Amman is an interesting city. It has large areas of town that are very westernized and many things in english. It has areas of town that feel like I'm back in Saudi. It has amazing, multimillion dollar homes and beautiful shops and restaurants, right next door to poor bedouins living, literally, in tents and raising goats and sheep on an empty lot. We are lucky enough to live in Abdoun, a very nice part of town, full of westerners and rich Ammanis, and all the trappings ... fancy cafes, exclusive boutiques, etc. Despite this, there are still a fair number of poor families living in the undeveloped areas in between houses and neighborhoods. Many of them are Iraqi refugees, I'm told.
Our particular neighborhood is no exception. It is a fairly newish neighborhood, with many empty lots, brand new huge homes, and many other homes and apartment buildings under construction. An example of this interesting dichotomy between the haves and the have-nots in Amman .... if you look out our front door, you see one of these expensive, large, beautiful homes ... the owner has a mercedes in the driveway, a land rover parked out front, etc etc ... and today, he had a heard of sheep and goats going by his house feeding in the empty lot next door. the herd is based out of a bedouin camp right around the corner and down in the wadi from where we live. if you look out the window in our master bedroom, we have a nice view of a wadi (canyon) and another bedouin camp across the way ... they live without plumbing, without electricity, without anything really ... in the states it's easy to brush these things aside and not think about it because it's not in your face like it is here. i'm not trying to make some deep social commentary, just pointing out an interesting fact of life here in amman.
here are some pictures i snapped this am during breakfast of the goats coming through our neighborhood. the first pic is taken from our kitchen window (don't be alarmed by the bars on the windows, everyone in Amman has them, even though crime rates are extremely low); the other pics were taken from our balcony, which looks back towards the street in front of our house.