In every gathering in Amman be it a wedding a funeral , or a family dinner you are bound to find these seven female personas. No gathering is ever complete without them. See how many you can identify.
1: The Event Manager: Now aside from the actual host or hostess, bride, groom , or family of the deceased the event is held in honor of or in mourning for, each one of these gatherings has to have someone in it who assumes the role of event manager. This woman is usually a distant relative of the main event’s hosts or just a good friend. She is easy to spot as she is usually the one who is too busy giving orders to people and assigning roles for them. She will be telling the house help to clean tables while also ordering teenagers to stand at doors in order assign people to their seats. She will tell the children to keep children to keep quiet, and the help to clean up. The serious look on her face along with her easily flammable temper gives her away .
2: The Matchmaker: She is usually an older woman who walks into the event along with a very well dressed young lady who is in her twenties. She walks in front of the girl and acts as her tour guide. She stops in front of the first well dressed older woman she sees. She usually seeks women wearing expensive shoes because the shoes are indicative of a rich woman from a rich family. She whispers to the girl “This is Um Mohammad” and the girl walks up to the lady and greets her in the prim and proper way. Then the matchmaker tells the lady “This is my daughter Sara, the one I told you about. She is an engineer. ” She then takes the girl over to another well dressed woman named Um Sami and does the same routine, and a third named Um Laith. She keeps doing this routine in all events she is invited to or part of, until one of these ladies likes the girl enough to introduce her to her eligible son.
3: The Girl Seeking a Husband: She is another well dressed young lady who shows up to the event without the matchmaker. She walks into the event, looks around the room and she spots the well to do ladies. She goes up to them and greets them. Then for the rest of the event she acts as their personal assistant. She displays her manners, her respect for the elderly, and she usually is the first to jump and pour these women coffee, put food on their plate, or even fetch them water should they cough. She doesn’t’ talk unless she is spoken to but when spoken to, she responds in such polite way. She does make sure to somehow fit into her conversation the fact that she can cook, she loves to make cake, she loves her career, and she loves to read books. If a child happens to show up in the event she jumps up to play with the child. But, she doesn’t go too far out of the sight of the well-dressed ladies so that they can see her playing with the kid. Then, she casually tells them how she loves children and how her dream is to be a mom.
4: The Showgirl: This is the girl who puts on a show at fixed intervals during the event. If it is a funeral she will cry the minute anyone new comes into the house. The new arrivals will greet her , give their heartfelt condolences, and take their seats. A few minutes later she will stop crying and instead she will silently read the Quran. She will repeat this routine each time someone new walks into the house of mourning. In weddings, the showgirl will dance each time a new song is played by the DJ. She will take center stage on the dance floor , hoping that someone interesting will spot her.
5: The Ill: This is the woman who always has a headache, backache, foot ache, or stomachache, if not a chronic disease. She feels her health condition is of interest to everyone around her or at least she feels that it should be. So, she will keep discussing it with everyone who listens. When it is time for her to take her medicine, she makes a big show of it. She will ask someone to rush and get her bag, and someone else to rush and get her a glass of water, and a third person to recommend a doctor who will give her a second opinion for the disease she already knows about.
6: The Head of Religious Affairs: This woman specifically shows up in funerals because her religious beliefs prevent her from attending weddings. She distributes versus from the Quran to everyone to read. She then instructs all the ladies to put the versus they had finished reading in one pile and the ones they didn’t read in another because God Forbid that a verse be read twice. She is also in charge hushing everyone in order to listen to the Quran playing in the background. She also forces everyone to listen to the lady giving a lesson on religion and in her free time she distributes free religious advice and opinions to anyone who listens.
7: The Proud Grandma: This is a woman who had just seen her first grandchild. She honestly feels that everyone should celebrate her moment with her. So, in any event she will pull out her mobile to share photos of her grandchild taking a bath, being changed, or eating. She will then ask everyone who they think the baby looks like, hoping that the baby looks like her son or daughter. She will continue to show pictures of her grandchild as long as her health permits her to do so or until the grandchild grows up and has kids of his or her own, whatever comes first.
No event in Amman will be the same without those seven women. They are there, you just have to have a sharp eye to point them out.