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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 16, Sunday - Amman

Today is the start of the work week in Amman, so after sleeping in a bit, I was off and running with some meetings. Which required me to take a taxi (which I have never done by myself before) and was kind of fun.

From Moataz Azar's office
First I went to Lafarge French Cement Company and talked with a few people there including Ashraf Al Fanek who is the Raw Material Purchasing Manager for the company and his colleague Ahmed Abu Roman. We had some great conversations about both the cement industry in Jordan as well as the country’s economy and it was all very interesting to me. The second meeting was with Loui Azar (cousin of my host, Moataz), Chariman/Partner, and Nader Haddad, Managing Director, of Douma Tours. We also talked about Jordan’s economy, as well as marketing and international investing. 

Downtown Amman
Jordan has been strongly affected by the economic downturn and is feeling the aftershocks of events in the large industrial countries, like the US. Even with the hard times, however, Jordan seems to retain its positive attitude about weathering the storm. Jordan is an incredible mix of people with different belief systems who all live and work in harmony. They have always relied on trade, as they are not strong in natural resources, and they have been able to maintain an incredible balance of relationships even in the midst of external conflicts. 

After the meetings it was back to Mrs. Azar’s parents house, around 4pm, where we had a delicious lunch of fried whole fish (talk about working for your food, you have to watch out for all the bones!). Tina, the daughter of the family I am staying with, also got a present from her uncle: a baby duck! It is adorable. 

Tina with her duck "Twiller"
Most of the evening consisted of playing with the duck and, for me, listening to Arabic. We also had some delicious cake and tea. 

At Mr. Loui Azar’s office earlier in the day, I also planned out my next three days which will be taking me out of Amman… stay tuned!

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