After we buried my cousin, her male close relatives rushed to the madafa (diwan/divan or guesthouse) to receive condolences. Because Jordan is a tribal nation, every tribe has at least one madafa. The bigger the tribe the more madafas (guesthouses) they have.
The madafa from the inside. The furniture alignment and the seating arrangement is the typical design of a madafa in Jordan. I took the picture before more people arrive. During such occasions, the madafa become packed with people.
My cousin’s close relatives were the first to arrive. The next of kin make sure the madafa is clean and neat before the arrival of people who offer their condolences. People usually come in groups. Upon arrival, the group express their condolence to the next of kin then they sit. The group is then offered coffee and dates. Depending on how close an individual or a group to the deceased or to his/her next of kin they can stay between 15 minutes up to hours. The short visit is important for other groups to find place to sit.
People who sit near each other’ chat in any topic nothing is off limit. Even laughing quietly is not frowned upon.
The madafa stays open for three days, the period of mourning and receiving condolences.
The women mourns and/or express their condolences at the deceased’s house also for three days.
For three days, relatives bring enough food to the madafa and the house. In these three days, the house and the madafa are always full, maybe it meant to alleviate the shock for the deceased’s family.