During my twelfth week in Jordan, I woke up on Saturday, grabbed my camera, and hopped in a taxi and went downtown. I had some breakfast, read a few pages of Infinite Jest, and walked in the sunshine up the stairs to Paris Circle, on the hunt for a coffee shop with Internet. I was supposed to meet a friend from Germany who happened to be in Amman, and my phone was acting up. The only hope I had was to stay put somewhere and hope that Layla got my email indicating where I was.
While waiting, I made friends with Areen, who a few hours later walked with me to the Amman National Gallery to film an episode of the Lernen to Talk Show! Her friend Yazan had a piece in an exhibition, and we manage to see it before getting kicked out. Enjoy, and see below for my analysis!
(P.S. I did manage to see Layla and Simon!)
0:27 – I’m nervous to mispronounce her name because apparently extending the first A in “Areen” turns it into another word meaning “naked”. Correctly pronounced, her name translates to “lion’s den”. Pretty awesome, right?
1:14 – Areen’s English is amazing. She learned it from Hannah Montana.
2:12 – I never did get the imperative form down for we. I wanted to say, “let’s walk!”
3:40 – Those long vowel sounds throw me off a lot. If there’s an alif, you need to really sit on it for it to make sense.
3:53 – The words for “half” and “same” are quite close. Half = نصف = “nissf” and Same = نفسه = “nefs”. I’m proud I caught myself here!
4:08 – Okay so this is super confusing. The name of this piece in Arabic is تناظر (tenawther), which means “symmetry”. But the name of the piece given in English on the label was Palindrome. So of course I assumed تناظر meant “palindrome”. This is why I go on to say that باب is an example of a تناظر, even though it isn’t. باب means “door”, and it’s pronounced “bab”. So the word باب is in fact a palindrome, but it’s not a تناظر, even though the way it is written has تناظر, if we wanna get technical about it. This leaves me with one question… Why did the artist change the name of the piece in English? Is there even a word for “palindrome” in Arabic?
5:24 – I say أسود, but I meant أبيض, I swear!