Bed·ou·in (noun or adj.) ˈbe-də-wən, ˈbed-wən 1. Desert dweller, nomadic Arab of the desert. 2. A wanderer or rover.

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This is Big News. It is snowing in Jordan. And everything has shut down–I mean everything. We were supposed to have final semester exams at school: cancelled, and postponed until next week. I wanted to work out: the gym is closed. It’s been over 24 hours and the snow has continued to fall steadily, a stop and go rhythm that has pushed us all indoors for the past two days. Here, an intimate portrait of our lives during the thunder-snow (yesterday, the snow was falling and it was thundering outside), as captured by my iPhone.

The morning of–waking up to see a not-so-light dusting of white. Promptly have a dance party in the kitchen, then we get out our laptops and books in preparation for a day inside.


Note: Biff and Maya have stayed the night, and are stranded at our apartment. Our couch has become a landing point for the wretched refuse from Jebel Webdeh…we’ve all but printed “The New Colossus”  and hung it on our door.


It is now 6 pm. There is no food in the house, we’ve used up the last remaining cup of lentils to make just enough mjadara for the four of us. We are starving. The decision is made to brave the snow and walk to the store. Another note: we are all from the midwest/east coast…and yet.

We begin the walk, it is light out.


It takes us a bit of time to figure out what we want to make for dinner. Once we leave the store, it’s dark. But we’re laden with groceries and still happy. I am completely without decorum, and still in my pajamas.


We make soup for dinner, and play cards before bed. Julie busies herself with memorizing the words to the seminal Fairuz classic Yalla Tnem–which, loosely translated, means “hurry up and sleep.”


The next morning, we wake up to even more snow. Driven by the lack of good internet in my apartment, we venture outside. Boots and hats on, trying desperately (unsuccessfully) to keep our footing, we roam the snowy streets in search of a taxi.


We find one and promptly jump in–and so ends the snow day(s) thus far. I’m currently in a cafe surrounded by quite literally everyone in my Fulbright group. It seems we’ve all ran away from the cold of our homes to the same place (oh, yeah, most apartments in Amman are not insulated, and don’t have heat). Word is that the snow will stop today and begin clearing up tomorrow.

This feels like the perfect bookend to the first half of my year in Jordan. Who would have thought I’d ever see it snow here? And so much? Monday morning, I’m off to the United States to see some beloved friends and family. Then, I go to Istanbul with my sister, before coming back to Amman in February to start the second semester. I’m thrilled with what’s happened so far–there have been ups and downs, headaches and heartaches, stresses and joys, but even still, I am anxious for the rest of the year to unfold. For now, though, I’ll just join the countless snowball fights happening all over the streets of Amman.