Latest Activity

deb568 posted on the thread Planning to return to Scotland (Edinburgh) on the Edinburgh forum

The most important thing is schools, adn in particular high school catchment areas. The way Edinburgh works is there tends to be a very good high school next to a neighbouring not so good high school. So, for example, on the north side, Trinity and the Royal High are very good schools, and sandwiched between is Craigroyston, a terrible school. This also happens on the south side. Liberton is a better school than Gracemount, but both are relatively poor compared to James Gillespies, close to the city, and Firhill, nearer to the outskirts of the city. The pick is probably Boroughmuir, also close to the city on the south side, but with a strange, elongated catchment area, going all the way to the border of Edinburgh. Next to it is Tynecastle, a poor high school.

So a good idea, as a starting point, is to go onto Edinburgh City Council's website and download the school catchment areas. Also check that the primary school , if your children are of Primary age, is in that High School,s catchment area.

There are some subtleties. Trinity Academy is a better school (north side,) than Broughton High School but, Broughton is home to the national academy of drama and dance, neither of which are offered at Trinity. And a few other things to keep in mind. Most of the good schools are full, so if you have children who will be inserting into a class somewhere in primary or secondary, you would need to write to the schools to request a place.

I live in Edinburgh, on the north side because I like to live next to the sea. I prefer Glasgow as a place to live (the usual thing in Britain, the further west you go, the warmer the people) but the great thing about Edinburgh is the weather. It doesn't rain that much and has some of the highest sunshine hours in Britain, after Brighton.

Something to keep in mind - snow. Lovely to look at, lovely to see, but not outside my front door please. I really wouldn't recommend living above the snow line. Balerno and Juniper Green and Currie have lovely houses, possibly in your price budget, but just keep in mind, the last bad snow season (2010) Balerno was literally snowed in for 6 weeks. That means trekking, through deep snow, to the entrance of the estate (a large estate) and catching a bus from the main road, because the council doesn't clear the side roads, just the main road. But hey, if you prefer winters that look like real winters, then areas above the snow line I would recommend are the catchment areas for Balerno, Currie and Fir Hill high schools. Don't get this wrong though,. Especially for the balerno, Currie, Juniper Green areas, because the neighbouring high school is Wester Hailes, one of the worst in Britain.

Ig you are catholic, make sure you are in St Thomas Aquinas catchment area. the other two catholic schools are terrible. If you like the west side, the Royal High is better than Craigmount High School and both are better than Forrester. On the East side, make sure if you live there, you are in Portobello catchment area. Same as for Currie, the neighbouring high school, Castlebrae is the worst in Scotland.

it's really important to be within the right catchment area. You can apply to go to a neighbouring school, but put it this way, at our school, Trinity, no people requesting an out of catchment place at Trinity were given a place. At our local primary school they have had to build 4 new classrooms this summer just to cope with demand. Same at Wardie, the other local primary.

On the housing side, the problem with all these schools is that the house prices in their catchment areas are probably out of your range. Maybe an ex council house up in the Fir Hill area. But that means living in Oxgangs. Yes, you get a house, and are in the catchment for a great school, but the area....

Will your children be wanting to learn Mandarin? Edinburgh Chinese schoool is based at Drummond Community high. Don't whatever you do, live in that catchment area. Again, it is a terrible school with massive drug problems. Hardly any of their kids stay on for highers. Contrast that with Trinity, which isn't the best of the best but has a retention rate for highers of 82%.

I know this can be tedious, but it's worth going onto google maps, type in, say, Balerno, go onto street view and have a wander around. Get a feel for the areas. Portobello, - if you live that side, make sure you live well away from Seafield Road. That's where the sewer works are and in summer there can be a right pong.

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

vwbug wrote:

And by the way, culture and tradition was not the subject.  Marrying an Arab/Jordanian was the subject. 
If a foreign woman is marrying a poor Jordanian she will have a difficult time.  It's way too different and too difficult. In most traditional/low income families we foreigners are never really accepted simply because low income families have no experience with foreigners. They have not traveled, have not experienced the world.  Plus there isn't enough money to travel back "home" often and it usually just doesn't work.
It's always, don't say this, don't wear that, don't go there...... etc. in many ways the family just gets in the way especially if you are unfortunate enough to have yo live everyone in the same building.  Then you have the whole damn family in your face telling you what to do.

Sounds about right!

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

philano79 wrote:

Expat blog team,

May i suggest blocking any further discussion on this topic. I have been receiving an endless number of threads on the topic over the past two years and everybody is speaking about the negative image of Jordanian men. Topic is now too much exausted by now. Jordanian men are just like any other men in the world.

This is a perfect example of why many western women married to Jordanian men advise against doing so. As soon as the discussion turns in a way you don't like, you want to end all discussions.

If people are getting a negative image of Jordanian men, then I would say, with regards to relationships with Western women at least, that it is an image that is well deserved. We are the outcomes of two toally different cultures, so different that I don't think in most cases they mesh very well. For example, in the West men act like the head of their families. They certainly don't go running to mummy with every little thing, much less let their mother run their life and ruin the life of their wife in the process.  In the west men share the household chores. They don't expect their wife to stay at home all the time working like an unpaid skivvie (slave) slaving not just after her children, but every male member of the extended household. Much less to survive on no money at all while they smoke away what little money they have, ruining their lungs and those of their children in the process.

deb568 posted on the thread Getting married on the Jordan forum

JO/EU wrote:

deb568 wrote:

One more thing, if planning to marry an Arab, plan to have sons, not daughters. They are great for their sons' self esteem but a disaster for their daughters' self esteem.

How does one plan to have sons, not daughters?  :whistle:
Biggest problem so far the interference of families even after marriage... if you happen to deal with   :dumbom:  they can be a pain in the  :offtopic:

I didn't find they interfere so much. They all have their opinions - their privilege. If I had had a nice home of my own when I lived there (sometimes we rented away from the main house but the conditions were terrible) I could have just lived my own life and probably I wouldn't have seen much of them. I don't think people who haven't been exposed to foreigners are ever likely to be really interested in them.

Having boys instead of girls - doesn't that depend on the mother's acisd/alkaline mix? So lots of sweet food if you want to have girls and salty food and the like for boys?

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

krisrani wrote:

it depend always on the women ,if she want to bring with her her western way of living and all its illusions and conflects and manupolations she had in the west then it well be hard for her,but any way it is not allowed for me here to write nice things or neutral things about islam or arabic cultur, i was warned from the moderator if i continue writing good things about islam i will be removed from this site,be carfull from many names here they have thier own agenda here and they well mislead you,many here are untiislam or free masons

We all know you are not the person you are claiming to be and are instead a male member of Krisrani's household. We know her situation well. Stop pretending to be someone you are not.

deb568 posted on the thread Getting married on the Jordan forum

One more thing, if planning to marry an Arab, plan to have sons, not daughters. They are great for their sons' self esteem but a disaster for their daughters' self esteem.

deb568 posted on the thread Getting married on the Jordan forum

Love is important, to be sure, but I would also add having lots in common AND the desire to follow those common interests with each other. Plus similar ideas about the religion, if you are both muslim, helps. If you want to pray 5 times a day and he doesn't that's a potential problem. He'll respect your decision to do this, but you more as likely won't respect his. Or if you don't smoke or drink, on the basis of not participating in things that can harm you and others, but he does one or the other, on the basis the koran is a guide, not mandatory, then, just my opinion, but over time you could lose some respect for him.

Love is all well and good, but I'm not sure it's enough to ensure a strong and successful marriage.

Just my experience. i have met a lot of Arab males living in the west. Some are illegals, some came over to study and are still studying or are over here to work but have left their wives and children back home. I can say with some conviction that not one of them is mentally prepared for the loneliness/isolation/boredom of our lives in the west compared to the fun full on social lives, full of family and friends, that they left behind.

They are normal males, so attracted to women, and suddenly find themselves in a place where women are available both as friends and "friends with benefits" in a way that is impossible back home. Our nightclubs over here are full of such guys, not necessarily on the make, but open to friendships with women if the women are interested in them.Plus there are a steady stream of female muslim converts coming on tap at any one time, all eager to find a suitable muslim partner. 

Most, just in my experience, end up hooked up with someone while they are overseas. Do those relationships last, as in do they marry them and take them back home? Sometimes they do marry in a mosque and persuade the girl to convert even, just so they can live within the tenets of the muslim faith. But they also divorce just as easily, especially if they come from well off families who don't fancy a foreigner in the family, or are already married with children back home.

I've known western women, all muslims, who've even been the main breadwinner and supported their husbands and had children with them, even sent money back home to his family, who never meet his family, even over intervals of 20 years, even when the guy goes back quite often, sometime with a ticket financed by her.

All I can say is love is blind. But just keep in mind, 10 years can turn into 20 years, even 30 years, and he could just be gone, saying it was all a big mistake. That happened to our neighbour. She was married to a guy from Lebanon, - they lived in Greece which is more similar culturally to the Middle East than Scotland, where she comes from. Nearly 30 years of sacrifices, only to be told he wants to grow old in Lebanon, and he's sorry but he has a wife and children there as well!

deb568 posted on the thread Best tv series to watch on the Amman forum

The Storm Rages Twice (Al Assifa Tahib Aratayeen) and The Silk Market ( Khan Al Hareer?) (by Nihad Sirees, a brave man to be sure).

They're both addictive.

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

That's a relief to know. Most European women would understand immediately why a western man would marry an Indonesian woman. Don't worry; I think plenty of us realised that this was just some random Arab person pretending to be her.

deb568 posted on the thread my choice would be Glasgow on the Glasgow forum

You could try the Greek Orthodox Church. They're in Kelvingrove, near to the city, 27 Dundonald Rd, Glasgow, Lanarkshire G12 9LL ‎.

The Greek School is based at the church. They have some links on their site:-

There's plenty of Greek restaurants in Glasgow. Elia's is pretty good. (24 George Square, in the city centre, but be warned - the "city centre" goes for blocks and blocks in all directions :-) On the south side, there's Frosoulla's. In mention it because they have a good greek delicatessan just across the road.  If you check out Google Earh, - the address is 39 Sinclair Drive, Langside (off Battlefield Road), Frousoulla's looks like a construction site (just next to the pharmacy) but it is finsihed now. Accorss the road is a small place called the Golden Kebab. This is now the deli.

My advice is don't go to either of these places, especially Frosoulla's unless you are starving. Their portion sizes are amazing.

If you feel like volunteering, there's a might shelter - I think it is now in the Westend  - for homeless/destitute people. I know it's not to everyone's taste but it is a good way to meet people.

There's also the Scottish Hellenic Scoirty. They are based in Edinburgh but may be able to give you good links to the Glasgow greek scene.

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

mabdallah wrote:

Depends, if your a simple person, go for it. Best culture to raise your kids.

Seriously? In what way? Most western women are from countries where it is definitely not okay to abuse children in the classroom, especially physically. In the U.K. teachers are not even allowed to touch children, let alone hit them, a law I approve of.

As to the example Arab men give their sons, I doubt if most western women would want their sons growing up into mysogynists, who think it's okay to put their wives at the bottom of the pack when it comes to considering their needs and carrying out their duties towards their wives. I don't want my children growing up to be so selfish that they value their cigarettes ahead of food for their family.

deb568 posted on the thread Whats your favorite arabic dish on the Jordan forum

Tonight kofta and musakhan.

Dejaj Mahshi:
Rub the chicken with lemon and leave it standing for a while. Rub the inside and the outside with salt. And maybe some nutmeg if you have it. Then fry some beef mince with butter, quite high heat, until it's not so dry. Add salt, peper and allspice to taste. Add the rice to the pan and mix it in. Add a cup or so of hot water, for the rice. Cook for a little while, just until the rice is half cooked. maybe 5 or 10 minutes. Fry some pine nuts and mix in with the stuffing mixture. Put this mixture inside the chicken. Close it off at the end, with a couple of matchsticks. Cook, covered, in the oven for around an hour. Then uncover and cook some more, until the chicken is browned a bit, basting the chicken along the way.

Soak the chick peas overnight, and remove the skins the next day. Grind the sumac and soak it in water. Takes a while. Mix this with some tahina and add more water and a bit of flour, jjust to make it thicker. Fry some silverbeet (the one with red stems is nicer, maybe in the Middle East the English word for this is chard? Stew the beef separately, and slowly so it is really tender, can be together with the chickpeas if cooking the chickpeas from scractch. Add salt and pepper to taste and maybe a bit of chilli powder. Fry some garlic separately, maybe together with some fresh chilli if you like food to be spicy. I don't like dill, but some people add chopped dill to the dish. Mix the ingredients together. Can be eaten cold, with pita bread. I like it warm, but it's usually cold.

Sorry for the vagueness of the recipes. I'm married to a chef - i don't like cooking. So this is all just from memory. I know the process, but not the quantities, because everything seems to be done on smell and taste when men cook this kind of food.

Usually my husband cooks. It depends who is in and who is eating at home. And some things, like molokheyah soup with chicken, or lentil soup, or meatballs with yoghurt soup he makes enough for two or three days because these dishes, if they are there we all won't want any other thing to eat.

Things with sumac - that seems to be a woman's ingredient. Something I really like but he is less keen on. Every now and then I get a craving.

I'm not so into mansaf. The taste is nice, but such a big dish, with huge chunks of meat. Reminds me of tigers when I see it! A dish for the guys maybe. The men in our family don't seem to like vegetarian things as much as the women. Like things wrapped in grape leaves, something else I get a craving for now and then.

deb568 posted on the thread Whats your favorite arabic dish on the Jordan forum

Monday (and the next day and the next if my children had their way :-) Upside down chicken and rice (Maqloobeh). With Molokhia soup. And Fattoush. Tea made with mariamiya (sage). Kanaafeh for dessert.
On Tuesday, - Musakhan (chicken and onions, on a flatbread base. Yum!)....
Wednesday - Dejaj Mahshi (chicken stuffed with rice) Katayef for dessert. Why wait for Ramadan?
Thursday - Kofte, either baked in the oven with tomatoes on top, or made into meatballs, in a yoghurt soup (shishbarak).
Friday - Sumaghiyyeh (beef and bean stew) OMG, I do love this dish, but for some reason it seemed to be rarely eaten in Jordan. Some of the family knew what it was but had never eaten it.
Saturday (and every other day as an accompaniament) Bamia (Okra stew)
Sunday - Lentil Soup (Shorbat adas)
Mujaddara (rice and brown lentils - vegetarian) with everything.

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

Welcome, GoddessMari, and good luck with your visit to Jordan. And more than good luck if you decide to move to Jordan to settle. In some ways Krisrani is right - we should have all been better prepared and done a bit more research into the whys and wherefores, not to mention the life we might find once we arrived in the Middle East. The person you might have thought you had a lot in common when you first met might become someone, after two or three years of living in the Middle East, that you only have your children in common with. In my experience, Arab men living in the West don't like to be alone. What are the choices, if they don't want to live like monks? The less religious ones will live like a whore and go with whores, no thought of marriage in their minds. The ones who want to stay in step with their religion will look for a wife instead, maybe even through one of the local mosques. But it doesn't then always follow that they will be committed to that wife beyond their stay in the foreign country, even if there are children involved. If their wife, on arrival back in Jordan, doesn't adapt to their liking, they could well abandon that wife and move on. They don't even ahve to divorce. There's nothing to stop them taking a 2nd, 3rd and 4th wife. And just so you know, the pressure on some men to do exactly that can be intense. Not just for cultural reasons but because there are 25 million women of marriageable age throughout the Middle East who don't have partners. 

And for goodness sake, if you do decide to move to the Middle East, make sure you have your own income. I've got a friend down south who lives in Lebanon. Every year, she comes back here to visit, and transfers £1,000 from her account here to her HSBC account in Beirut. She doesn't have rent to pay. Nor does she buy food for the house. So she doesn't need to transfer the equivalent of a wage. But that's enough money so that, if she wants to do or buy  something for herself, she can. At some point, her money could run out. She said she figures she can eke it out for another 5 years or so. I've introduced her to Swagbucks, Clixsense and Neobux, so she can reverse the trend a bit and earn some money online whilst she is in Beirut. Thank goodness for the internet, Paypal and enterprising Americans! At least we can all earn a living online, wherever we live.

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

LordMaxmillean wrote:

why you take it personally ? we talk here in general and no one attack any one , we all have up's and down's in our life's (family,work,marriage) but sharing our experiences does not necessarily mean that all men is like your husband , and on first base marriage relation is not financial or based on money relation , its souls harmony so if you didn't feel this harmony from the start you should not go on .
all respect to you and everyone , lets keep our conversation healthy and helpful and I'm very sure that there is many hands extended to help you as my hand .

You think it isn't personal. When rude people like Kristina call me "silly" and put down women like Shirley49 who are going through difficulties? Here's a point of view from one of my own family, a male cousin: "Jordanian and Palestinian men would not marry a foreigner unless they couldn't make a suitable match with someone from their own race (yes, he said "race" - so much for the great muslim brother and sisterhood)." So what should we foreigners take from that? That our partners weren't considered decent enough men to be acceptable to their cousins or other potential matches?

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

Hi Kristina,

Sorry to say, but you sound young. When you have been married into a Jordanian family getting on for 30 years, as I have, then lets compare experiences. Also, education makes a lot of difference. You say you are in an educated open minded family. And that your husband was already Swiss when you met him, so presumably living in Switzerland for a long time before you met him?

As for calling me silly, that is really rude. Like I say, when your experience parallels my own, and some of the other women on here, that hasn't matched your own experience, maybe you'll come off your high horse and stop looking down on the rest of us.

I had a friend in lebanon who felt very much like you. But here's the thing, you see it only from your side. This girl would say to her sister in law, to whom she was close, that it was like they had always known each other and that they would have met and been close friends even if she wasn't married to the brother. Mmm, you know what the sister in law told me? If it weren't for her brother being married to a foreigner she would probably never have met any foreigners. Yes, they are friendly, but from her point of view, if it weren't for the girl living in Beirut, probably she would not even think about her often, much less miss her.

In my experience, there were, and probably still are, two groups of women married to local boys - those who had cars, could afford everything, including to live in nice houses in good areas, could fill up their cars without thinking about the cost and shopped at supermarkets like C-town and the like, who sometimes worked and had their children in good private schools, and if they felt like a visit home, would just hop on a plane, without a thought as to the cost, ebcause they could afford it. You sould like you come from that kind of family, and good luck to you if you do. Foreigners who have never set a foot inside one of the camps, much less the informal settlements where sewage runs in the streets in bad weather, let alone done anything to help the people there.

Then there's the other girls, who married boys from East Amman or the camps, where you can't walk alone in the streets, where even groups of women don't go by unchallenged, where it takes weeks before strangers know who you are and leave you alone when you go to buy bread, or vegetables from the market. Houses where there is little or no heating in the winter because there isn't the money for the gas. Where people don't take themselves or their children to the doctor when they are sick, because they can't afford the cost of the visit, much less the medicine. When your family has as many widows as mine, then let's compare.

It's possible, but usually many of the women in the family know what is going on but none of the men. Or if they do know, they keep quiet about it. The problem is once it is over and the man is reined in by his family and married off to one of them, the girl could be left with no one to marry. Of course the males in the family who are looking for mates will consult their mothers who basically do the matchmaking. The mothers, obliquely or directly, will steer their sons away from the girl in question.

Middle Eastern families are one big secret. If the guy is the one playing around, all of the men will know for sure, but possibly none of the women will know, not even his mother. If the girl is playing around, with a relationship outside the family, the women may know but for sure will keep quiet, (unless they don't like or are jealous of the girl, then it's a whole different story) but everyone will be on edge, because if she is seen with him in public there will be a very big mess.

deb568 posted on the thread A Pakistani dating a Jordanian Man on the Jordan forum

It depends. If you are marrying a man from a well educated family, they may not care what race his partner is as long as she is muslim and preferably practising. But be warned, I have some experience of muslim girls from India and China marrying Jordanians and Palestinians from Jordan and moving to Jordan to live. In both cases, when I met their mothers in law, they both described their daughter in law as "sawda", complaining how dark skinned they were compared to whites. And they both put their sons under pressure to marry a second, "more suitable" wife.

deb568 posted on the thread Rights of an American mother in Jordan on the Amman forum

I'm not sure if you have this in the States, but you should register your child with whatever authority you need to to ensure your ex doesn't kidnap your child and try to slip across the border with him. And once he is at school, make it clear to the school that your husband does not have the right to pick up your son or be alone with him. Hopefully at some point your ex will return to his home country and start again. But just remember, his whole family will be committed to rescuing the son from you, having heard, and belived, his tales of woe. So he could go back but a cousin/uncle/father could come in his place.

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

Of course you have your own experience, but please try to appreciate that we don't all have your wonderful experience, especially those of us married into poor or bedouin families. There are people in this family who refuse to be in the same room as me in our family to this very day, and i've been with my partner for almost 30 years. As time has gone on I have become immune this this kind of thing. What is a handful of people in a family that runs to four figures in size :-) But way back then, when I was still in my 20s, I was very hurt by this behaviour.

Also, people marrying across cultures get married for all kinds of reasons. What they guy says to you in your home country, where he is lonely and possibly without the right papers, doesn't necessarily translate into the same response back in his home country, where he no longer needs you other than to look after his children and for private moments.

Maybe you have a nice life, and live in West Amman, with your own car? Maybe you married into a family who are educated, in the sense that they don't mind men and women being in the same room and mix freely within the family? Or are not married into a local family but living as an ex-patriate? Sorry to say, but if so, you live in a different world to many of the women who have married into local families.

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

JO/EU, I agree it is different if one is able to go to Jordan as a tourist. Or even to be able to afford to live in a nice apartment in West Amman and own and drive a car, - a typical expat lifestyle. In my family, buying food is a struggle and we live one family to a room. Even for us, when we visit, we don't always sleep in a room to ourselves. I've slept on the roof, under the stars when there is no room, i.e. if other people are visiting when we are there.

Peacelovelight, your family don't sound the best, but 200Jd? And on a vegetarian diet? I could feed my family vegetarian food, three meals a day, for 5JD a day, and still have change left over. And hoping for fruit? Fruit is a luxury item in Jordan.

It's really unreasonable of your husband to expect you to ask directly anyway. We did have a time, many years ago, when we ran out of money in Jordan. It was years before I knew who shared their income with us that time, and then only by chance. If your husband doesn't want to share whatever meagre earnings he has back in the States with you and needs his brothers to support his family instead, why can't he go through "proper channels" and arrange this with them, rather than expecting his wife to behave like a beggar?

And what's with your doctor? Isn't he like most doctors and dentists in the poor areas in Jordan, letting you have credit until you can afford to pay? Even when I ran out of money, the doctor and dentist both still treated us. And I know for sure neither bill was settled by the time we left because I settled both of them 4 years later.

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

Sad to hear about the stealing. But in a way it is a good message from Allah that things aren't worth anything, and trying to hold onto them is just a road to misery. I have met a few European women here in Scotland, married to Jordanians, wo lived in jordan for a while, and have literally given their husbands ultimatums - live in the West or divorce. Britain is the compromise, a neutral country, so the children are trilingual. But when their husbands travel to Jordan, they always go alone. The wives refuse to go, so goodness knows what happened to them when they lived there.

deb568 posted on the thread about to marry a jordanian man... on the Amman forum

nadeem_aldeem wrote:

my gosh all the storiesare highlighting married from strangers , I do believe just marry who you love and loves you back and that is it .

Really? So how is it you loved an American lady, but then thought about it and retreated to your own kind, instead of doing the right thing and marrying the American lady? So much for "marry whom you love".