Almost all you need to know about jordan

Knowing the economic and political situation in Lebanon, I am getting messages DAILY from young Lebanese people wanting to relocate and live in Jordan. 

Here is everything I learned about Jordan from the 16 months I lived there. 

Yes, free of charge because your beautiful soul just visited on my blog. Big champagne to you. 

TAKE NOTES.

The currency: 
1 JOD (Jordanian dinar) is equivalent to 1.41 USD. 
My favorite OMT place is located on Second Circle Roudabout, Alawneh Exchange.

Telecom (20 JOD – 200 JOD): +77 is orange, +78 is Umniah, +79 is Zain. Zain is positioned as high maintenance, Orange is more youthful and always gives free tokens and such, and Umniah has crazy affordable internet bundles. You get unlimited calls locally in Jordan, my bill reached 200 JOD sometimes because of international calls. I settled for an Orange line after trying the three of them.
Since Lebanese people have a problem with bank accounts, make sure you check out Orange Money and Zain Cash, for money transfers.

Transportation:
Public Transportation (0.25 JOD): I took the bus only once and it was around 0.25 JD a lift.

Transportation Apps (minimum of 1.5 JOD): I always used Careems and Ubers, I would definitely vote for Careems in Jordan. Uber drivers would just cancel on you for no reason and are simply rude. A minimum ride fee is 1.5 JOD. They say Jeeny is good and affordable, but I never used it.

Taxis on the way (1.25 JOD): I rid a lot of those, they’re not the best but sometimes they’re quite nice. I once took a yellow taxi from 5th to 3rd circle and gave him a 0.25 JOD tip, he waited for me to give me a ride back and took off 0.25 JOD from my back trip. SO CUTE. Other yellow taxis were unclean, hygiene wise. I mean make sure you pick the right taxi. Just like Lebanon before the crisis, when cars still existed =p

Renting a car would cost you a minimum of 20-25 JOD daily.

Daily expenditure: I would say minimum is 50 JOD daily, equivalent to 70$. 

Accommodation:
El Weibdeh/ Jabal Amman (you can find good deals for 200 JOD – 400 JOD): I was honestly stuck in Jordan due to COVID and was hosted at two homes in 4th and 7th circle. Then moved to a hostel in El Weibdeh for three months. You can find it on Instagram @BaytJameelajo. Another affordable accommodation would be @dali.house.jo. It is also in El Weibdeh. A friend of mine lived in Canary Hotel, which is also an affordable boutique hotel in the heart of the city. You can also check out some buildings in 1st circle, or Rainbow street. 

Tourists usually love Jabal Amman; mainly Down Town, El Weibdeh, 1st and 2nd circle. Rainbow Street (the colorful pubs street) is on 1st circle. “El Balad” or Down Town old souk is in Jabal Amman. This is old Amman, looks like Gemmayze/ Mar Mkheyel/ Hamra. Cutlure is beautiful. You can find the Citadel and old Roman theatre. You can eat at Habibah and El Hachem restaurant.

Between 1st and 7th circle (500 JOD – 1000 JOD) It is preferred if you live between 1st and 7th circle, you would be close to almost everything. You can check @ammanapts or @sophoanimerprojects for cool apartments. Also, you can go to Lmeter.com or download Lmeter application for good deals. 

Lmeter.com

Personal Experience: I lived in 1st circle, 4th circle, 5th circle, 7th circle, and El Weibdeh (Yup I experienced it all). I would say 4th circle was the best location because it was close 10 minutes to Al Abdali and 1st circle and 10 minutes to Abdoun and other parts of Amman. Living in 1st circle was magical, I had a roof that over looked Jabal Amman – waking up at 5 AM during magic hour was OUUUUFFFF breathtaking. Living in 5th circle next to Four Seasons was quite practical also, I loved it. 

Abdoun is a bit lavish and pretty to live in. Never experienced it.

Downside of AMMAN: There is Absolutely no beach in Amman, Dead sea is the closest semi-beach and it is an hour far, so zero humidity in Amman. If you are a sea-person like me, and you are into hospitality jobs, relocating to Aqaba would be an idea to look into. 

Shopping: If you like Le Mall in Lebanon, go to Al Abdali Mall – AZADEA mall. You will find Zara, Bershka, and co. City mall is very similar to the Lebanese version of City mall (Ala yerhamo), you can find all types of banks on -1, so you don’t need to worry about visiting the banks during a.m. early hours. TAJ Mall in Abdoun is lavish and big. If you like Souk Zalka, go to Galeria mall, you will find lots of affordable brands that are not AZADEA. Also, for home deco you can go to TXON inside Galeria mall instead of driving all the way to IKEA. Soueifiyeh Village is the hub of local designers, art galleries, and well, you can say it is similar to Saifi village in down town Beirut. Mecca Mall is my least favorite for some reason. Safeway and Cozmo are my favorite for everyday shopping, especially the ones on 7th circle. HUGE! Thrift/second hand shops are crazy in Jordan, go to second circle. LOVE, LOVE LOVE those shops especially for my shoots. I ALWAYS find what I need. One Dollar shops are all around 1st circle, so don’t get ripped off elsewhere. Down Town Old Souk, “Balad” stores have crazy prices, so go down town and save your dollars. 

Gyms: Gold Gyms are huge but gender-divided. Magma gyms are super duper hygienic and CLEAN. I joined Rebecca Odeh’s gym, @rizeupsportscomplex, it is located in Business Park. It is quite impressive, and includes an olympic pool. It was new, clean, and digital. I would go to that. 

Restaurants: Buffalo Wings, Poppeyes, ROVERS, Habibah Sweets, Al Hachem, Yoshi Sushi, Romero, Red’s, Oliva, Umm Khalil, FAME restaurant, Café de Paris, Almond Coffee house… These ones came to mind. I used to order Poke bowls at work but I never memorized their names =P Oh well. 

Fame Restaurant, one of my fav Sushi places

Alcohol: Supermarkets do not include alcoholic drinks. To get alcohol you can contact @getspiritz or Alcohol joints directly on whatsapp (here is one contact: Alcohol Sweidan: +962796079112 delivery charge is 3 JOD). Thank me later.
PS: never carry an alcohol bottle on the streets of Amman, Jordanians usually place them in black grocery bags, completely sealed. 

Pubs and Clubs: My favorite is District and W Rooftop. Second favorite is Brix Pub. Corners is Rockstar-y. High Gardens is chill. The Warehouse is crazy lit. Rustik is cool. You can go to Dali, BABA, Fellows, Sheraton’s Rooftop, Block7, The Good Pub… I went to Clustr in 2019, the Jordanian version of BO18 (kind of), but it is closed during Covid. 

Hairdresser for women: Both in 5th circle, I loved Pace Et Luce @leon.el.hajj in Sheraton Hotel, and “Awad Salon”, located in the same road as Bristol hotel and Fame restaurant, @montaser_asfour in Abdoun is awesome and might give you a % off if you tell them my name. 

Nails for women: Ten of A Kind in Abdoun, @katalina.beauty.lab in Soueifieh, Nail Gossip in El Weibdeh

One of the coolest spots you can find in Wadi Rum

Outside Amman: You need to go to Wadi Rum and sleep overnight; NEED. I literally just wanted to mutate into a rock and stay there forever when I visited. I personally went to @artcampjo but there are really cool bubbles venues there that you can explore. Petrah is magical, I slept in Mariott Petra; MAGICAL! Aqaba is the Portemilio of Jordan, we rented chalets in Talabay many times, and slept in Movenpick Talabay: it was classy and a walking distance to Talabay. I hiked in Wadi Numeira, Danah, and rid some horses in Madaba. Ajloun and Jerash are beautiful and GREEN. Make sure you go down the zip line in Ajloun Forest and visit “Kal3it Ajloun”. 

Thank you Jordan for being my second home since March 2020, you will be missed xD 

Much Love you guys, 

Maya

How it Feels to be Lebanese Living Abroad

Living in Lebanon almost my whole life, and witnessing every single bomb, assassination, and war ever since – I never understood why Lebanese people abroad are so attached to Lebanon, whether it’s their Lebanese map tattoos, or their patriotic face book posts, their choice of Arabic songs, or their never dying habit of smoking shisha and their eagerness of following our local news more than the locals… I never got it.Whenever a bomb happened and someone abroad shared sad posts telling us what to do, I always felt like “shut up, you’re not here to talk, just go back to your Lala Land”

– Then corona happened, I got stuck away from Lebanon, (something I have always wanted to do, live abroad but never had the guts to do) and I finally got it. I understood how it feels to be away from your land when it needs you the most.

Snapseed

“الجمرة ما بتحرق إلّا محلّها”

When you’re a Lebanese living abroad, you suddenly understand what it means to belong not just to a land, but also to a group of people, to a way of living, to a shared pain, and to a common history. You suddenly miss food you always took for granted, places you passed by every day, and people you thought will stay by you forever.

When you live abroad, you appreciate your Lebanese resilience, adaptation, and pride. We have been through a lot, not just individually but as a nation. We are a flock of phoenixes rising up again and again, stronger and faster each time. We are clowder of cats, throw us anywhere and we will land on our feet each time. We are leaders by nature, with an innate pride. We will work anything perfectly, but don’t mess with our dignity; we would rather die from hunger than get tossed around.

When you’re away, you understand your upbringing. We don’t accept living in lower standards than the ones our parents brought us up to – at least when it comes to cleanliness of the environment. When we’re abroad, we understand that our survival depends on our hard work, we become responsible.

Also,

When you’re far and Beirut EXPLODES, you feel guilty, selfish, helpless, and heart broken. You feel guilty because you are safe, because you abandoned your land, because you gave up on it – guilty because you can’t help on the ground, you can’t pick the pieces, and you can’t hug those who hurt. You feel selfish – selfish because you sought comfort from all the pain Lebanon caused us, selfish because you wanted a better future outside your home, selfish because many people wish to be in your place but simply cannot. You feel helpless because no matter what you do, you are far. No matter how you feel, it is nothing close to what it feels in Beirut. No matter what you say, words won’t be enough. Your heart will be shattered, because no matter how adapted you are in your current city, nothing compares to Beirut. You will be heart broken to see your memories being wiped out, your people crying angry and hopeless, and your whole future questionable.

When you leave, you hurt just the same but you must keep going. You can’t take a day off, you cannot weep, curl up in bed, and feel sorry. You must work. You need to survive. Your new city won’t understand your pain. You decided you wanted to live in better conditions. You decided to live in another city, and you must cover your tears, build a wall, hurt from the inside, pretend to be fine from the outside because Lebanese people are the energy ball of the party; they are fun, sociable, and talkative – and your sorry ass won’t ruin that Lebanese stereotype.

So you offer help in any way possible. You donate. You share blogs, news, and posts. You tattoo the Lebanese flag on your arm, you listen to “Raje3 Yet3ammar raji3 Lebnan”, you invite your local friends over for some Lebanese food, you get them hooked on shisha, while keeping MTV Lebanon on in the background and your phone close for the latest news of what’s going on. You tell your Lebanese friends what’s going on in Lebanon and you constantly remind everyone how good HUMMUS is.

And if you stay away for long you eventually die, feeling guilty selfish helpless and heart broken – but #BLESSED that even if it did hurt, it could never hurt as much as those who were in Beirut.

M

My TVC Archive – Main Role Actress

 

More on my Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/mayaakra08

 

 

 

 

Snips Baked Chips:

Miss Unstoppables – Downy Arabia:

Bank Audi/ Middle East Airlines:

Sylphide:

Gandour Oil: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Puck Arabia:

Bou Khalil Ad:

Life Buoy:

Arthriflex:

ABC Loyalty Card:

Al Shiaka:

 

 

Jiff:

Arla’s Milk:

YORKKSA:

 

This Valentine’s is All About Gifts!

Valentine’s is around the corner & I have decided to gather some giveaways for you!

The first giveaway is an Honor i10 Lite – I am using it currently and the only comment I have about it is the emoticons. I am a fan of iPhone emoticons and Airdrop, since I have an iPad and MacBook – but the copy/past method never hurt no body (actually in that sense, androids are always better). PS: The front cam makes you believe you’re 10 years younger and makes you wanna hit on your son’s friends please – please don’t! This phone is only 200+ $ but acts like a 900$ phone (just like a young stud who behaves like an older mature gentleman – who does not exist nowadays!). Tag your friends in the post below to WIN – FYI I use a website to announce the winner – so i’t a fair game for all. 

The second giveaway is for GIRLS! NYX Cosmetics decided to sign a PETITION to get makeup instead of other cliche gifts on Valentine’s Day and is giving out a #PetitionForLippieLove box for girls who participate in the below competition:

Screenshot_20190212_143550

 

I am announcing another giveaway the next couple of days, so make sure you follow my instagram!

Goodluck!
M

Only If You Really WANT to STOP SMOKING: Slighter

I enjoyed interviewing my previous colleague, Samer El Gharib, on Startups on the Spot to get to know more about the smart invention I’ve heard so much about. Slighter has accomplished great milestones and won prestigious international honorable awards. I’m very proud it originated from the Middle East.

|| Remember two years ago, when I shared a blogpost where I asked my snapchat peeps of hints on How to Stop Smoking. 

I advise you give it a read. I remember I stopped smoking cold turkey after posting that, but got back at it after 8 months of being smoke-free. Then again, I stopped smoking around 10 months ago when I decided I want to feel more oxygen in my lungs. It was again cold turkey and free will. Now, it bothers me when I second smoke.

If the tips on How to Stop Smoking don’t help you stop, then Slighter might be your last option! ||

Slighter is a lifestyle solution that helps you master your smoking habit and reduce cigarette consumption until you quit. It suggests a tailored plan to gradually reduce the amount of cigarettes you smoke, while avoiding withdrawal symptoms.

Slighter studies your smoking pattern for one week then creates a personalized program, designed by top-notch engineers and behavioral therapists to help you gradually reduce smoking or quit. 

Watch the episode to get more details, and pre-oder it now if you’re a smoker wishing to stop smoking.

The Episode:

 

You can do it!

With Love!
M

Startups on the Spot: Falafel Games with Vincent Ghossoub

Starting on my first article on this thread chronologically –

My very first episode of Startups on the spot (also the pilot episode) was with Vincent Ghossoub, the founder of Falafel Games – a startup that develops and publishes mobile app games, the first to develop a game with Arabic content and one of the best game-startups in the Middle East.

 

I had met Vincent Ghossoub in 2016 when I went Live on 7nujoom app and played “Action Anime” with a professional player from their team. I remember when I went to their offices to discuss our project, I heard Vincent speaking Chinese and thought I was hallucinating. I wasn’t. That’s when I figured he communicates in Chinese with his investors.

 

What I like more than doing this show is meeting entrepreneurs and getting inspired by their proactive nature, their hopeful ambitions, and their dedication.

 

So far, Vincent has a funding of 4 Million Dollars.

No spoilers watch the episode and teaser below:

 

global_games_market_2012-2021_per_segment

The global games market is expected to grow from $137.9 billion in 2018 to more than $180.1 billion in 2021, according to market researcher Newzoo.

Those numbers reflect the constant growth of platforms, such as smartphones. This year, mobile games are expected to hit $70.3 billion — newzoo-games-2or 51 percent of the total — and they will grow to $106.4 billion by 2021 — or about 59 percent of the total. Newzoo estimates there are about 2.3 billion gamers across the globe.

The 2018 total for the global games market will rise 13.3 percent — or $16.2 billion — from $121.7 billion in 2017. About 91 percent of the newzoo-games-3global market is digital, meaning that $125.3 billion worth of games flows through digitally connected channels as opposed to physical retail.

125.3 BILLION DOLLARS!!!
Thank God to people like Vincent, Lebanon is sharing a part of that!

Watch more episodes of Startups on the spot here.

With all the support to the Startup Ecosystem,
M

Startups on the Spot

You probably noticed me sharing some links on my Facebook Page and Linked in account featuring startups and covering tech-events.

Startups on the Spot (on Facebook & Linkedin) is a show produced by Klangoo; its main goal is linking investors and venture capital firms to startups with good working models. Other goals are showcasing the hard work of entrepreneurs in the MENA region, meeting the entrepreneurs, and ultimately encouraging the reluctant people with good ideas to make the leap: believe in their ideas and try to execute them! 

Being fascinated by the world of startups since the 2012, I realized that people who work in startups aren’t bound to the working hours, are not naturally followers but innovators, and are risk takers. Since every member in a startup usually owns shares in the company, its growth means their growth – which is not the case of typical employment. Recently with the drop of employment and the overall economic recession (perhaps depression) the startup ecosystem is providing new opportunities for the dynamic youth to dream. Every time I hear of a startup acquiring their rounds of funding, I smile; and breathe in some positivity.

I will be sharing all the featured startups and events on this thread make sure you keep on coming back!

Featured Picture by Skylinkd

 

Wanna Dinner or Go on A Round Trip to Adana?

Dinner in a fancy restaurant with two bottles of wine costs us around 240$ right?
So does a ROUND TRIP to Adana, Turkey with Nakhal and Cie / Wings of Lebanon

Departures of this shopping trip as they call it (since shopping their is so cheap comparable to Lebanon) is every Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday.

The fees include:
Air Ticket BEY/ADA/BEY with airport taxes
Hotel Accomodation
Transfers on arrival and departure

Things to do in Adana: 

1- Shop Shop Shop – Malls Malls Malls.
Prices are cheaper, especially the items on SALE;
It is actually a SALE there. 
2- Visit the giant central mosque
3- Watch movies outdoors (we couldn’t do this one unfortunately)
4- Drink Starbucks (American Coffee is for 1$)
5- Eat Kabab
6- Taste the Ayran
7- Visit the old bazar souks

Check out this video by Bilal Hax of our shopping trip there (I was super exhausted super sick with a projecteuron my forhead) sorry about that!  

Enjoy it!
Much Love!
M

A Civil Marriage in Lebanon; Absolut-ly Almost!

A civil marriage happened only 22 km off the Lebanese coast Saturday noon, attended by the friends and family of Tarek Mallak (31) and Anastacia El Hajj (29) – and ofcourse the creators: the advertising agency, Interesting Times, and Fawaz Holding as the distributor for Absolut.

CivilLove_Tarek Mallak_Anastacia_El_Hajj_Husband and Wife.jpg

Instead of traveling to another country to celebrate their wedding, this young couple decided to celebrate its as close as possible to the land where they were born and raised, the land they love – the land that does not accept them falling in love.

The logistics of doing such a wedding is not easily replicable. The boat has to be registered in a separate country that accepts civil marriage, in this case in Cyprus. The minister had to be a Cypriot marriage officer.

CivilLove_Tarek Mallak_Anastacia_El_Hajj_Female Cypriot Minister_Wedding Ceremony

“When you enter international waters, you can then follow the law of where the boat is registered. This was our way of expressing that we all believe it’s high-time we bring civil marriage to Lebanese shores.” stated Rita from Interesting Times.

Coming from different religious backgrounds, these young love birds are the pioneers of An-Almost-In-Lebanon-Civil Marriage without having to lose their civil rights*. The thing is Lebanese people are getting civil married in other counties both ways and legalizing it is a win-win situation to the state and the couples in love. In addition to it being a way to express that Love should know no race, color, gender, or religion, it creates additional revenue to the Lebanese economy and minimizes the expenses of Lebanese couples.

 CivilLove_Tarek Mallak_Anastacia_El_Hajj_Birds Eye View of Wedding

‘Civil Love’ is a campaign that represents Absolut’s vision for a better, more open world. A world that celebrates human unity, diversity, champions openness, and promotes self-expression. It suggests that the best way to heal division in Lebanon is for the youth of different backgrounds to fall in love with each other. ‘Civil Love’ is the hope for a unified tomorrow in Lebanon.

 

Amen to that!
Keep falling in #Civillove!
M

 

* In 2013, a legal loophole allowed a few couples to marry civilly, but in order to do this, the couples had to erase all traces of their religion from their National Identities which led to a loss of civic rights. This act not only meant that the couples were criticized but it also cost them their right to vote, work in a public office, and meant that their child would be born with the same civic issues. This doesn’t seem suitable for a celebration of love and commitment and since 2013 there have been no civil marriages in Lebanon.

 

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