If you’ve seen an Indiana Jones movie then you’ve seen the Treasury, but trust me when I say, you’ve seen nothing. It would take 2 to 3 days to explore Petra as a city, and I’m here to tell you about our journey.

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Visiting Petra anytime soon? Allow me to recommend a stay at Petra Guest House. Managed and Operated by the International Hotel Group (IHG) in Jordan, it is strategically adjacent to the Petra Visitors Center and the entrance to the ancient city.

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I am with her …
She is a mother of four, the eldest is 27 and the youngest is 15, so if anyone understands youth, she does. With three children out of the nest (one is married, one is out of college and working, one is in college, and one left in high school) her time is more flexible than others as she now wants to commit her free time to helping out the community and giving back to the country.
I am with her because before she became a wife and a mother, she had a dream and followed it. With both a degree in child education and psychology, Lubna runs her own pre-school and is a big fan and supporter of the importance of early education, something that our country truly lacks. Early education from the ages of one to five years old deeply affect the emotional, social, and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become. We need to invest in the future of our children, and I believe that we need to have a woman in our parliament that will lobby for a major change in our educational system.
Only when you practice what you preach will you be able to make a difference so I am with her. I’m with her as a friend, a relative, a mother, a woman, and above all, I’m with her because I believe in a positive change in the future. I can’t wait for September 20th to cast a vote for change, and you should too! Vote for the candidate who represents your views and beliefs, don’t vote based on nepotism because that will take us nowhere, vote for change, vote for the children of tomorrow.

انا مع لبنى الدجاني
الأم لاربعة ابناء، كبيرهم عمره 27 و أصغرهم عمره 15 عاما، فابنتها الكبيرة متزوجة و أم لطفلة و ابنائها الثلاثة احدهم دخل معترك الحياة العملية و الثاني في المرحلة الجامعية و الثالث سيتخرج من المدرسة في غضون سنتين و يلتحق بالجامعة، لذا ان كان هناك من يتعايش مع

هموم الشباب و يتفهمها على اختلاف اعمارهم و متطلباتهم فلا شك بأنها لبنى الدجاني.
أعرفها قبل ان تتزوج وتصبح اما، كا لديها حلما يراودها و تمسكت به حتى بلغته فحازت على شهادتها الجامعية في التعليم المبكر و علم الفلسفة و ها هي الان تدير حضانة للأطفال فهي من اشد الداعمين لموضوع التعليم المبكر و اسس تنشئة الأطفال، و هو شيء يفتقر له وطننا الحبيب. حيث ان التعليم المبكر و على وجه التحديد من عمر السنة الى عمر الخمس سنوات له أكبر التأثير على الشخص من حيث التوجه العاطفي و الفكري و الاجتماعي و النفسي و على سلم تطور الشخصية لدى الفرد. علينا الاستثمار في مستقبل الأطفال و عليه فأنا اؤمن بضرورة وجود شخص في البرلمان التشريعي قضيته الاولى التأثير في اساليب و انظمة التعليم المتعارف عليها حاليا و التي برأيي في تراجع مستمر، فمن أفضل من لبنى الدجاني لاشغال هذا المنصب.
برأيي عندما تمارس ما تحب و تسعى له، سيكون لك تأثيرا و سيكون هدفك سهل المنال لذلك انا مع لبنى الدجاني، انا معها كصديقة، كأم، كشقيقة، كامرأة، و اخيرا و ليس اخرا انا معها كشخص ايجابي يسعى الى التغيير و التطوير في المستقبل بشكل عام و مستقبل ابنائنا بشكل خاص

و انا على يقين بأنه سيكون لها تأثيرا واضحا.

انتظر يوم 20/9 ، يوم الاقتراع بفارغ الصبر للادلاء بصوتي لها، لايماني بالتغيير على يديها، و انت عزيزي و عزيزتي انتخب المرشح الذي يحمل رسالة و يشاطرك افكارها، و لا تنتخب بناءا على معرفة سابقة أو صلة قرابة او غيره لأن ذلك الطريق مسدود. صوت للتغيير، صوت لأطفال الغد، صوت لقائمة المستقبل، صوت للبنى الدجاني.

I must admit, with lots of shame, that when I decided to visit the Raghadan Tourist Terminal to check out the Crafts District, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Frankly, in my 30 years living in Jordan, I have never been, and seeing that it’s located down town after the Roman Theatre I decided to drop any prejudice especially since the down town area in Amman is trying to keep an identity while it under goes renovation for the structure and design.

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It all started with a private screening and kick off reception of Amman Design Week on Tuesday the 30th of August! Walking and networking amidst rows and rows of watermelons while awaiting the arrival of Her Majesty Queen Rania, everyone was buzzing about two things other than the mesmerizing designs: the watermelons and the canapés.

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You need a vacation, and you want to escape and explore the beautiful wonders and colors of the Rose City of Petra, and yet, it’s going to be a long time before you get to cash in your annual leave … before you go into depression thinking once again on how much you deserve a vacation, look at the bright side, and relax in your seat while your fingers scroll over your mouse and take you into a wonderful view of the rose city, right there at your screen, in the comfort of your own home or office.
Her Majesty Queen Rania has made it possible through her endless support to Google to launch the biggest street view capture in the Arab world to date. “People all over the world now have a window into our beautiful Kingdom in the heart of the Middle East” said her majesty who invites tourists to virtually explore Jordan’s wonders via Google Street View.
Today, anyone with an internet connection can explore Rose-city of Petra, The Dead Sea, and the monuments of Jerash, Qasr Al Kharana, Mount Nebo and more. Google Maps is an attractive navigation tool and all the information embedded in the maps make it a great travel guide, too. Listen to this mesmerizing narration by Her Majesty which was created for Google Arabia for the launch of this global initiative.

No matter how many words I wanted to put this in, I just was left speechless once again over the glory in which our Petra stands, and I love that the whole world can share it too, so I am going to wrap up this quick post by quoting Her Majesty again: [this technology] “…provides a lens on the past. And when we understand more about each other’s stories and cultures and histories, we realize that we are more alike than we are different. That’s why we must preserve these treasures for future generations. They’re a doorway to our shared narrative.”

Sometimes for any reason what so ever; whether you own a car, or have an emergency, you may need to hail a cab – a practice I am not fond of at all, especially that I’ve been driving my own self places for the past 5 years. I really cannot stand Taxi drivers in Jordan, their cars are usually unclean, they drive recklessly, and most of all they are so moody, so for example if your destination is one packed with traffic or somewhere they don’t wish to go, they literally ask you to step out of the cab – I’m not stereotyping here but I think most of my readers agree that this is in fact a common problem in town.

This where both Uber and Careem would come to the rescue, both mobile applications available on iOS and Android are obviously competitors in the field, but primarily they offer the same service, the ability to summon a driver using your phone at affordable rates without having to burn in the sun/wind/rain or waiting endlessly for a taxi in the street.

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Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan turns 45 years old this year! On occasion of her upcoming birthday on the 31st of August, I am dedicating the blog post to the reasons why I love and adore our Queen – anyone who knows me, knows that I look up to her as my idol.

 

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When you hear the title Queen Rania, you think of a leader who lobby’s for empowering women, fights for a better education for children, and urges world leaders and governments to join her in the walk of making this world a better place through education.

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ShishaThe subject of the Jordanian government banning the Argeeleh (hubbly bubbly, shisha, or hookah) and not issuing new licenses for coffee places to serve them has become a matter of public debate. I am not saying I am perfect, I do enjoy an occasional argeeleh once every couple of months, but I usually enjoy it outdoors in the comfort of my own terrace, seeing as I don’t want to suffocate anyone nor want to be suffocated, I don’t even go to coffee shops or places that serve argeeleh because of the bad ventilation that causes dizziness, and an unpleasant experience. But seeing as I am admitting that I am not one of double standards, I am writing this blog post because some of the online reactions regarding this decision has really been getting to me lately. I have heard people say it is bad for tourism, really? Or is it because the ban of it ruin your leisure time and abolish your only source of entertainment?

In 2012 France was the number one country in the world with over 83 million international tourists visiting the country, and did they go there for the Argeeleh or the culture? To those of you saying that the ban of Argeeleh is bad for tourism, I have this to say to you: YOU ARE BAD FOR TOURISM! You are actually nasty for thinking that having Argeeleh is more important than the fact that we are diverse country, with multiple Roman ruins spread across the Kingdom, Petra one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Dead Sea one of the world’s nature wonders (in which we should consider ourselves lucky if we can retain for the next 50 years), Aqaba where divers can enjoy some of the most breath taking and unique corals in the world, and of course peace and stability. When tourists aren’t going elsewhere in the region, they still have a little bit of faith when it comes to visiting Jordan, so no, it’s isn’t the ban of Argeeleh that is bad for tourism, it is your ignorant mentality that allows you to think that sitting for a cup of coffee and a hookah is the reason behind people coming to visit Jordan.

Other theories have evolved about the government wanting to once again suppress the self-esteem/moral of the citizens, who seem to find some sort of relief in smoking argeeleh after work hours or during the weekends. Well you know what, if you must insist on having an argeeleh go ahead and have it in the privacy of your own home, I am not encouraging it per se, however, I am assuming that you are as much as an adult as I am, and you should own up to your own decisions. Just like choosing junk food over a home-cooked meal, you do own up to the consequences, weight gain, blood pressure issues, digestion problems, cholesterol, and the list goes own. If you must indulge in Argeeleh, do it at your own risk, where increasing the risk of cancer and diseases is something that you can live with, but please do not blame the government for banning your recreational activity, that is a public hazard, that doesn’t only harm you, but everyone around you, whether they are enjoying Argeeleh or not, and it pretty much creates an unhealthy environment all over.

Just take a minute, and think before thinking of the 101 come backs that you’d like to write in the comments to this blog post about how wrong I am – think of the money invested in treating cancer patients in Jordan which has an accelerating number of cases every year, I am not saying that smoking is a result to all of these patients, but I am simply saying, it may lead up to it, or cause it in some cases. Isn’t it, and correct me if I am wrong, the government’s job to provide better health care for citizens, by providing a better living environment?

While the people in the world are thinking of how to attract tourists to their country, how to improve their life style, how to move forward with their career, how to give back to the community, and how the government can make their country a better place, we choose to bicker over one of the most important decisions that our government has made, and we do it for the sake of non-sense. People who are arguing with the endless list of excuses (like the two mentioned above) are hypocrites, they want the best from their country and government, and when they get the first step into taking a turn for the best, they start complaining and making a big deal out of one of the best decisions ever! Think people, think of the bigger picture here, this is not just about you, your friends, your family, or your co-workers.

This is about a better community, a better city, a better country, healthier citizens, a better life style, and a turn for what I hope would be the best for Jordan.