Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Few Updates 

1) My brother and his wife visited last week during the Eid holiday. We had a blast touring Jordan. Some highlights include: Their lunch at Haret Jdoudna in Madaba, Learning how to cook Mansaf at the Petra Kitchen cooking class in Wadi Musa, eating Zarb (goat cooked in an enclosed oven on the ground) with the Ammarin Bedouins in Beidha for Eid and hanging out at the cave bar in Petra (a bar build inside one of the nabatean ruins) drinking St. George's wine. Yes, many of our highlights involved ingestion of some sort?

2) The new website I've been working on for iJordan was finally launched! It only took six months from start to finish in inshala-ville and still needs some major work, but it's a nice achievement to part with: www.ijordan.org.

3) I only have 2 weeks and 2 days left in Jordan.... Crazy.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Maa' Salama 

I'm making it official. Las week I gave my one month notice from iJordan and Jordan. In a few weeks now I'll be packing my bags and saying goodbye to the Middle East most likely forever.

It's freaky really. Much different from leaving D.C. from which I know I'll likely return to at some point. I am leaving Jordan to go back halfway across the world. Of course, I hope to come back someday perhaps to show my children but it's not likely I'll be splurging on a $1,000 ticket anytime soon.

I'm very sad. I admit that I love it here. So why am I leaving? I guess it's just time to go home. After a year of being here I still feel like I'm on vacation. Even though I have a good job, great friends, and the best boyfriend who I'm going to miss like crazy until he joins me on the west coast soon inshala, I miss my career path, my lifestyle, and my family.

The main reason I'm leaving is that I've found a great new job. After all the smack I've talked, I'm going full throttle back into progressive politics. I'll be starting as the Membership Director for the New Progressive Coalition (NPC) on February 13 in San Francisco.

NPC is an amazing new organization that brings together progressive entrepreneurs and organizations with political investors to help strengthen the Democratic Infrastructure and harness the left's potential. It's the brainchild of my former boss at NDN, mentor and friend Kirstin Falk and I'm so happy to be working with her again. I'm even more excited because in simple terms I will be helping good progressives to organize and get their act together, which is a cause I'm extremely passionate about.

So to all you Americans, watch out for me. Not to brag, but I'm feeling a bit more worldly. My eyes are open and I'm more fired up than ever. I'm ready to get back in the game and keep on fighting the good fight, even if I'm more confused than ever about what the good fight is. I'm also ready to live in beautiful San Francisco and have a normal salary again and not have to feel like a jerk for still not speaking good Arabic because it's sa'ab khatir and you try to speak to people bes culhom ba'aku englese back to you.

And to all you Jordanians, you have an amazing country. I'm really going to miss the laid back lifestyle, tough and passionate personalities, and a daily surprises from a country so rich with variety. You have a permanent new embassador who will tell everyone that they should come here at least once to visit Petra and Wadi Rum and spend time to get to know the real Arabic culture not just the propoganda fed to us by our fear-inducing administration. I will never forget my time here and how much I've learned.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hubbly Bubbly 

My sister-in-law just sent me this picture of my brother and his christmas present. Boy, it sure looks like he is getting the most out of the the apple tobacco I sent him!

I'm proud of him for hooking that thing up himself but I did try my best to give him good instructions. Here they are. Let me know if you have any suggestions:

Instructions for setting up Argeelah (hubbly bubbly):

1) Start your coals in a outdoor grill, fireplace or even directly on the stove. Make sure you have tongs to fish them out when they are red hot.
2) Fill glass base with water up to the first line (or 2/3 the way full). Do not overfill.
3) Fit metal shaft back on base. Make sure it fits snugly and is airtight. Getting the rubber stopper wet and twisting it on works well.
4) Attach your mouthpiece chord to the metal opening near the base of the shaft.
5) Put on ash catcher on top of the metal shaft. The ceramic bowl will go on top of that.
6) Place a small amount of sticky, flavored tobacco in the bowl. You only need a pinch of it.
7) Get a square piece of aluminum foil and place it over the bowl. Wrap the foil around the bowl, as to make it airtight. Poke about 10 holes in the foil with a toothpick or needle
8) When your coals are red-hot place 1-3 small coals on the foil and press them down on them a little.
9) It should take you about 3-4 sucks to get a good pull from the hose.Smoke until coals look burned out and then add new coals.

My brother and his wife will be here to visit for a week starting Friday, so I'll make sure they have many opportunities to brush up on their hubbly technique. Posted by Picasa


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