"The Situation" II - Amman

A people and a government share their loaf of bread...

Haifa Abu Al-Nadi is a fiction writer, translator, and university teacher in Amman, Jordan. Her publications include many fiction and non-fiction titles translated between English and Arabic, and two volumes of her own short stories.


Partial and/or complete lock-downs and curfews are two major acts my generation has never encountered before, and neither have previous ones. Today, danger and potential death have become global threats facing humanity of all shades. No matter how strong a country or an individual is, the consequences are the same during this tragedy--unless a plan to contain this pandemic emerges.

Even though Jordan is a small country with very limited resources, its people and government managed to share their loaf of bread. I know now that my neighbor is willing to help me out, that staying home and social distancing are not a luxury but a must, and that the more isolated we are, the closer we become, since we keep both strangers and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers. As a writer and translator, I learned that during such difficult times, I can still be creative, and help my community by exchanging words of humanity, wisdom, and love. Spreading awareness through culture and intellectual work is the responsibility of each and every human being according to their area of expertise. A community is better when you begin with yourself and become an individual of sharp foresight.

The remaining question is: will the world be the same afterwards? Or have we already changed in a world that never changes? When I’m out of my home during the permitted times, I see masks covering people’s mouths, eyes, their gloves, etc. I see incomplete facial expressions. I see fear in some eyes, and marks on the floor for people to keep their distance. But deep inside I know that this time shall pass, too!