My Amman

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I had the pleasure of being invited by Jordanian social entrepreneur (and self proclaimed “doctor of companies, governments and peoples”) :-) Maher Kaddoura, to give a talk about ‘My Amman’ at the pilot of NewThink, an initiative to spread a culture of positive action, a can-do attitude and entrepreneurship in Jordan, through inspiration, information, entertainment and networking.

So I locked myself up for a weekend (and a bit more) to put together a presentation that sort of sums up my experience with Amman, which was intensified during two years of working on the Amman Brand project with the Greater Amman Municipality.

Coming out of my “Amman overdose” wasn’t easy. I just have too many “Amman thoughts” mixed up in my head! But I decided to center the presentation around the dozens of comments I received to my my post here on 360east, when I asked people “What is Amman to you?“, adding to that some of what I learned in the branding project and suggesting some concrete actions people can take to better understand and connect to their city.

In other words.. it was a chance to do a “brain download” on the subject of Amman that I hope will put me at ease for while (until the next Ammani challenge comes my way) :-)




14 responses to “My Amman: re-discovering, re-engaging, re-connecting our city”

  1. MommaBean Avatar

    Great presentation. Funny thing is, I may be American, but I’m an Ammani. My kids are Ammanis. In fact, at this point, they don’t remember ever living anywhere else… If I wrote a book about my life in Jordan, I’d call it “The City I Love: Life Lived Between the Circles”. In fact, maybe that’s a blog post I’ll do in the New Year spirit! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Ashraf Z Avatar
    Ashraf Z

    Great presentation Ahmad, I love it and have shared it with so many people to just enjoy their city, their capital, their home …

  3. Ashraf Z Avatar
    Ashraf Z

    Oddly enough, I always do the 9 of the 10 tips when I am in Amman and I just bought Story of a city by Abdel Rahman Muneif a week ago …

  4. Historian Avatar

    Brilliant Slide show…

    I ask for permission to share it on my blog and my accounts.. :) ..

    Hopefully this will produce certain awareness of Ammani’s identity..

  5. omar maani Avatar
    omar maani

    Ahmad. You r a true Ammani. Keep us all engaged with your good thoughts. The more i talk to Ammanis the more realize what hidden passion there is for our city.
    Omar Maani

  6. Dalia Avatar

    Coincidentally, I just finished reading “story of a city” – the English translation (arabic one wasn’t available in our public library here).. I felt like a lot was lost in translation and asked my family to send me the original..

    I wish I could articulate just what Amman is to me.. But I can’t.. I haven’t yet decided.. I dont know whether it’s love or hate.. or if it needs to be one or the other..

    Amman is what it is and I’ve learned to accept it as it is.. You know how egyptians say once you drink from the Nile, you keep coming back.. Well I’m sure Amman has something similar in its water (maybe the mythical kafoor we keep hearing about? :P ), because no matter how hard I tried, I could not stay away – and probably will never be able to :)

  7. hatem abunimeh Avatar
    hatem abunimeh

    As always you have a sepcial way of saying and doing things in a very polished fashion, this project about Amman is one added pus to your unique contribution to the blogsphere. I really enjoyed reviewing your slide show, you can tell that a lot of effort was put into it.We are lucky to have an Ammani like you.Thanks.

  8. ramsey Avatar

    very interesting post ahmad. amman is an interesting place, with so much potential. its painful sometimes watching much of the potential being wasted.

    i would love to see more about how you went about trying to figure out what amman is inorder to re-brand the city. i’ve heard there are some incredible stories, and a huge amount of information your team has collected.

    my father started an oral history project here 30-odd years ago, but wasn’t able to do much with it. i think amman needs a storycorp-style project to allow Ammanis to speak their own stories.

    one thing that drives me nuts is people sure like to complain, but few like to do anything about. connecting talking with action here would lead to a better place for all of us to live.

  9. Humeid Avatar

    Thanks you ALL for your encouraging comments.

    Historian: feel free to embed the presentation your blog. You can take the embed code from the bottom tool bar of the presentation above.

    Mayor Omar Maani: Thank you sir for your comment here. I hope the hidden passion is unlocked and translated in behaviors and actions. The ‘new Amman’ thinking needs a critical mass of people pushing for it. Thanks again.

  10. Ruba Avatar

    Amman for me is like a movie to be continued…you are never really there when you are in Amman..

  11. Aref Al Farra Avatar
    Aref Al Farra

    Thank you Ahmed. Beautiful and inspirational presentation…

  12. Heba Avatar

    Your presentation was so genuine Ahmad, you know when you watch or read something and you feel totally disconnected from everything around you?!
    this is exactly how I felt when I finished flipping through the presentation and there were no more slides left!
    especially the downtown slides, I felt I was walking up with my husband towards Tal3et el Shabsoogh, visiting one of Amman’s oldest shoe makers shop, eating knafeh at Habiba, or sitting at Hashem’s special “loajue/ center” table enjoying their sugar saturated brewed mint tea, after a delicious traditional falafel, fool, homous and msaba7ah meal, on a cold winter night :)
    Your presentation succeeded in making me want to re-connect with my city.
    So thank you for that!

  13. Rula Avatar

    Superb presentation that highlights the many contradictions of this huge melting pot of our society.

    It gives me hope to see that strategies are being put into actions that will make our home as great as it’s inhabitants.

    HaPpY New Year Ammani’s & watch out for that broken pavement :-)

  14. shalabieh Avatar

    Nicely done Ahmad. However I am still skeptical about the Ammaneh and how it is implementing its vision. So many misteps already. The intentions good but actions speak louder than words.

    And having moved to Beirut I am so happy to say Amman is light years ahead so I laughed when you compared us to Beirut. Wait for the blog post about the two cities… it is coming.

    I miss and love Amman, my city. And I am proud to say أنا عمانية!