Memories of a hill

My favorite hillRoba just killed me with her post showing a recent picture of a Jabal al-Weibdeh hill. She’s made me homesick to no end.

The reason is simple. This very spot occupies a special place in my heart. My memories of this hill go back in time to maybe seven years ago when my friend Mariam lived in Weibdeh. I remember vividly how Mariam, her two sisters Elena and Hania, and myself used to buy warm, fresh falafel from Abu Mahjoub in the same neighborhood and then sit for hours on this hill talking about our heartbreaks and trying to foresee what life had in store.

Things changed after Mariam’s family moved out of Weibdeh. Time passed and I failed to stop by this special hill for a while. Then, some years later, Jeff moved into the same neighborhood (some 100 meters from the hill!) and this very special spot came back into my life. Jeff and I used to spend endless hours there, talking about our future plans while trying to figure out the right way to organize our big fat Jordanian wedding.

The attachment to the hill grew when I worked with the crew from Irish TV, RTE two years ago during the first weeks of the Iraq War. The producer was looking for a nice spot in Amman to shoot his report from and I had the answer. I dragged them to this spot. The reporter stood on this hill with his microphone, the camera whirred away and he gave his report about the Jordanian reaction to the war next door. That day I felt just right. I knew it was about time to give this spot some recognition. I knew It was about time to give back to this place some of the joy it gave me. [Click image to enlarge Roba’s picture]

6 thoughts on “Memories of a hill”

  1. You are homesick?! I lived in Weibdeh for 12 years. I grew up there eating Shawerma Sultan (which I believe is gone now) and Abu Mahjoob, buying pencils from Maktabit Philadephia (can’t remember the Armenian guy’s name now) or Maktabit Al Jam3a and Kinder Surprise Eggs and Slush Puppy from Safeway (the old one that is Al Iskan Bank last I checked). Damn it even the “muntazah” had water in its fountain at one point in time. Now, even our house has become an office and Akram il majnoon no longer stands on the door to the building.

  2. Oh and my memories with Al Weibdeh were renewed in my last 2 summers in Jordan before I left. I did a major part of my pharmacy internship in Luzmilla.
    Eh…good times…

  3. My beloved jabal weibdeh! uff the number of dates on that hill, the best view is at night, you look at jabal alAshrafieh from there, and it is very silent yet it very alive when you think that every light you see has a story… Natasha… cheers for Jabal Webdeh!

  4. I will always think of tiny Jabal Al-Weibdeh as home. My roots there go way back; not only did I grow up in Al-Jabal, my mom also grew up there in the same neighborhood! My grandparents were amongst the first people to build there in 1948 after you know what. They tell me that when they first settled there there used to be bats flying at night all the time.
    I recognize this picture very well, standing in that very spot, the boys and I cooked up many mischievous ideas (usually involving throwing stuff at the cars below). Just a little bit down the road is the church where my parents got married, where I was baptized, confirmed and had my first communion. To the other side is the creepy Dirar Bin Al-Azwar school for boys with its stick wielding 7ares who kicked us out from the playfield a million times… Now you made me home sick too.
    Natasha, where did Jeff live in Al-Jabal? My family has rented appartments there to Westerners as far back as I can remember.

  5. WOW….People stop. Making me sooo homesick. I left Jabal Alweibdeh when I was 16 years old in 1957. I ate the Falafel sandwich at Abu Mahjoub and attended Terra Sancta few yards from where my parents lived and built their beautiful red stone home infront of the Rabita al Kutab location. I loved that area so much that I bought the house from my brothers after my parents passed away and built two stories over it as well. I still go there as often as I can. I believe that the Weibdeh is the center of all Cultural events in Amman and a small distance from where the new American University(Abdali) is being built. Sounds to me all future intellectual and cultural events may come out of the Weibdeh.

  6. WOW….People stop. Making me sooo homesick. I left Jabal Alweibdeh when I was 16 years old in 1957. I ate the Falafel sandwich at Abu Mahjoub and attended Terra Sancta few yards from where my parents lived and built their beautiful red stone home infront of the Rabita al Kutab location. I loved that area so much that I bought the house from my brothers after my parents passed away and built two stories over it as well. I still go there as often as I can. I believe that the Weibdeh is the center of all Cultural events in Amman and a small distance from where the new American University(Abdali) is being built. Sounds to me all future intellectual and cultural events may come out of the Weibdeh.

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