As I mentioned in a previous post, Amman became a multicultural urban city. Now, you can easily find restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world, more or less. To my delight, the other day I found a Chinese restaurant inside Majdi Mall, near the The University of Jordan. Seeing the two cooks were Chinese I decided to give it a try. I ordered rice with fried meat, mushroom and green, red, and yellow peppers. Lo and behold, I haven’t felt my taste buds this happy before. It was like a circus inside my mouth, in a good way. It has been two years since my last Chinese meal back when I was in Missouri. The restaurant is called Islamic Chinese Restaurant. On the menu, I saw they have another location in Irbid.
Another restaurant I tried was near my work at Rabieh. It is a Turkish restaurant at least that is what its name indicates; Ottoman. You can’t get more Turkish than that. I tried grilled minced beef sandwiches. Not surprisingly, these sandwiches are also common in Jordan, Syria Lebanon and Palestine. They are called ‘Arayes lahmeh.’ Ottoman didn’t disappoint at all. These grilled minced beef sandwiches were so yummy. If you happen to visit the Levant you have to try these sandwiches. They are tastier than Shawerma.
Opposite the North gate of The University of Jordan there are about four or five Yemeni restaurants. I think because of the war in Yemen many sought refuge in Jordan. So, I had to try one Yemeni restaurant. I entered one called Hadhramaut. I ordered a dish called Muthabi (مظبي). It is rice with grilled chicken and two different sauces, one of them is very hot. When the server got my food I thought there was a mistake because the food looked suitable for two people not one. I didn’t expect to get half a chicken with so much rice. I couldn’t finish my platter. The food was very delicious and tastes very much like Indian food.
Two weeks ago, I started my new job at a startup company in Amman. I am employee No. 00008. A new city and a new life. Amman is a very vibrant city with its 4 million residents. Since 1990 it became a hub for the Iraqis and now for the Syrians and other Arab nationals for different reasons. Yemenis, Libyans and Sudanese come to Amman for medical tourism. There are many Arab Gulf nationals here as well either studying or vacationing—since Syria, Lebanon and Egypt are not as safe as Jordan.
Because of the Syrian crises, many Europeans are volunteering and working in a plethora of NGOs in Jordan. NRC (Norwegian Refugee Council), DRC (Danish Refugee Council), ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development), IRC (International Rescue Committee) and of course the USAID to name a few.
My work is located in an affluent area. Besides the different nationalities of Arabs in Amman I see many Asian domestic workers around here as well.
So, what does this mean to the locals?
The short answer is Amman became super expensive. According to Aljazeera news Amman is the most expensive city (to its residents) in the Arab world.
The good news I love that Amman became a multicultural urban city. I walk in the street and I hear different dialects of Arabic from Iraqis, Egyptians, Syrians, Khalijis (Gulf), and of course Jordanians. The other day, I heard a couple chatting loudly and they definitely weren’t Arab. Their language sounded like Ethiopian or Eterian or maybe Somali.
The bad news it is not easy finding an affordable studio or one bedroom apartment in Amman.
I have been away from my blog for a long time and I felt I needed to write something. More to come about the new city.