It took me maybe 3 or 4 seconds … however he didn’t look at me at all! I just ignored him and continued my way without saying anything… of course this is wrong attitude but I don’t know what I should have done… maybe I should make a falsy sound from my mouth so as to get his attention then of course saying good morning … this is what I am thinking now bout what I should have done… important.. I continued my way to the circle .. walking quickl y to my destination I found Hani at the store maybe bringing some qola to the shop I continued my way and looking a distance away I saw nadia a far distance from me… I should wake up earlier tomorrow maybe at 6:2 not only to reach the circle earlier but also taking the dvntage of walking to the longest distance possible… I am determined now I will wake up at 6:15 and go out of the house at 6:30 … doing this I assume that I will be ble of reaching the turn in hmod…. Let’s now continue our diary… I reached the circle which was empty as if we were at the midday however I know that there are people taling the bus but they are not here they are there.. taking part in this daily competition to reach the bus firstly … I walked down the street heading to the bus’s road … at the pavement near that house whom I don’t know his owner where Nadia and Rami’s wife were sitting… I did my social duty I said :good morning! They answered me but not in the same passion… Rami’s wife answer was full of welcoming on the opposite of Nadia who only let the respond come out from her mouth like what the sound would come from a machine! I continued my way where I found Milad whom I asked, as to avoid saying any thing to him: are god’s hppinnes J (saad allah) taking you to the shool ? – he said: “ no, I go with paid vain !” . – “oh you are with basher” – “yes”

This conversation started and ended while I was walking… I saw also during my walk nadeem walking down the street but he was further than me… then I was able to reach him after wlking a little bit quickly “ Godd morning” I said . he replied “ where is Nizar , doesn’t he has lecture toay . he said no he isn’t we walked together talking pointlessly . reaching the bus I went up first then I sit in the bench behind the driver besides Anas who as there… we talked along th road another mistake I did also was not stnding up to let that person from hmod to set instead of me because he is older of me of course I was not courage enough to do so so I spent the whole road afraid of my “ Position chair” as if it ws the chair of a minister or something like this I don’t know what really was taking place in my mind during that time … we reached the triangle of thaniah … I got off the bu sand headed to the buses of university ther I get in one of them where I sat besides of Aniese during the road… we talked about stocks his job he taking the TOEFL exam with me, in the southern centre he said that he would do so if he had the time but he had a shift during the time of the lessond for the TOEFL exam , I asked him why he doesn’t continue his studies to get a phd but he claimed firstly that he doesn’t have enough money and fter telling him that it is not a clue and you should better say that you are not able of doing such thing he said to me a word that I deserve for talking to him such way I should have expressed my point of view in a different wasy for example I had better said :” I know that it is not an easy job and not every one can do so or may be I said ok but you know better than me that doctor anise isn’t like anise you would be different … I payed for him for the bus wage the driver eas almost going to shout at us “ I don’t have time for you two so we instaneously get off the bus I explained to hi that I have done so because you have done me a lot of favors for many times I reached the building of science one where I was in a hurry to find wher the lad is in which I am taking my chemistry lesson

Thursday, November 11, 2006

I haven’t any thing particular to talk about so I decide to talk about my cell biology lecture today Thursday.

First thing I remember when I got to the class that is I started looking for a bathroom. As usual the first bathroom I encountered was for girls. This has happened to me a lot of times. Maybe the bathrooms which are meant for girls are more than those for boys… or to express at as traditional hypothesis that it is a miss luck. Discovering that is a girl’s I head to the opposite direction, walking there I heard this voice talking to me: “how many time do you attend the lecture!” who was the speaker? It’s Zaid, the funny, weird complex, friend of mine

– “Once, I believe… however I am attending the 11-12 lecture instead of mine which is really from 12-1…”

– “Why is that?” Zaid asked. I ran from answering him and take my self out of there. Also, in the opposite corner I didn’t find a bathroom. However I came to know something interesting there is an “emergency exit” which I didn’t know about it… why is it interesting? I believe that one day might help me. Continuing searching for the bathroom I finally reached one which is not, out of ordinary, meant for girls. Ending my job on the bathroom I went to the lecture class. One of my colleges, whom I don’t know his name but I know that he is from a very powerful tribe: “bani saker”. He is from Al Jeza, which is a municipality subject to Amman.

– “Why did you get upset this morning?!” I opened a conversation in a kind of mending my fault of being extra curios this morning.

– “No, I am not upset” he answered laughing.

I figured out that it was enough as a good peace process. Having finished of my peace talks, I entered the class, where I sat in the last row; Of course because it’s considered as an act of modesty, but also, to tell the truth because it is not my lecture, as a result, I can’t set in others seats. After a short time, the Yemeni student came and sat beside me. After saying the traditional introduction, you know: hi! How are you! How is your studying! “ . Again, for the second time in this day, I was defenseless in front of my curiosity.

_ “why aren’t you sitting beside your friend, that if he is really?” Since I know that they are both from the same country and I believe that they are the only Yemenis in our batch for this year. You know, I didn’t find it makes sense; they are from the same country on a foreign one and they are not close to each other. Don’t you think that this is weird? And worth asking about?!

– “We would set together but he is absent!” he answered.

I continued intriguing him but it was meaningless. After a short while, the professor of us came. Whom I found knew information about him in the internet: he was the director of Baghdad’s university, and he wrote books and researches. He fled from Iraq, when the series of assassination scientist began in 2005 and came to Mu’tah University where he was appointed as the manger of the histology department, in the faculty of medicine.

The lecture started, today’s lecture is about signals between cells… an easy one, compared to other lectures. The 50 minute passed then the lecture finished.

Important events I faced later:

  • Aktham, a school friend of mine, has got a full mark in the physics exam. I am writing this note because it shows how this man is trying to makes up for his low average in the Tawjihi exam. A future prediction, he is going to be a doctor? You don’t know
  • New information from the day: don’t laugh until May…. You should always have shallow relations with other …. Don’t go into the deep!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Yesterday, it was supposed that I go in the trip which is arranged by the military branch to Al-Zarqa – as they have told us about it- however, I didn’t go in that trip. Why? First of all, AI told my mother to awaken me at 6:00 o’clock the night before, however since she has become forgetting a little bit-I started to notice this in the second semester of Tawjihi as I remember. The result that she didn’t awake me up… was I mad? Not at all , when I woke up nearly at 8 o’clock I realized that I am not going… it didn’t bother me since I am concertingt on my forthcoming physics exams which needs me a lot of hard work since it is not easy nor hard one. To tell the truth , it ws yesterday since the beginning of the university that I have studied the longest time ever… an achievement I think … is there a reason or it is just a mere chance? “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find”, jesus said. And in another place which I don’t remember exactly, Jesus aso said “ anything you ask will be given for you if you asked sure that you wil be given this thing” I did this and I will continue doing this because this is what jesus says to me and I believe in jesus! So I’m sure that I will be given what I ask strongly.

The second reason which a little bit caused me not to be angry is the fact that at the previous night , when being at bed I took the decision to go in a walk to Mujib’s tip where I have been dreaming to do since let’s say three years since teacher zeal said that he had gone there by his car to where he could see the dam. My strength didn’t help me in fulfilling my decision of going on this ancient trip.. howevetr I am planning to do this trip in the medholiday – with god’s will-

What do I want to talk about is my loser attempt today to move my optional universital subject to the summer semester which the recorder of the faculty of medicine said that it is impossible unless you can try to make a please to the den of the faculty if he would let you do that …

It is the first day in my scholastic year to walk with Laith R… to tell the truth I would like to become close friends … I like this guy… there are many thing special and interesting in him… the first thing I would think of is his look… he look’s exactly like Chinese (this is the name I was and almost all people would say about a person with loose hair and narrow eye and that whole characteristics of the east Asian people)… Later, I figured out that he is not (Chinese), as I thought that his parents have a company or a business in one of the industrial cities… I discovered that his father is Jordanian but she is his mother or grand mother which I still do not know who is from East Asia and particularly from Philippine . and his father met his mother in Germany..

He said in more than one occasion that he had an invitation from his (aunts) to go and study medicine in Philippine… “ oh my father didn’t want that” he answered … when asked why he didn’t go there …

At the beginning of the university I only knew his name Laith and the above information.. but always wanted to ask if he is Christine or not ? I avoided this maybe because I (feard) that he is one of the many rabbadis that I alwys heard about that they had converted to Islam…

Until one day by chance … it was a military science lecture.. when I said at a semi-loude voice: “ he is Rabadi!) how this happened? It was when the #* (mukadam) or the # was reading the names of the students in the lecure…

Today … I walked with him the whole road from the science1 building to the science2 building where we take the military science lecture… we had alittle chat at the road and what I remember of the thing chatted about is him talking about the christmeas and how are you going to celebrate it here in karak later ma’an come in the time when I was rolling the photos in my mobile to show Laith the photo of my rabbits… Ma’an started asking: “ what pictures do you have on your mobile ? then he stopped me in photo of smakieh in that moment I said in order to get Laith’s attention this is the Arnon vally … “arono” he exclaimed and ma’an also exclaimed about this word the Laith said I know the restaurant arnon … we stopped there….

Another thing remarkable on this day …

I arrived at home nearly at 12:40 I remember talking with my self and saying : “ the doctor now probably haven’t came yet to the lecture or may be he is knowing kidding”! since this is the third time for me to skip the TOEFL lecture…

What I am planning to do on the semi-semister is to learn driving ! I don’t know who is going to do this but I am determined on this… before that I should remember to bring some article and lessons from the internet on this subject ( of course after the chemistry exam that if have time) next thing I am planning to do this week is to sell my cell phone and buy another smaller one because the one which I have now is very big and not really very practical…

Next of the things I would love to do in the semisemester is to make a photo archive of all the historical site in my town and the surrounding region. Eventually to make a website containing all of these information ….

I am also thinking of visiting the national archeologiacal musem in amman and also the roman theatre in the city centre … also to make a foot trip (if possible from ) al abdali to medtown I do not know if this is possible and moreover it needs a lot of planning for such thing …

M competioton on reafing 99 books is still on but not a little bit weak so read more and more and more and I hope that sister sisile will help me get to the books in the latin school in smkei in order to read many of these beutifu l books which I long to reading such finally I do not know how are the questions are going to be in the physics exam on tuedaay but I am sure that I will get a ful mark and I will work strongly lon making this come true.

The time now is 22:06 at night and I am now goin to continue my studying on physocs exam

Before I forget I will talk about my short trip that I made last day to bring some food to the rabbits from sanninh …

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A photo of the village from the top of the hill next to saihls house

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A photo of the church from the hill top it is not so clear because it was taken from a very long distance beside that when takinthe picture I wsn’t able to look at the photo which I ws going to take because of the sunlight which prevent a good view in the mobile’s screen.

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This is a photo of mr.ken, Abu Hans, in after the conversation class which we took on Wednesday in the picture he is preparing to take a picture of us for he said that he is going to send it to his family in Canada where they wanted to know about his life in smakiie if it is only concerned about school

10.09.2008 Chris, An American Volunteer Arriving at Smakieh in the House of M Hijazeen (2nd day)

*. At 9 o’clock this evening, I went to M Hijazeen house. Yesterday, I arranged with the new guest of Smakieh, the American Chris, to visit my aunt. He wanted to install an internet connection at his house. I suggested that he share a connection with my cousin. Although I wasn’t sure of what I was talking about, I just wanted to socialize with this different human being. Today, however, I did my calculations again. Why should I force myself on him? Certainly, he will look down at me. Doesn’t a proverb say, “Easy come, easy go!” If Moabite gave his services quickly and without any considerations to his own needs, will this make Chris respect him? I don’t think so. What if you think that you have good English when compared to inhabitants of a desert village like Simakiyya? Chris is not searching for fluent English speakers. He is searching for someone who is not interested in improving or even learning English. This way, he will be improving his Arabic more effectively. Are you good at dealing with your fellow Jordanians? How could you deal with a person from a different culture? Do you have a lot of friends? You don’t have. How could you gain the friendship of a foreign person?

As a result, Moabite didn’t talk to Chris at all this evening. At the beginning of the 10 minutes visit to M’s house where Chris was invited to dinner, Moabite apologized to Chris because his cousin is in Amman (my cousin is bringing his wife from her family’s!). Next thing, he asked Chris how his first day of School was. “Students here are much different than of Irbid.” It was the only good sentence that he said that contained no compliments. Moabite acted like a smart ass and said, “These are the type of people Lawrence of Arabia lived with!” Wow! How informative are you Moabite. Do you know anything about this Lawrence except the Movie you watched? Do you know any worth-mentioning point about this obviously great man?! Why are you opening subjects you are not well-informed about? “Yes,” Chris answered. What could he answer other than this? Moabite then realized how he is raining this fresh visitor of not very accurate information. “Bedouins!” Chris cleverly deduced. Moabite was touched when he heard Chris’s answer. “How could he think of such a simple, concise, and 100% correct answer?”

After asking this question, Moabite sat silently. He talked not to anyone. M was talking to his sister-in-law, Umm Ud. M wife was occasionally talking to Moabite. “What does your brother study? You study in Jordan University? How many years have you been studying?” Moabite was asked. The TV was turned on. It was a Syrian soap Oprah. “A person doesn’t get bored with all of these shows!” M’s wife commented to Moabite. Moabite didn’t have an answer and only gave a smile. He ignored the TV and tried to figure out what important subject is preventing M from talking to Chris. It seemed that M was discussing something very important with Umm Ud. Moabite lost hope in M. “He won’t talk to Chris! It is non of my business. I am not talking to him.” Moabite thought, “I have many questions to ask, but I won’t to make any further damage to my image in front of Chris.” The situation continued this way for more minutes. There were about 6 children in the room. All of them were, as yesterday, looking at Chris. This time, however, TV shared attention with Chris. Children would look at the TV, then quickly look back to see how Chris is reacting to whatever is shown on the Channels. The situation continued this way. “M,” M’s wife grabbed her husband’s attention. “You have a guest!” He sounded like a mother banishing her son. “Talk to him!” M was very interested in his conversation that he didn’t even respond. He just continued speaking. Moabite kept silent. Chris tried to take interest in the TV. Chris tried to smile between now and then.

Finally, Chris said in broken Arabic words that he was tired. He left and Moabite followed him as a child follows his father. They walked together to Chris’s house. It was less than 50 meters away. Moabite, still, didn’t say a word. Chris commented how the sky is clear. It seemed that Chris was anxious because he didn’t correctly locate the hand of the house outside gate. “Nice to meet you!” Moabite said just before Chris was about to disappear behind a wall. Chris responded the same sentence. “You know something?” Moabite almost shouted to grab Chris’s attention because Chris almost arrived at the door of his house. Chris stopped and walked toward Moabite as if he waited Moabite to say something. “I don’t know you name yet!” Moabite commented. How ironic? Moabite had spoken with Chris for hours and hadn’t asked him about his name! “Chris!” Chris simply answered. “I…” Moabite muttered. Chris understood Moabite and answered after little hesitation, “Moabite!”.

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p>Moabite continued walking toward the direction of the house of his aunt, he said at last, “Nice to meet you!” How irrelevant! Moabite didn’t know what to say! The same sentence was repeated from the yard of the house. Moabite went to the Layer’s house to check what happened with the potential buyer of their land in Ws. He didn’t find the layer. Later that evening, the Layer called them and told them that the buyer thought that the land is very tall in length. Moabite, courageously, called Hussien and told him that they only wanted to sell one piece of land. Hussien said that he only wanted to buy the two. “Put yourself in our place, will you sell the two pieces and put the money in bank?!” After hearing this great explanation, Hussien didn’t comment anymore. Moabite continued, “If you happened to want to buy the land, call us!” Next and lastly, “Thank you Abu Sa’ed!”.

10.09.2008 Chris, An American Volunteer Arriving at Smakieh in the House of Mukhles Torman Hijazeen (2nd day)

*. At 9 o’clock this evening, I went to Mukles Toman house. Yesterday, I arranged with the new guest of Smakieh, the American Chris, to visit my aunt. He wanted to install an internet connection at his house. I suggested that he share a connection with my cousin. Although I wasn’t sure of what I was talking about, I just wanted to socialize with this different human being. Today, however, I did my calculations again. Why should I force myself on him? Certainly, he will look down at me. Doesn’t a proverb say, “Easy come, easy go!” If Moabite gave his services quickly and without any considerations to his own needs, will this make Chris respect him? I don’t think so. What if you think that you have good English when compared to inhabitants of a desert village like Simakiyya? Chris is not searching for fluent English speakers. He is searching for someone who is not interested in improving or even learning English. This way, he will be improving his Arabic more effectively. Are you good at dealing with your fellow Jordanians? How could you deal with a person from a different culture? Do you have a lot of friends? You don’t have. How could you gain the friendship of a foreign person?

As a result, Moabite didn’t talk to Chris at all this evening. At the beginning of the 10 minutes visit to Mukhles house where Chris was invited to dinner, Moabite apologized to Chris because his cousin is in Amman (Daniele is bringing his wife from her family’s!). Next thing, he asked Chris how his first day of School was. “Students here are much different than of Irbid.” It was the only good sentence that he said that contained no compliments. Moabite acted like a smart ass and said, “These are the type of people Lawrence of Arabia lived with!” Wow! How informative are you Moabite. Do you know anything about this Lawrence except the Movie you watched? Do you know any worth-mentioning point about this obviously great man?! Why are you opening subjects you are not well-informed about? “Yes,” Chris answered. What could he answer other than this? Moabite then realized how he is raining this fresh visitor of not very accurate information. “Bedouins!” Chris cleverly deduced. Moabite was touched when he heard Chris’s answer. “How could he think of such a simple, concise, and 100% correct answer?”

After asking this question, Moabite sat silently. He talked not to anyone. Mukhles was talking to his sister-in-law, Umm Udai Torman. Mukhles wife was occasionally talking to Moabite. “What does your brother study? You study in Jordan University? How many years have you been studying?” Moabite was asked. The TV was turned on. It was a Syrian soap oprah. “A person doesn’t get bored with all of these shows!” Mukhles wife commented to Moabite. Moabite didn’t have an answer and only gave a smile. He ignored the TV and tried to figure out what important subject is preventing Mukhles from talking to Chris. It seemed that Mukhles was discussing something very important with Umm Udai. Moabite lost hope in Mukhles. “He won’t talk to Chris! It is non of my business. I am not talking to him.” Moabite thought, “I have many questions to ask, but I won’t to make any further damage to my image in front of Chris.” The situation continued this way for more minutes. There were about 6 children in the room. All of them were, as yesterday, looking at Chris. This time, however, TV shared attention with Chris. Children would look at the TV, then quickly look back to see how Chris is reacting to whatever is shown on the Channels. The situation continued this way. “Mukhles,” Muklhes wife grabbed her husband’s attention. “You have a guest!” He sounded like a mother banishing her son. “Talk to him!” Mukhles was very interested in his conversation that he didn’t even respond. He just continued speaking. Moabite kept silent. Chris tried to take interest in the TV. Chris tried to smile between now and then.

Finally, Chris said in broken Arabic words that he was tired. He left and Moabite followed him as a child follows his father. They walked together to Chris’s house. It was less than 50 meters away. Moabite, still, didn’t say a word. Chris commented how the sky is clear. It seemed that Chris was anxious because he didn’t correctly locate the hand of the house outside gate. “Nice to meet you!” Moabite said just before Chris was about to disappear behind a wall. Chris responded the same sentence. “You know something?” Moabite almost shouted to grab Chris’s attention because Chris almost arrived at the door of his house. Chris stopped and walked toward Moabite as if he waited Moabite to say something. “I don’t know you name yet!” Moabite commented. How ironic? Moabite had spoken with Chris for hours and hadn’t asked him about his name! “Chris!” Chris simply answered. “I…” Moabite muttered. Chris understood Moabite and answered after little hesitation, “Moabite!”.

Moabite continued walking toward the direction of the house of his aunt, he said at last, “Nice to meet you!” How irrelevant! Moabite didn’t know what to say! The same sentence was repeated from the yard of the house. Moabite went to the Layer’s house to check what happened with the potential buyer of their land in Ws. He didn’t find the layer. Later that evening, the Layer called them and told them that the buyer thought that the land is very tall in length. Moabite, courageously, called Hussien and told him that they only wanted to sell one piece of land. Hussien said that he only wanted to buy the two. “Put yourself in our place, will you sell the two pieces and put the money in bank?!” After hearing this great explanation, Hussien didn’t comment anymore. Moabite continued, “If you happened to want to buy the land, call us!” Next and lastly, “Thank you Abu Sa’ed!”.

American Volunteer arriving at Smakieh

A few days ago, an American volunteer rented a house in Smakieh. It is the house of Sharea’ Hijazeen. His name is Chris. He will be both teaching English and learning Arabic at Hmood High School for boys– a governmental school. Yesterday night, I met him in the house of Mukles Torman Hijazeen.

Chris works with an organization called “Peace Corps”. “Peace Corps aims at eliminating the misconceptions that people have about the US” Chris said yesterday evening at the house of Mukhles Torman. What is more, helping promote understanding between the Middle East and the United States is but one side of the coin. “After 2 years,” Chris said. “I will be back in the US. There, I will be teaching my fellow American’s about the Middle East.”

Before coming to Smakieh, he spent two months in Irbid. He used to live at a host Muslim family. In order to understand more about Islam, Chris proudly and happily said how he fasted for five days. His next station was Smakieh. “I was astonished.” He describes his feelings when he found out some facts about this tiny southern Jordanian village. “In Irbid, I was taught how to live in a Muslim society.” He recalls. “I came to Smakieh and I found that it is an all-Christian village.” He regretted.

Mukhles Hijazeen and his wife, one of Chris’s closet neighbors, were very happy. Still, their happiness is nothing compared with that of their children. One of their two sons, Hamzeh, aged around 8 year-old, smiled as if he was sitting beside a king. Most of the time, the tiny hands of Hamzeh held the left hand of the embarrassed Chris. Hamzeh looked like a son clinging to the hand of his mother. You should have seen the embarrassment on Chris’s face when the little Hamzeh kept and kept holding his left hand. Moabite noticed a silent call of help in the eyes of Chris. Moabite, however, never allowed himself to intervene. Moabite thought that if there was anything wrong in the obvious huge compassion the child shows, then his parents are the ones who should react.

Moabite acted as a translator between Chris and this Hijazeen family. “I should make no conversation at all. This is why I was invited to drink a cup of tea, it was because they needed my knowledge of English.” Moabite told himself. Consequently, most of the time, Moabite was only doing translation. Occasionally, he looked at the faces of Muklish, his wife, and his 6 children. Based on previous experience, Moabite used to think that people, especially young children, stares at him when he speaks English. Wouldn’t you stare at a person who speaks a language you don’t know? But that night, not on any of the few occasions he looked at the family did he find anyone looking at his direction. All of the people present, young and adult, males and females were staring at Chris. All of the time, Chris was the center of attention like a singer on stage. “I am invisible!” Moabite thought cynically. Was Moabite upset because of being ignored? Not at all! He gets embarrassed whenever he is a center of attention. “Nice, I hope that no one is looking at me now, no one will be describing my English to Smakieh.” Moabite thought the way his society teaches. He hoped that no one would ‘envy’ him because of his English. How sad is that some people, in the 21 century, still believe in myths as envy!

Over a period of 60 minutes, Moabite and Chris drank 2 cups of tea with mint. The time passed quickly because there was always something to talk about. For example, how much does the organization pay Chris? Chris told them that he receives a salary of 170 JD. Every one present, except Chris and the little children, were amazed. How could it be that an American receives such a low salary? Egyptian workers receive higher salaries. Don’t they? Chris had to explain, for many times, what it means to volunteer. On the other side, more than 3 times, Mukhles and his wife made the translator, Moabite, translate to Chris stories about the Canadian family that used to live in that same house Chris is now living in. “In two years, they spent more than 100,000 JD. All paid by the organization.” Mukhles said amazed. His wife followed him to say how the Canadians toured not only whole Jordan, but also the whole Middle East. “Jerusalem, Syria, Sharm Sheikh…” She gave examples of places they visited. After huge emphasis on the salary issue, the conversation took a turn to discuss the Canadian Family. Both of the parents praised, Ken, the husband, a lot. They stated how nice he was, how he used to come and sit with them, and how different he was from his wife. Talking about his wife, Chris laughed about a description they gave of her character. They didn’t love her as they loved the husband.

In another instance, a hazardous subject was started; Politics. In short, political views of Chris will bring him publicity with a Middle Easter. He stated how horrible America’s foreign policy is. Later on, he described how America, not the American government, wants money from the whole world. In many occasions, he clearly stated the need for a change. In his opinion, laws in America only support the wealthy people (Somehow, I can’t remember this point exactly.) “You are voting for Obaman?” Moabite deduced easily. Chris didn’t object on Moabite’s comment. The conversation about politics ended when Mukhles wife whispered to him, almost stealthily, “Leave it!” Moabite laughed as he was the only one who noticed this warning. Muklhes looked at Moabite and said nothing. From that moment on, politics was history.

“I wash my clothes manually; I want to buy a washing machine.” Chris asked for advice. Mukhles showed him 2 types of washing machines. One of them was very plain that only rotated the clothes within it. It had no dryer. “You can get it as low as 50 JD” I translated after Mukhles. To my amazement, Chris said that this was expensive. He wanted to know if there were cheaper washing machines. Mukhles informed him the bad news. Later, Mukhles told Chris that he can take him to Karak city if he wanted to buy anything. I don’t believe that Mukhles will profit any money from Chris. Chris thinks that 50 JD for a washing machine is ‘expensive’. How could such a person afford hiring a car when he wants to travel? “I will pay his bus fee if we go to Karak castle together.” Moabite took sympathy at Chris because he thought of how an American can get used to living by such a very low income!