Tag Archives: Barber

Jabal Al Weibdeh – neighborhood essentials

The following is a photo of my new hair-do, blowing in the wind. Although it’s not apparent in the photo, my Elvis duck tail is just what I wanted. I invited my hair stylist in Arizona, Lorrinda, to visit me while I’m in Jordan, but so far she hasn’t accepted my invitation. Yosef is now my “trim” hair stylist. I couldn’t have asked for a better or more affable “away from home” barber!

New hair cut
New hair cut

The following is a photo of Yosef with Khalid. Khalid was sent to stay for awhile in Jordan by his father, a good friend of Yosef’s.

Yusuf and Khalid
Yosef and Khalid

Everything that is essential for daily living is available in Paris Circle. We have the Stop and Shop that sells every item a household could want or need, including a food counter with ready made entrées, cheese and condiments. Stop and Shop has every soft drink in the world, including canned coffee from Taiwan, kitchenwares and mouse traps.

Stop and Shop, Paris Circle
Stop and Shop, Paris Circle

The Arab bank is in the Paris Circle (for withdrawing and exchanging money) and there are plenty of cafes within the first block of the five intersecting streets that converge in the circle. We also have shops for stationary, Jordan Hand Crafts, Mosaic Tile (and ceramic ware), beads and thread, fresh fruit and vegetables, hookah lounges and restaurants, and an internet cafe.

Paris Circle fruit and vegetable shop
Paris Circle fruit and vegetable shop

The internet cafe, @Cafe, is owned by Amjad Al Barcothy (pictured in the photograph).

Amjad Al Barcothy, owner of @Cafe
Amjad Al Barcothy, owner of @Cafe

Today my mission was to get photocopies of documents. I thought I’d need to traverse a million steps to find a copy place Downtown. I was pleasantly surprised to find Amjad’s @Cafe in Paris Circle. It is the second shop from the Circle on the street next to Sandra Flowers and More. @Cafe charges one JD per hour for use of one of their many laptops, free coffee and photocopies for ten piaster’s per page, with a discount for seven or more copies. It is open from ten in the morning until one in the morning. Amjad and I had an enjoyable lengthy conversation, using the translator on one of his laptops, while Mohammad printed photocopies of my documents.

Muhammad Nassr, @Cafe employee
Mohammad Nsaar, @Cafe employee

Now that I’m familiar with the neighborhood, I feel more comfortable about branching out into greater Amman. The shops are, almost on the whole, owned by generation after generation of the same family. The family business has been passed down from one generation to the next, ad infinitum. Each generation has pride of ownership that is evidenced in the quality of their service and hospitable interaction. As I said before, I couldn’t have been plopped in a better place in Jordan than Jabal Al Weibdeh (pronounced, and sometimes spelled, Web-dah).

 

Crossing Paris Circle
Crossing Paris Circle

Each day and night I do some beading on the canvas. Beading through thick, heavy canvas isn’t easy, and the light at night is not good, but art must go on!

Canvas detail, sewing beads
Canvas detail, sewing beads
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“Funons” and barbers…

Tonight my internet connection wasn’t working so I went to a restaurant I haven’t been to before, falsely assuming I would be able to access the internet.

Front of Restaurant and Hookah Lounge
Front of Restaurant and Hookah Lounge
Entrance to restaurant and hookah lounge, front door
Entrance to restaurant and hookah lounge, front door

After ordering a cup of coffee, and placing my laptop in front of me, a waiter informed me that I couldn’t connect to the internet. Halfway through my cup of coffee the waiter asked for my laptop, took it into another room, and returned saying, “You have internet.” The restaurant is a combination hookah lounge and eatery. The walls were covered with large sections of mosaic tiles glazed with intricate Arabic designs and elongated sections of calligraphy. The wood sconces around the doorways and windows had limestone reliefs painted with elaborate Arabic patterns. Seated at my table I felt like I was a figural element of a pattern in a three dimensional version of one of my tapestry paintings. All of the tables and couches were occupied with women and men smoking hookah. The hookah looked inviting, but I decided to pass and leave hookah smoking to the “professionals.”

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After answering emails from the other side of the earth, I left to walk home. While passing through the Paris Circle I saw Ibraheem from the flower shop, with a batch of dry cleaned clothing slung over his shoulder. Tonight Ibraheem was carrying dry cleaning again. We said hello and he invited me into his shop to have coffee. I sat down in a chair near his desk, declined the coffee and (unbeknownst to him) had no intention of leaving until I found out if it is normal in Jordan for a man to get his clothes dry cleaned every other day.

Ibraheem's desk
Ibraheem’s desk

Ibraheem’s English is limited, and my Arabic is even more limited. My Arabic consists of pointing at objects while making facial expressions and asking “Why? or “What?” In response to my repeated gesturing towards his dry cleaning Ibraheem turned on his computer and showed me his Facebook page. This was the beginning of getting to know Ibraheem, as well as understanding the origin of the colloquialism, “You can’t tell a book by it’s cover.”

Ibraheem Wardeh
Ibraheem Wardeh

This is Ibraheem Wardeh: A professional, astoundingly unique, florist and highly accomplished DJ. No wonder he needs perfectly pressed and dry cleaned attire. Many nights after closing the shop he’s off to do a gig, such as DJ-ing on the performance stage at the Old Citadel, or being interviewed by one of Jordan’s primetime television stations. And Wardeh means flower in Arabic, how perfect!

Wedding flowers
Wedding flowers

Aside from his accomplishments as a DJ, his floral arrangements are not confined to flowers. His arrangements are what I would refer to as “floral performance experiences.” They engulf the participants at events in Spielberg-esque Rococo scenarios. He creates entire stage settings using furniture, lights, water, candles and unique luxurious drapery back drops. His clients range from the “everyman” to dignitaries. The following are some photos of his floral “arrangements:”

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See: https://www.facebook.com/brhom.wardeh1?fref=ts

After concluding that we are both “funon’s” (artists), Ibraheem introduced me to the owner of Ahmad Saloon, a barber shop a few shops away. After much hand gesturing and pulling of my hair, the owner, Yousef, agreed to trim my hair tomorrow. I want my hair to be all the same length on the top of my head and a duck tail in the back, like Elvis Presley. Who better than a great barber could do this?

Funons: Ibraheem, Suzanne, Yosef
Funons: Ibraheem, Suzanne, Yosef