A Tour Leader By Nature

By Tala Bassam Momani

This story occurred 5 years ago when I used to attend university in Irbid, Jordan. I remember it was Ramadan when I took the public bus going back from Irbid to Amman where I live. It was just half an hour before the Athaan time (the calling for the sunset prayer when Muslims are allowed to break their fast) when the bus broke down in the middle of the highway; it was quite empty as most people were gathered in their homes to have Iftar [the meal that breaks the fast] with their families, so we had no chance to catch a ride back – although we were close to the exit that leads to Jerash. The only thing to do was to wait until later in the evening when traffic would return to normal on the highway.

I was fasting at the time and starving… couldn’t think clearly… couldn’t wait around any longer! I decided to walk towards Jerash, 15 km south-west from the highway. I’m not sure what I was thinking, I just started walking. After about 2km I heard footsteps behind me, only to look back and find another seven of my fellow bus passengers right behind me. I realized then that they were following me; they thought that I knew the way when I actually had no clue. I was just following a water stream through the fields so I kept following the stream and they kept on following me. It was a pleasant enough walk; it was winter time but not so cold although the soil was a bit muddy.

After one and a half hours we finally arrived at a village setting (it was actually a nursery or farm) hungry, thirsty and muddy. Another guy and I dared to knock on a door which was answered by a gentleman at which point I said “ehna dakhleen ala Allah ow aleik” – meaning “in God’s name we are asking for your help” or “please offer us Iftaar!” The man was still welcoming after realizing that there were six more people with us and invited us all into his home.

Tens of people were in that house; women, children and men and they all joined us for a second Iftar. They were very hospitable and even offered us Qatayef – a regional Ramadan dessert – after which our host drove us to Amman in his pick-up truck. Being the only girl in the gang I had the pleasure of a seat inside the vehicle while the rest had to sit in the back of the truck, while we were driven to the bus station in downtown Amman.

That day I arrived at my house at around nine at night – the longest drive ever from Irbid to Amman.

I suppose you could say that those people were the first group I ever lead – a tour leader by nature. Ha

10 Responses to A Tour Leader By Nature

  1. Aws Ismail says:

    wow, tala, what a story. I remeber how aweful were these methods of transportatio going out of the university, luckily for me i was living in irbid around that time.

    Nontheless, i really miss the years i’ve spent at J.U.S.T ((http://www.just.edu.jo)

  2. sereen shahin says:

    i am so proud of you and your passion,,really,,great to see someone like that,,one day inshallah you will be a minister of environment and u make it compulsory for having passion for the environment for any good citizen:)

    how can i join Terhaal?

  3. Wajd Al Jamal says:

    I am sure I havent heard this story before. But knowing Tala, you should know that she always has one of those fresh stories! it also makes the idea of having Eftar on the table and on time everyday a great thing to be thankful for.

    While am at it, maybe I shold this. I love the website, very nice. The right hand side is a little too dark though. Keep it up. I will definitly be checking it more often.


  4. terhaal says:

    Hey wajd! this story is new to me as well although i’ve been seeing tala everyday for the last 15 months! Her new little stories are endless.. I guess she would fit perfectly in the media industry.. "muzee3a bila 7udood" =)

    I am glad you liked the site; thank you for your valuable feedback.. In a week time the new design and the complete website will hopefully be launched.. so keep coming back…


  5. Honestly, I never thought that I have such stories until we’ve started this Blog.

    I thought that it would take some time until I begin writing my memoir :P , but good story today is better than great one tomorrow.

    I am glad that you do like blog, next summer you’ll join one of our hikes so you can contribute and write an article to post it on Terhaal’s blog.

    Kol ma3moul o enty be 7’eer ïپٹ

  6. Ahmad says:

    Never ceases to amaze me the adventure stories that Tala has had!

  7. yahoo.com says:

    My dearest friend,

    You cried my eyes and made me smile from my heart at the same time. Being severly homesick, your one of the most i miss. I just remember the first time we met that was in the bus on the way to Techno, u just impressed me with the richy stories u had, describing ur life, the story of that taxi driver who had an accident when u were heading to univ. and the many stories both of us know that were told that day, i always tell about u, i also remember taking me in a trip to Ramtha bus station for a change and discovery, u just could break the very normal things i used to do and added a flavour to our special sistership.

    Miss you and Mabrook for you and Rakan for this succeful bright project, all the best luck.


  8. Maha says:

    Hello Terhaal team, if you came to know that Tala’s nick name is – abo maltoush .. You will surely beleive this story !

    Congradulation on the new launch of the site. would suggest to see more light green colour in the back to give the visitor more natural feeling.

    Count me in for the up-coming summer site trips , I would like Hashem and Faisal to overcome their fear from ants !


  9. Maha says:

    Never walk on a traveled path ,,, because it only leads you to where the others have been ,,,


  10. muradarslan says:

    all respect ..

    im comming back to home .. im looking forward to go for trips with terhaal .. hope u ll be the leader .. and me and my friend thinking of walking from wadi al waleh till the dead sea .. but we need some info .. when i come back .. i ll contact with you ..

    till then .. take good care

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