Amman and The Dead Sea

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October 10th 2011
Published: October 14th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

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Smore's and More
Friday morning, my roommate and I decided to try to find Souk Jara, a local market held on Fridays in Amman where one of my Jordanian friends has her own business, “S'mores and More“. After inquiring at the front desk of the hostel, I found out it was on Rainbow Street, a very famous street in Amman located on Jebel Amman, one of the many mountains Amman is divided into geographically. Because of the immense early afternoon heat, we decided to take a taxi up and arrived at the souk just as it was starting to get busy.

The souk is delightful, made up of many different little stands with people selling their goods, anything from jewelry to watches made from recyclable materials by women in Aqaba, and hand painted artwork. It is definitely an awesome way for small business owners to get their goods out to the public. We actually arrived in the second to last week before the souk closes for the season, so I was glad we planned our trip in early October and were able to visit it.

After buying some bracelets made out of the red and black checked kufiyah material, a pair of earrings from the ladies in Aqaba, pins to support planting one million trees in Jordan and Palestine, and an Arabic spoken dictionary from a super funny guy who teaches Arabic to foreigners, I went over to my friend’s stand to try some of her delicious s'mores!

My friend, Heba, was a Fulbright scholar to my home university in America before I actually started there, or during my senior year of high school. She taught the three levels of Arabic, and from everyone whom I've ever talked to, they loved her as a teacher. I contacted her during my freshman year of college, because I planned on studying in Jordan that summer. I finally met up with her in Amman and she was just as great as everyone said she was, not that I had any doubts! When I met her she had an idea for a small business, to sell the campfire treat, s'mores, to Jordanians, since s'mores didn’t exist in Jordan. She got the idea partially while she was in America after seeing how popular they were.

Fast forward to a little over a year later and her business is thriving. There have been numerous articles written
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Dead Sea
in various Jordanian newspapers and magazines about her business, and they have all been positive. With the help of her five siblings working the stand, you can be treated to a traditional s'more, which consists of graham crackers, chocolate, a marshmallow and chocolate Nutella on the outside covered with sprinkles. Or, you can get Heba’s own creation, a s'more cup: crushed graham crackers, bananas, chocolate from the fountain, mini marshmallows and sprinkles. Both are equally delicious and won't break the bank.

After walking around the souk and also getting a scrumptious handmade pizza for lunch with olives, turkey, mushrooms, and cheese, we headed back down the mountain to our hostel to prepare to head off to the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, and unfortunately, it is quickly disappearing. The Dead Sea borders both Jordan and Israel, and the people life guarding the beach are quick to make sure you don't venture out too far. After a forty minute drive, we arrived at the public Amman Beach and just floated in the salty water for about two hours. It really is a weird feeling that cannot be described unless you experience it for
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yourself. After you get out, you can feel the salt covering your body, so a shower is necessary!

After washing off at the beach and heading back to our hostel, we showered once more and headed right across the street to arguably the most famous restaurant in Jordan, Hashem Restaurant. For a dinar fifty(approx. $2.12 US), you can get the "mixer": fool, veggies, humus, the most delicious falafel ever, all you can eat pita, and tea. It really fills you up quickly and the staff at the restaurant are incredibly friendly. Definitely a must do in Amman!

After dinner we walked back up to Rainbow Street, which is the hip place to be on a weekend night. Crowded with people of all ages, though a majority of them are teens and young adults, Rainbow Street is Amman's attempt to bring European culture to Jordan. The streets are cobblestoned, people play music outdoors overlooking the famous Citadel, they smoke Sheesha outside while talking with friends, and the food stands do an excellent business. We decided to go back to the souk for more s'mores and a watermelon smoothie, which was delicious. For the rest of the night we just

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walked around eating and chatted with the locals who of course welcomed us to Jordan! I was sad that we only had one more day left in the country I so dearly love.


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