Archive for January 15th, 2009

A brief Servas visit

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Ramez and Becky in front of the Roman Theatre in Amman

Ramez and Becky in front of the Roman Theatre in Amman

We had planned a short time in Amman in order to arrange our bus tickets to Damascus. Amman was a farming village until it was declared the capital in 1924. Because it is such a new city, there really is not much to see in Amman. Rather than spend the whole day on the Internet, we decided to contact one of the Servas day hosts for a brief visit.

We met Ramez after he finished work and walked around parts of downtown Amman. Ramez is a public relations specialist at the Spanish institute and speaks Arabic, Spanish, and English and is learning to speak Italian. He is a Jordanian of Palestinian descent and he has a lot of family in the West Bank city of Hebron, as well as a few in Jerusalem. Unfortunately his fiancée had an exam at university, so we weren’t able to meet her.

At one point, we came across a sand artist, and watched as he made a desert scene with camels in a bottle of coloured sand. It was fascinating to watch. The sand is compacted in the end, so the scene isn’t lost by settling sand. The bottle is sealed with a layer of glue.

We shared a wonderful meal of foul (broad beans), hummus, and falafel at a local café that we would never have found on our own. At $4JD ($7CAD) for all three of us, the price was right too. After dinner, we enjoyed some of “the best kenufe in Amman”. It didn’t equal the Kenufe we had in Antakya (which is apparently where Kenufe was invented), but it was yummy.

Our visit was brief, but we enjoyed the opportunity to meet Ramez and get to know him a little.

Sand sculptor at work

Sand sculptor at work