Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Once upon a time in amman's international airport

I posted this a year ago in regards to my last summer trip to amman. Then I read post, and it triggered emotions in me that I wanted to share my experience last summer.

Not knowing what to expect or how it would feel like, I went through the gate (gate 56 in detroit airport) to the royal jordanian flight to amman. As soon as I got to my seat, my heart was pounding. I kept calming myself down that I'm not in amman yet, but somehow, I felt as if the plane was an extention of mother land, my beloved jordan.
I sat down, and closed my eyes because I sensed a moment of sadness and was worried that someone may see a tear drop here or there coming of a bald headed middle aged man. I started imagining who's gonna be in the airport waiting for me. Heart started pounding faster, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to resist my tears. I then calmed myself down, specially after this man sat next to me in the flight. He was a jordanian who is studying in the states, mybe 28 or 30 doing his pHd in industrial engineering.
The plane moved and the captain (3reegat was his name) informed us about the take off procedure and conditions.
The plane speed up and suddenly, I was on the air on my way home. Home, sweet home, ya tora what does it look like these days? Will I see my family very soon? well, it looks like it anyway, so calm down bo3bo3, calm down, only 12 hours that separate you from where your heart and soul are eager to be in peace.
I couldn't sleep in the plane, while the man next to me slept like a baby, lucky him, he visits jordan yearly, so he doesn't have that anticipation that I'm feeling.
Two seats away, this woman who is trying to comfort her baby, who kept crying. I felt bad for her. There was a kid (maybe 2 or 3 years old) who kept playing around, and the "modeefeh" begged him to move and sit down. The mother didn't like it, thinking that she owns the plane. Boy on a normal situation, I would thought of breaking the window and throw him and his mom off the plane, but today was a special day in bo3bo3's life. So no evil thoughts or wicked feelings are to be thought about today.
Then I say the shore lines of palestine, and my heart pounded faster. I could see cities and villages. Then the dead sea appeared and with it, my body had goosbumps and my heart felt as it was beating so slow that I panicked. The plane is dessending and I see the airport. We landed. I quickly covered my face because I was feeling a joy I never felt before for a long time. People rushed to get out, and I waited. My legs were shaking.
Then i got out. For the first time in 5 years, I am walking on a jordanian soil. I walked faster and faster. I starred at every face I saw, I was just happy. Then got to the money exchange booth and got my visa. I sat dopwn underneath a sign that said "No smoking" and started smoking. Heck, three other guys (airport workers) were also smoking in the same area.
I then went to get my luggage. An airport worker tried to steal my labtop, but I caught him. he looked at me as if there was nothing wrong, and moved on his way. I got the luggage, and went straight to customs.
"fee ma3ak eshi yetjamrak" a dude asked me and I replied "no". He then said "tfaddal akhooy".
Then I saw my dad. The old man waived both his hands to me and I smiled back. I worked so hard to overcome the tears in my eyes, last thing I want is him seeing me crying. I then saw my wife and my son. Suddenly, I felt in heaven. Dad, wife, and son all at once? If Mom was there, it would've been the real heaven.
Hugged my dad, then wife, and held junior. He started speaking arabic to me and I was even more joyfull.
On the road, dad was giving me a tour of "share3 elma6ar". There is gasr elsnoober. There is that big house on top of the hill that dad says it was transformed to like a restaurant or something. I see people on the sides of the road selling figs, grapes, and watermellon. There on the left side a ra3i with his sheep. I had a big smile on my face, while my heart was crying so hard. I just didn't believe what I'm seeing. Is it really me in amman? I mean wow, finally, I;m in amman?
A dear friend of mine whom I love and a dore, told me that "wa6an is where your family is" I dissagree with her 100%. You can take family anywhere in the world, but can you take what composes a wa6an? bayya3 elteen is part of that wa6an. bayya3 elba66eekh is too. Elkashrah is essential. the falafel, shawarma, ro3yan elghanam, zamameer elseyyarat, and many many more things that make up this wa6an.
Take all those parts, and move them somewhere else, and then, only then, I'll agree that wa6an is moveble.
Wa6an, what a sweet word, that we seem to fail to fully understand. It's not the flag or the piece of property you own. Wa6an is a house that is built on so many corners and stones. Take one out, and the base of this house will start detoriorating.


Summer said...

that was nice!! i hope you had fun this summer in Amman. i know what you mean that Al Watan cannot be whole without all the essential things in it, starting from the little boy on the flight to the fig man, the kashara, the falafel, and not stopping by breaking the rules of smoking is all one matter how close we become attached to any place we still feel that a piece of our watan is captured the whole watan picture the minute you stepped into that RJ flight. i enjoy your writing, very witty and sincer. Thanks..very nice!

Bo3Bo3 said...

thanks summer...i enjoy your posts always (except the chicken post, I am a lamb lover :-) ). It's amazing that the little things that keep us tied to homeland. We never appreciate it except when we are away from home.

Summer said...

i cook usually vegetarian, my husband is a vegetarian and i donot bother cooking meaty dishes, much easier and healthier.. but once i cook anything with lamb i will post the pics and the recipe and dedicate it to you!!

Haytham said...

Nice Post...

El 7amdolelah 3al salameh and... Hope you have good time..

by the way dont you have teen and ba66eekh there.. hehehe just kidding.


Anonymous said...

Very nice Amjad..I felt the same once, but when you come back and live here permenantly, i have a guess you will feel different..Nice to be here for 1 month as a vacation but to deal with people here every single day, Hell!

Phoenix said...

I miss Amman, I miss the real taste of food, I miss everything Jordanian. reading what you have writen, reminded me with everything. Very nice blog. Thanks for sharing.

Summer said...

Check out my new post, it is dedicated to YOU!

milanoroger said...

I like this article, but what would u say about a "sha3eb bela watan"? or a watan which is burning and bleeding the blood of its own people?