A Poem For West Ammani Twenty Something Year Olds, Lately

A Poem For West Ammani Twenty-Something-Year-Olds….Lately

You…Yes you!
Stop fucking asking me if I’m going to the Sean Paul or Tiesto concerts.
(As if the city is abiding by an unwritten obligation that everyone must endure electronic and Jamaican reggae for an entire night just because a big name has come to town)
I don’t like their music, I don’t even listen to their music
Heck, I don’t even understand a single word Sean Paul says
And I’ve never even heard of Tiesto.
And if I did
I would seriously reconsider
Spending a tenth of my hard earned monthly income
On transient melodic gratification
That doesn’t involve an electric guitar

Besides…I have better things to do on those days
Like…you know…
Fold socks.

You…Yes you!
Stop fucking asking me why I don’t eat sushi on Tuesdays
(As if the city is suddenly discovering 19th century Japanese cuisine)
I don’t like fish; I like it less raw
Heck, if it’s not killed, dead, cooked and tasting seriously like chicken
Then I would seriously reconsider
Why anything costing more than
Several days of average looking food
Like shawarma, taboulah or my mother’s homemade magloobah
Should explicitly, illicitly
Interrupt my usual tones

I kind of have a delicate system
…It happens

So, you! Yes You!
Stop fucking asking me about clubs I never heard of
(Especially the ones with weird names that kind of sound like their enlightened with eastern philosophies but in reality were probably created by a college drop out whose father had too much money. You know, the ones who also open up cafes and hang Picasso knock offs just to call themselves artsy)
I don’t know any clubs; I don’t like clubs
Heck, if it’s not the kind of club that’s a sandwich or the kind I can wrap my hands around
And bump you on the head with, in hopes of inspiring your quarter-life resurrection
Then I would seriously reconsider
The fundamentals of a decades worth of bar-side idleness
Surrounded with cigarette fugitives
That look and smell

You! Yes You!
No, I don’t know about the latest, coolest, hippest, most-expensive fuel-guzzling car
on the market!
I drive my father’s lancer; my sister’s occasional civic
And if I had the change to spare
Sure…I would get myself a nice shiny pickup truck (preferably dark red)
But I swear to you
On all that is pure, holy and non-leaded
That you have just been exposed to the absolute limitations of car knowledge which I possess.
And if you know someone, who knows someone, whose cousin had a friend who saw a Lamborghini with a Dubai-plate, spin 500 times around Abdoun circle last Thursday night,
then good
But it just leaves me seriously reconsidering
The eternal wisdom reflected in a “Save the Planet” bumper sticker
Plastered on a Hummer
Or an SUV covered in Gucci decals for that matter

And really
It’s not my income that constrains me
Or the standards of living in Jordan
That leave me doing marvelous arithmetic in my head
But rather the overwhelming
Deep seeded fear
Of conformity

To walk like you
To talk like you
To smell, dance and drink like you
To be like you
To think like you
To walk with an undeserved sense of accomplishment, like you
To judge like you
To dress like you
Succumbing to the power of product placement, like you

Yes you!

But hey…
That’s what you do

And I’m cool with it

Just don’t feel it necessary to act as my daily reminder
of what I do and don’t do
why I don’t march to your voodoo
to make me feel like I’m the one whose out of place
with socioeconomic stereotypes
just because I didn’t drink the kool-aid
or wore conformity like a high school senior jacket
because in all honesty
I refuse to be a cliche
and I plan on keeping it that way

And I know…
having coffee with friends
just talking with friends
under a night sky
with unexpected cool air
that heralds in the weekend
might seem lacking;
tedious and un-elitist for your taste

but to me

it is completely

and utterly




  • Tiesto is a nice DJ, fish is not tasty in amman at all, sushi here sucks you got a point. lancer’s cool! rawweg mesh mestaheleh

  • Loved it !! it’s how i feel when i visit and how i will feel like a social outcast that everyone needs to correct and you are called a “6afra”

    Nas it all could be worse..you could be a JORDANIAN FEMALE!!

  • yea
    tell them.

    they went to see paul van dyke in beirut last year

    and when i asked who is paul van dyke..
    they said: yiiiiiiii ma bte3rafi? hahaha and i said..no wala into bte3rafo..hahaha ..

    the prices in lebanon are much cheaper..i cannot recall now but it was maybe less than 20 jds..

    the year before it was armin in distant heat..70 jds per ticket

    believe it or not 90% of those who attend these concerts just go to show off and to talk about it the day after.. who was there and who wasn’t

    some kind of a circle you have t be in..i try to put some sense in the heads of those who concern me..but ..man they are like brain washed..

    the only concert i was really excited to go to was Bryan adams in 2004

  • “but to me

    it is completely

    and utterly



    well-said. loved it all…i’ve just started my short stay in jordan and its exactly as you put it. Everyone wants to take me to the fancy restaurants and cafes in amman to eat italian, chinese, and everything else that isn’t Jordanian. They tell me its the best thing here and I disagree..I tell them all i want is a nice spot with a nice view of the amman skyline, some good coffe with arabic music in the bakground and they laugh especially at “the view” part. the local stuff is taken for granted and all they want is to westernize. gal Mcdonalds is better than Shawarma!!ufft! So they punk me and tell me they will send me to the nicest spot with everything i want…where do we endup.. Salute… with American 80s music, no hummus no falafel no arabic food and ok a little view. it seems every place i have been to has played the “Happy Birthday to you” song at least twice. I went to another place where i was told there was going to be some good music and nice spot to hangout. I got excited prematurely,my fault because for some strange idiotic reason i thought it would be fun. We get there and seriously half the crowd had no idea who the guy was but he was”cool” because he played the guitar and sang in english! Seriously makes me not want to head out anywhere and whats worse is that its not only west ammanis!

    its sad when conforming is all they have going for them. When a trend is more important than who you really are. it seems like the slogan here is “Conform or Die Trying”
    im afraid it will never change.

  • i can see ur point … but come on … what do u want them to talk abt ? politics ?? economy ?? Cultural rising ? since when are all of these more important than music … social habits or cars or whatever ???

    we are without anything to say or do … a hopeless nation … so if ur being ass-kicked ,,, some people will say “I am sad i wont forget” and some would think they should laugh abt it and just have fun trying to forget … its a choice … you dont have to like all choices but at least you have to respect them !

    this is the 21st century … everyone is watching ya but ur on ur own ! do whatever u like to do …

  • Bro…

    i usually choose not to comment, since i see u almost everyday, n its more reasonable and convinient to talk it through… yet this one was unbelievable that i had to speak directly…

    i usually read the comments, but i scrolled all the way to the bottom of the page to tell ya bravo ya m3alem… keep impressing me more bro… you sure know i can relate, most of the times:)

  • This is really good Naseem…

    When I came to Amman last time I was craving to speak Arabic just to be met by English speaking pretentious Ammanis who say 10 words in English and inject an Arabic word here and there, I felt sick.

    But hey, Sushi is good :). It’s funny how eating it makes you cool in Amman, IT’S JUST FOOD PEOPLE. F.O.O.D.

    And by the way, I would KILL for maghloobeh …. biddi mama :(.

    Good stuff Naseem good stuff 🙂

  • You won’t believe how refreshing it is to discover that there actually exists someone in Amman who thinks the way you do. So I’m going down in a week and I a m d r e a d i n g having to be dragged to this coffee shop that has the Arabic singer who sings pop or that coffee shop that is oh my God like So COOOL!! When I say ‘let’s go explore the old souq’, my cousins look at me like I’m nuts. And yes I know it probably isn’t the best place to be in for a girl but you know what, I just want to take my camera and take random pix of street vendors and bags of spice and crowded winding roads. To me, that is pure fun. I once stumbled upon an old Roman column in downtown Amman and thought I was going to die from sheer happiness because I love random surprises of exploration like that. For God’s sake, I live in Dubai. I don’t want to sit in a coffee shop, or go to the mall, because that’s been overdone for me. If you want to kill me, like really really torture me. Put me in a coffee shop that plays loud music so you can’t even talk and that serves shisha so you find everyone sitting with a pipe stuck to their mouth and staring at one another like dorks. I don’t do shisha and I don’t enjoy pop music and I hate talking over loud music – absolute torture, that’s what it is.

    Your poem is real. I could SO relate! So what are your suggestions for things to do in Amman besides shopping and coffee shopping?? Any cultural events I should know about? Programs? Something, anything please!

  • i agree with alias, its very refreshing to c that someone doesnt think like the majority do in jordan. that priorities are in fact in order..

    and like alias, i live in dubai too, and am sick of all the mazaher-loving, concert-going, all-day-shopping ppl all around. ma byezha2ou?

  • Marvelous

    You have just said what I was trying to say for many people in Jordan, but I failed to explain to them.

    Believe it, this is what is keeping me out of Jordan & not willing to come back.

    I was really happy to see the responses to your poem & I know now that there is people in Jordan that hate those things


  • I really loved the poem. haven’t been in Amman in almost 4 years now and I really can relate to everything mentioned in the poem. However, this behaviour of Ammanis is understandable since people like you and me only visit once a year leaving all these people to mingle amongst themselves , learning nothing and benefitting no one. Therefore, maybe if we go there more often and make an effort to mingle with these people and try to show them the other side of the coin then maybe things will get better. Let us not sit infront of our PCs in America, Canada , London etc and critisize people who are sitting in a country that we all abandoned!!

  • Thanks everyone for the comments; much appreciated.

    Isam: its not about what they “talk about”; this isn’t about subject matter. read again, you may have missed the point. 😉

    Sana: thanks for the comment but technically i live and make a living in Jordan, not abroad. And even if i didn’t i would, as should we all, reserve the right to be critical of my own country right? 🙂

    thanks again

  • Hi Nas,

    I do agree that you reserve the right to be critical about anything you want. But really aren’t we all the same: just moan moan and moan some more?? Why don’t we try to change things or atleast help change things. It sounds sad for us to always complain about everything!!
    I also didn’t realise that you actually live in Jordan.
    Anyway allah ysa3dak …

  • good stuff 🙂

    the only thing missing from the poem is the word douchebags .. i kept waiting for it to appear but it never did 😀

  • I absolutely love it!!! I’m new to your blog and this is a very refreshing start 😀
    Thanks! Keep it up…

  • calm down….
    it isnt worth it. i dnt go to tiesto nor sean and i like sushi and i dnt give a fuck about what ppl ask. and what do ppl around the world discuss????

    bil ra7a!

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