Jordan gets Snow..and King Abdullah gets heaters for Jordan’s Schools

Some of my best memories of Jordan are of sitting huddled around a kerosene heater with the librarian and a few other teachers in a small village school library, listening to a tape of “al-Layla Dobe,” squeezing a green lemon over a shared can of tuna, and toasting pita bread over the top of the soba. The main office where the mudira sat had a second larger upright propane heater on wheels, but the school’s classrooms were totally without heat, and birds flew in and out of the classrooms. (A bird in the classroom is lucky, I was told as I ducked the swooping creature, the sign of a safe place, since birds will not go where there is danger.) On the coldest days, many parents kept the smallest children home from school for weeks at a time.

Now the long awaited White Christmas, or maybe White Eid, has arrived in Jordan with major snowstorms. At the same time the King has discovered the children need heat in the classrooms. Says a Jordan Times editorial (links are only active for a week):

The snow and heavy precipitations we were praying for and were finally granted brought to the fore deficiencies that qualify as inexcusable.

One is lack of any heating system in public schools.

King Abdullah had graciously ordered that heating units be made available to these schools so that students can cope with the near zero temperatures in classrooms.

Since this year’s cold weather is not exactly unique, and the winter season is normally severe across the Kingdom, the question concerned authorities might want to answer is why schools have no heating systems until now.

Do they believe that keeping warm in the winter is a luxury that students can and should do without?

Is there always need for the King to intervene before action is taken to solve problems which common sense should take care of?

The short answer to the editor’s question is “yes.” For some reason government officials are unwilling to act and routinely defer any and all decision-making to the next higher level of government. At the same time, any grass-roots activity–like a teacher-parent organization–is completely lacking. This is a common pattern across the Arab world. I have never been able to figure out why.


According to the Jordan Times, Wednesday’s snows closed off the desert highway, stranding travelers in the areas of Maan and Petra, and on the road between Petra and Aqaba.


Jerusalem’s Old City also got an uncharacteristic snowfall. But did Amman get snow?


5 Responses to “Jordan gets Snow..and King Abdullah gets heaters for Jordan’s Schools”

  1. Basem Says:


    THank you for this information , Really If you wont any help I can do, I am jordanian live in richmond , also I am professor for arabic language in WA.DC.

  2. Basem Says:

    HOw can I help you? I like this website,Let us Have appointment to do … to do…My hand first….

  3. Nijma Says:

    Hi, Basem, I miss Jordan and I love to talk to Arabs, especially Jordanians. In Jordan I lived in Faiseleeya (between Madaba and Jebel Nebo), then in Jerash, then in Amman. I was an English teacher in Juba (near Mastaba) and in Amman.

    My Arabic is very schway-schway, but I do you know the advertisement “Got milk?” It means “Do you have milk?” but in conversational English. I am thinking about how to write “Got Mansaf?” in Arabic for a t-shirt. Fee mansaf? Fee endik mansaf? Ma fee mansaf? مع في منسف؟ Or maybe a different saying would be better.

    “My hand first”? Does this have a meaning in Arabic?

  4. Basem Says:


    We live in america ,but our hearts in jordan , it’s beautiful country ,let’s thinking how to help jordan to be more beautifull…..I love everything beautiful…(please tell me how can I make munsaf )

  5. Nijma Says:

    Hi, Basem.

    This time of year I am thinking about the small red flowers that grow in the sand at Jerash. The desert is so beautiful.

    I am trying not to think about the trash and the black plastic bags all over Jordan in the desert and in the fields. I also don’t want to think about the people smoking cigarettes everywhere.

    I don’t know how to make mansaf. I only know how to eat it. I would like to know how to cook Jordanian food.

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