Skin Colour Oasis

The skin-colour sands of Amman are about 180 kilometres (or thereabouts) from the Holy City, where a certain golden-domed structure sits like an atomic reactor. The reactor straddles two worlds. The Islamic and the Christian. It’s tenanted on another. The Jewish.

It is in many ways a reminder of Islam’s legacy of appropriation. A legacy that perhaps began with the appropriation of the Judeo-Christian prophets and the principal deity of a pagan past, that was duly decimated later. It is a legacy that was forcefully perpetrated wherever the new religion galloped on horses of presumption.

A millennium and a half later, it is the rubble of those invaded pleasure palaces, broken temples and smashed idols that’s threatening to bury Islam in an unmarked grave.

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a Mideastern wonder. Because Arabs actually WORK here. “We don’t have oil and we don’t have people,” explains a seller of Dead Sea salts.

Urban Hashemite women too have it better than most of their Arab sisters. They dress as they like, smoke, drink and bathe in public. Across the border, in Saudi Arabia, they could be jailed for so much as not donning the hijab. Most of Jordan’s queens are also imported from foreign shores mainly the US and the UK. In short it’s a good life.

Jordanians have found a fine way of subverting orthodoxy. Without institutionalising subversion like Turkey or enforcing it at gun-point like Pahlavi Iran. You can see it in the way they have embraced the protestant work ethic. And the way they live it up on Saturday nights. The way their cherish their Greek heritage in Petra.

But most of all you see it in the way they have fashioned a mini industry on the bathing pleasures of the Dead Sea.


  1. Both, your's and MJA's are nice. How can you compare the two? That's my theory of finding beauty in things by not pictching one against the other :) Try it once, gives better perspective.
    There's a common thread of religious history and the present social scenario running through both, expressed differently. And they're both good in their own way!!

  2. mucho thanks baby. But I was just kidding bout mine being better...


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