27 February 2011

Why are you living in Tabarbour and not in west Amman? Not that there is anything wrong with your choice but most of the expatriates live in the western part of the city.

Thanks for taking time to submit a question! There are several reasons, actually. Foremost is the fact that I was so taken with the flat itself that I didn't take time to reflect on the remoteness of the location. I moved here after living for one year at Al-Rabieh. I was put off that area because of the heavy security presence and the weekly Friday gathering of security and special forces personnel in front of our building to protect the Israeli embassy from "possible problems" following prayers every week. I was less than one block from that embassy. I chose, long before coming here, not to live amongst expatriates because I wanted to experience life as the Jordanians experience it rather than living in an insular community with limited exposure to Arabs. The experience has been both enlightening and very satisfying. I would recommend it to any expatriate. I have had some contacts with members of the expatriate community and sadly, none of them has been good. The few expats I have met "appear" to view the locals as something to be tolerated rather than embraced. Each of them preferred the company of other expats at the expense of experiencing life in the "Arab way". Hopefully, my experience was unique and not representative of the expat community, but it left a bad taste and I have since avoided most fellow expats.


Ask me anything


Ehab said...

I'm glad you're enjoying living in Tabarbour, but I notice that a few foreigners think that west Amman is not Jordan. I think it has its own unique Jordanian flavor, much like East Amman.

I admit I hate that east Amman/ west Amman thinking, as I find it rather discriminatory and exaggerated from both parties. I have to acknowledge the differences, but I hate how people use it to judge others, often incorrectly...

Done rambling.

kinzi said...

People asked us the same thing when we lived in Hashmi. A Jordanian had invited us to rent from their family, and it was the best choice to experience Jordan - there really wasn't a 'West Amman' then, Shmeisani was the cool and happenin place. Taborbour was where Hashmi folk 'moved up' to.

It seems now I have more experience with that side of town than many of my Jordanian friends in Um U, Rabia and Abdoun. But, for a non-hijabi foreigner, it was tough to be the 'first American' many had met.

Sorry you have had bad experiences with expats :(.

Ol Big Jim's Place said...

@Ehab, thanks for your comments. Until now I was completely unaware of the east/west Amman disparity. I find that I am welcomed by Jordanians, no matter what area I happen to be in. Just good luck, I reckon...

@Kinzi, my "bad" experiences with expats have been limited to a "feeling" rather than any concrete event I can point to. And that has happened only two or three times. Rightly or wrongly, I allowed that to color my attitude toward expats in general. Thankfully, I have interacted with you and a couple of other expat bloggers and those experiences have been great! Thanks for your 'virtual' friendship!