Stories from Amman


Raising the Bar

By: Scott Lashinsky
September 20, 2018

Sarah Abu Shawish (sha-weesh), of Amman, Jordan, is using her love for sports to challenge commonly-held gender stereotypes throughout Arab society and help her country progress toward gender equality.

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Sculpting Smiles

By: Scott Lashinsky
May 10, 2018

Bassem Nabeel of Amman, Jordan, enjoys creating clay caricatures in hopes of bringing smiles to his customers.

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Reincarnating Beauty

By: Scott Lashinsky
January 16, 2018

The kingdom of Jordan has a long, storied history and tradition. But the collective understanding of the nation’s heritage in the eyes of its millions of residents can be anything but cohesive. This is where Firas Khlaifat and his company, Jordan Heritage, come in. Jordan Heritage exists to help give Jordanians a common understanding of their past and a shared ambition for their future through the research, documentation and promotion of Jordanian heritage—a type of reincarnation of beauty, in Firas’ words.

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Jolly for Jerky

By: Scott Lashinsky
June 28, 2017

For Issa Dababneh of Jolly Man Beef Jerky in Amman, Jordan, making beef jerky is more than a business—it’s a passion. Raised as the son of an owner of a grocery store chain in Chicago, a young Issa was given an ultimatum by his father about his habit of consuming the stores’ stock of beef jerky: Buy it, stop eating it, or make it yourself.

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Gridiron Dreams

By: Scott Lashinsky
January 26, 2017

Middle Easterners are some of the biggest football fans in the world—football as in soccer. But Hussam Al-Yaseen, a pre-med student who founded the Jordan American Football League (JAFL), hopes to see American football become just as popular in his Arab homeland. Learn how he came to discover and fall in love with the sport and how he is helping to spread football culture in Jordan.

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The Beatboxing Baker

By: Scott Lashinsky
August 18, 2016

Abood_SOOCHip-hop and bread. These are seldom spoken in the same breath. But for Abood Aladham, who works in a bakery by day and beatboxes by night, these are life. Hear Abood’s heart for Jordan’s hip-hop community—particularly for younger up-and-coming beatboxers—how he founded the Jordan Beatbox Championship, and about his dreams for using his passion for beatboxing in less conventional ways to impact the community around him.


Nancy the Mercedes

By: Scott Lashinsky
July 24, 2016

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Previously, we shared the story of Gaith, a twenty something businessman who quit a successful job in the insurance business to pursue a love for books. In this week’s audio story, learn more about the vehicle—quite literally—that drives Gaith’s Books on the Road mobile bookstore initiative: a 1974 Mercedes 200 named Nancy.


Books on the Road

By: Scott Lashinsky
July 14, 2016

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After graduating college, Gaith Jann became a successful insurance risk analyst in his native Jordan. But after only a few years he became jaded by the business world, which left him hungering for a more meaningful life. Enter a love for books. Follow Gaith’s journey from a twenty something businessman to an unorthodox street librarian who sells books from his 1974 Mercedes.


Tambi’s Trail

By: Scott Lashinsky

Although Tambi Jalouqa, a 35-year-old software architect from Amman, Jordan, spends most of his days behind a computer desk, a lot of his free time is spent in more extreme ways—behind the bars of an off-road cycling machine. Learn how this trailblazer is helping pioneer the sport of mountain biking in his native Jordan with the help of both local and foreign friends who share his passion for extreme sport.

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Ditching Class

By: Katy Gilbert

Ping Pong, P.E. and ditching class. Majd shares her memories from High School in Jordan.


Keys In The Car

By: Katy Gilbert

Nifer left her keys in the trunk of her car. What happened next is surprising.


Refugees

By: Katy Gilbert

Samia works with Iraqi refugees in Amman, Jordan. What kind of life do they live?


Cross Religious Dating

By: Katy Gilbert

Sevan shares of the tangled mess of love, religion, culture and family. And he shares the secret of his first and only love.


At home…until I had to leave

By: Katy Gilbert

Ali tells his story of social activism in the Middle East but like most stories in the world, that was only the beginning of the story.


For me it was worth it

By: Katy Gilbert

Aminah has dedicated her life to her passion… the environment. But her degree from NYU is not in environmental studies- but in education. And her job is making all-natural, vegan soap.


Upcycling

By: Katy Gilbert

Hana is an upcylcing artist in Amman, Jordan. She has bracelets, necklaces, lanterns, lamps- you name it- all made from trash.