On Eid (October 15), I was invited to Hanan’s brother’s house for dinner. They live near the airport in what is considered the countryside, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Mamoud’s wife Dalal and daughters Deyala and Dima helped prepare the festivities and meal.
Dima decorated a corner of the entry room with miniature stuffed sheep and necklaces displayed on a sheep skin. Sheep play an important role during the five days of Eid. People who can afford to buy a live sheep (approximately 300 JD) purchase one or two the night before Eid from one of the temporary corrals set up on the highway access roads and in town. The sheep are butchered on the spot and packaged. The meat is handed out to the poor during the five days of Eid when they knock on the gift giver’s door.
Eid is the time of year when family members and good friends visit each other’s homes and partake in meals and sweets. On the first day of Eid I was a grateful guest at the Mamoud Khalidi home. Mamoud prepared the upside down chicken and showed it to me before it was popped into the oven.
Dima, Mamoud and Dala’s daughter, placed a basket filled with her handmade jewelry on the coffee table and asked me to choose two pairs of earrings as a gift from her. I gladly accepted and chose a beautiful pair of blown glass dangles and a beaded pair of earrings with magnets.
After putting on the magnet earrings I immediately felt more centered. I obviously needed to stabilize my magnetic field. To celebrate my newly found center, Dima made me a cup of American coffee. The coffee was a real treat, I’ve been drinking primarily Turkish coffee since arriving in Jordan.
Deyala, Mamoud’s and Dala’s eldest daughter, is an architect and works for the architect Riad Anlkiswaini in Amman.
Dima wanted to show me the view from the rooftop. On the way to the stairs to the rooftop Dima pointed out their olive tree and childhood swing.
While viewing the surrounding homes and landscape we heard the Call to Prayer from a nearby mosque, about a block away. I asked about the origination of the mosque and Dima explained that the mosque was built by the neighbor for the convenience of the neighbors. There were at least three mosques in their small neighborhood. [Click on images to enlarge]:
After viewing our surroundings from the roof we sat down to a scrumptious dinner of upside down chicken with vegetables, salads and yogurt followed by Turkish coffee.
After drinking the coffee we topped the evening off with assorted candies and hot sweet tea. Mamoud showed me a copy of the deed to his home and land in Palestine. Many of the Palestinians I’ve met still have the deeds to their homes in Palestine. Many also have the key to the front door of their house in a Palestinian village and are waiting to return.
After bidding our goodbyes, we got in Hanan’s car and headed back to the city.
During the Eid holiday, Hanan invited me to join her while she printed a flax plate at Mohammad Abu Zraiq’s studio. Hanan is creating prints with images of a key hole and keys for the upcoming Seven Women’s House Keys exhibition at Artisana Gallery 14, January 8, 2014.
After returning to my apartment I brewed a cup of American coffee while looking at the plants and broach on my kitchen window sill, gifts from Hanan and Amira, thoughtful tokens of friendship.