Home Life

Amman, Jordan

The complete norm (expectation, really) in the Middle East is that families stay together. Grown kids remain with their parents until marriage, and even then they often move into a different part of the family home with their spouse. It is actually considered weird and potentially offensive to parents and grandparents if a grown child wants to move out and live on their own.

If you have some money, that is to say if you are Middle Class-ish, you probably have a pretty decent sized house that is almost like a compound. The home pictured here is one that my friend Linda lives in with her Mom, brother, sister, and the rest of the fam. They do the family house thing right, complete with separate levels and an almost apartment complex feeling stairwell that separates the different levels of the home. This allows for privacy and feelings of independence while allowing family solidarity. Linda is a photographer and cafe owner, her sister teaches tango and does graphic design, and her brother is a musician. They all have passion for what they are doing, they all sleep under the same roof.

Linda's sweet mom is what we would call a "stay at home mom," a very traditional role. She manages home life and clearly has done a great job raising successful, independent children. You might notice some Jesusy things around the house-this is a Christian family, something that is more common in Amman than I would have imagined. One thing that is not super common about their home: a dog named Bunzy. I think that really, he might have run the house.