Tag Archives: Eid

Eid Holiday and American Coffee

3 Preparing dinner at Mamoud's.
Preparing dinner at Mamoud’s

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.

Eid dinner
Eid dinner

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.

Dima's Eid sheep
Dima’s Eid sheep

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.

Dima's earrings
Dima’s earrings

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.

Dima preparing American coffee
Dima preparing American coffee

Deyala, Mamoud’s and Dala’s eldest daughter, is an architect and works for the architect Riad Anlkiswaini in Amman.

Deyala, Amira, Suzanne, Dima
Deyala, Amira, Suzanne, Dima

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.

Mamoud's olive tree
Mamoud’s olive tree
Merry-go-round swing
Merry-go-round 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.

Land and home deed
Land and home deed

After bidding our goodbyes, we got in Hanan’s car and headed back to the city.

 Amira and Suzanne
Amira and Suzanne

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.

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Abu Zraiq's published art history books
Abu Zraiq’s published art history books

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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.

Plants from Hanan and broach from Amira, Suzanne's kitchen window sill
Plants from Hanan and broach from Amira, Suzanne’s kitchen window sill
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The night before Eid

On the afternoon before the beginning of Eid, Hanan and Amira came over and Hanan worked on the canvas.

Hanan and Suzanne working before Eid dinner
Hanan and Suzanne working before Eid dinner

After completing a couple of hours of work we headed off to Zarca where Hanan and her family live. I was invited to join her family in a traditional Palestinian dinner: Upside Down Chicken.

The first thing Hanan did when we arrived at her house was to show me her beloved garden. It is a beautiful, luscious ‘harbor’ in the middle of a crowded overpopulated desert city:

Hanan in her garden
Hanan in her garden 

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Upon entering the front door of the two-story living quarters, I noticed a mural on the inside wall and asked about it. Hanan created it shortly after she married and moved to Zarca.

Wall mural inside Hanan's front door
Wall mural inside Hanan’s front door

We then entered her sitting room and had coffee. Amira’s friend Shaimaa came over and they invited me to walk with them to the souk. During Eid the souk is filled with numerous stalls lining the streets selling everything imaginable.

While we were walking through the souk I talked about filmmaker Jan Parkinson coming to Amman on October 23. I decided that during our walk I would switch to inanimate objects as subjects in my photographs. I began looking closely at the mannequins in the shops and lining the streets and noticed ‘adornments” on the mannequins that I would normally not notice. Such as, one had a green spot painted on the side of her nose:

green spot
green spot

Another had a cracked neck wrapped in plastic, another had a hole in the middle of her face and yet another had a plastic choke band and one third of her head cracked straight through.

The children’s mannequins were uniquely bizarre. Amira thought they were scary. Shaimaa agreed. I think I agree too.

childrens mannequins
children’s mannequins

Because I was getting strange looks from passersby while photographing these mannequins, I switched to children’s bouncy rides and balloons.

As we continued through the souk we arrived at an underground passage, with shops in it, that led to the Zarca refugee camp souk.
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After a couple of hours of ‘souking” we returned to Amira’s home and had an incredibly delicious Upside Down Chicken that Hanan had been preparing all afternoon. Thank you, Hanan! Happy Eid to everyone!