Name & Place of Origin

Moodi Almasri/ Jordan

Why do you want to learn English?

English is the native language of this country. If you learn how to speak English well, then, you are able to communicate with the community of this country, including all other foreign language speaking nationalities. Furthermore, you can connect your knowledge, background or skills you have to help you survive and advance your learning in any field.

Tell us a bit about your home country and the culture there.

Jordan is situated almost in the middle of the world. It’s an Arab Kingdom located in an Asian continent.  It’s very close to the Mediterranean area, and shares a lot of geographic and cultural similarities.

de Young Museum
Moodi (left) at the de Young Museum

Climate wise, most geographic areas enjoy the four seasons. Mild to hot summer, and very cold winter with some snow in the mountain areas.

Jordan is considered to be moderate in terms of culture. People are mostly conservative by nature. No rules are imposed to them to have a certain religious conduct like many people think!

You can practice religions, pray in mosques or churches and still enjoy life. You can hangout with your friends, or your girlfriend and grab some beer in a pub or a club. But still, “Don’t tell your parents!”

A typical weekend day in Amman (the capital) could be hanging out with some friends at the evening to play pool and have some drinks. In some of the Westernized neighborhoods, such as “Swafieh” or “Rabieh”, you walk to a Hooka bar and have “Argeeleh” (Hooka) while listening to Eastern or Western live music depending in what you choose, then you can either have dinner at the same place or  drive to the downtown “El Balad” to eat at “Hashim” restaurant. A 24/hours and a very famous Hummus and Falafel restaurant in the downtown, opened since 1955 . Then you are done for the day, so you either sleep, or continue watching the latest Hollywood movie which only costs $1 or $2 !

What do you like to do for fun in the Bay Area?

Bay Area has a lot to offer. I do love outdoor activities, such as running in Golden Gate Park, biking in the Presidio and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. I also go to Planet Granite to do some bouldering sometimes. I enjoy barbecuing with some friends in the parks too.

SF-SOMA-2
One of Moodi’s photographs

Photography is for sure one of the most important things in my life. And I’m working on it to make it something helpful for me and for the community, by participating in some projects that convey certain meanings by Photography art. Such as, publicity ads.

Music concerts, are a great thing in San Francisco, and whenever I check out the calendar I find something that is worth seeing. There are many talents who come to the Bay Area, so I try to attend some of them!

What are some differences you notice between San Francisco and your home country?

Definitely there are a lot of differences! We are talking about West and East. Traditions for example are different. We do not hug or kiss girls who are friend with us, which is a normal thing here. But, we kiss guys 3 or 4 times sometimes!! Which is not a normal thing here!

We can not talk about gay rights and Marijuana legalization in Jordan. Because, I don’t think you will survive after that!

Another thing, there are no homeless people in the streets of Jordan not even 1%! Even though the economy budget of Jordan is probably less than Stanford University’s budget in Palo Alto! The reason is that most people own houses or lands, and if they don’t they will live with their families or even their relatives. Social life is stronger than what I have seen here. It is individualistic here.

What is your favorite English word/ phrase you’ve learned thus far?

I actually learned a lot so it’s hard to tell! But I can say the idiom “Cost an arm and a leg” is very expressive in this expensive city!

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Student Spotlight: Moodi Almasri
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