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من أكثر الأسئلة التي أطرحها دائماً وأحاول البحث عن إجابة لها.. ولأكون صادقاً أكثر فأنا نفسي لا أقرأ كثيراً.. فلماذا لا نقرأ الكتب العربية ولا نسخى بشراءها، هل صناعة الكتب مجدية للكثير من دور النشر لدرجة أن هذا الأمر مجرد مشكلة شخصية عندي أم أنه بالفعل لا توجد لدينا ثقافة القرآءة..

قررت في يوم من الأيام أن أشتري كتاباً عربياً لأقراءه. ولكن بمجرد النظر إلى رفوف الكتب بدا لي الجواب عن الأسئلة السابقة جلياً… وظهرت برآءة القاريء العربي… ببساطة كتبنا العربية لا تُقرأ. فهي من القباحة بمكان لا يمكنني تخيل نفسي أدفع نقوداً لشرائها. فكتبنا العربية تتميز بسوء الشكل ورداءة التصميم قلباً وقالباً لدرجة منفرة تفقد موضوع الكتاب هيبته ورونقه… أضف إلى ذلك المستوى السيء للطباعة والمواد المستخدمة في الطباعة. ناهيك عن فقر شديد في مواضيع الكتب وتنوع محتواها…

أرى أن على دور النشر البدأ بالنظر جدياً لما تقدمه للقاريء العربي وتعمل على الاستثمار في رفع الذوق العام حتى تكون هناك صناعة كتب حقيقية مجدية فعلاً وأن تقوم بإيجاد أفكارٍ إبداعية تضيف قيمة جديدة للكتب تنافس مصادر المعرفة التكنولوجية الحديثة. وحتى تكون هذه العملية سلسلة متكاملة فيجب أن تبدأ أيضاً من خلال رفع مستوى ونوعية الكتب المدرسية والتي هي أيضاً تتسم بالرداءة وسوء الذوق حتى تتعود أنفسنا على تقبل القرآءة باللغة العربية بشكل جميل ومتقن. وأقترح على دور النشر أن تقوم بعقد مؤتمر على مستوى العالم العربي لمناقشة هذا الموضوع وتبادل الخبرات والتعلم من خبرات الآخرين لنقل صناعة الكتب إلى مستوى أعلى.

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Amman font used on street signs

September 4th, 2010

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Sheep Attack!!

November 27th, 2009

Sheep attack

Have you noticed your Facebook account lately!! Due to the Adha Eid people shared their greetings through e-card images using sheep in many different concepts trying to spread fun and smiles before the Eid. The sheep now is considered an overused icon or symbol for this religious celebration each year you get spammed by herds of digital sheep.

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In this post we are going to share with you our experience in designing the floats of Amman’s Centennial parade

When we joined the efforts of organizing this parade it was the first time for us to go into such kind of projects. In fact it was the first time for everyone in Jordan. Although it was not within our core business but we found it interesting as kharabeesh to tell the story of Amman through a parade, and not through animation or comic.

Kharabeesh was lucky to be part of an amazing corporate coalition along with GAM to organize Amman’s first parade, IJordan with their long experience in event management, in addition to OrangeRed and their magical cultural practice and knowledge.

It was assigned to Kharabeesh to be the creative and design arm to handle branding, communication and all media materials as well as designing the floats of the parade and that was the most interesting part. The fact that we all came from an architectural background, helped us a lot in the design and supervision process of building the floats.

During the research we came to some rare photos of small floats used in the Golden Jubilee carnival in late 70s. The float seems pretty interesting. And it was amazing to see that Amman at one point used to celebrate like this, but never been repeated again. Floats used to be almost the same design; a box with flowers and his majesty portrait on the top of the vehicle.

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Parades Theme
Coming up with a theme for the parade was the first step to agree on, so that the whole organization and work will be based on it. The theme was about the historical representation of Amman’s life in 100 years. The parade was divided into to 10 decades. Each decade represented by a float and different types of units, each float represents the major achievements of that specific decade, and that was our reference.

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One of the earlier sketches for the parade

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The next step is to decide the major achievement on each decade, a research has been conducted and the final list was the following:
- Starting from 1909: The establishment of Amman’s first municipal council; Majlis al baladiyeh.
- 20’s: The arrival of king Abdulla I into Amman, and the train and cabin used by King Abdullah as an office.
- 30’s: Street vendors, and the development of most of Amman’s “souk”’s, such as “Souq Al Bukharieh, al sukkar, al dahab, mango,,,”
- 40’s: Education and schools revolution..
- 50’s: Utilities in Amman were developed, water, electricity..etc.
- 60’s: Launching JRTV and Sports and arts nourished.
- 70’s: There was a boost in the numbers of profession, establishment of naqabat and the medical city; this decade reflects the advancement of the professional world in Jordan
- 80’s: Celebrating the opening of the Queen Alia International airport as well as the infrastructural work that took place in Amman with roads and bridges.
- 90’s: The change and evolvement of Amman culture and community
- Now: 10 years of Kings Abdulla II achievements

Route selection
The parade route made some limitations on the design of the floats. The decision was made that the parade must be in the heart of Amman. On the road were everything started for modern Amman, from downtown to Municipality building in Ras Al Ain. This route forced many technical limitations to us. We couldn’t go higher than 4.5 meters due to bridges and wires. And we could not exceed a width of 2.5 meters due to the narrow streets and curved route.

Flat beds
Away from the conceptual part, we started building the float beds which will carry the float’s models and props on them. There were two kinds of floats, floats that is self moving (self propelled), and the other one is towed floats. We had to go with the towed because it was within our capabilities.

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After searching GAM vehicles, we couldn’t find any suitable flat bed, or anything similar to what we needed, so we had to design the steel structure for the flat bed that will carry the float and, and coordinate to have load test, considering reasonable safety factor.

Conceptual drawing
Floats must be fun and reflecting a festive spirit. Kids must enjoy watching them and remember them when they grow up. It was the first time for us to design a float, we scanned and researched many floats made in other countries and we took our manufacturing capabilities and cost in consideration as all floats must be built by local suppliers and there were no float builders in Jordan.

So we started by taking each subject and translate it into visual elements and props. One tip was useful to us is that when designing a float, exaggeration is a key element in design. Taking small objects and enlarge them would look interesting in a float.

We also wanted to inject elements that can stimulate the memories of the Ammanies and feel connected to it, inspired by our local culture and lifestyle that we all shared when we were young.

Leave room for improvisation
In float design it’s very important to consider decorations. Plants and flowers can add life to floats. You can also make use of real live props and objects which can enrich the visual appearance of the float. These decorative elements can give more flexibility to the design after production.

Technical drawing
After finalizing the conceptual design sketches, these sketches are converted into workshop drawings with proper scale and measurements so that float builders will be able to build the models and finalize the float.

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Building the floats
Floats were built by local workshops in Amman, some of them were specialized in stage setups and TV studio’s decorations, and others were regular carpenters and blacksmiths. In general we did not expect much at the beginning, but at the end they did an amazing job which exceeded our expectations and made us think to go further next year if we got the chance. Some floats took two weeks and others took days. And the process of building kept going to the last few minutes of the parade.

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Looking Forward
This parade was a learning experience for everyone, including the people of Amman. I am sure next year will be bigger and better. We’ve learned so many stuff along the way and with time and experience; Amman will witness a new amazing way to celebrate its legacy.

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When we started Kharabeesh we wanted to be storytellers who are telling our stories in all kind of formats. But we never thought that we are going to tell a story of a city through floats and a people..

We were lucky to be part of an amazing trilogy. Three Jordanian companies, iJordan, OrangeRed and Kharabeesh teamed together to organize Amman’s first parade. The biggest festive event this year and the tipping point of a one year celebration of GAM’s centennial.

Amman Centennial Parade Poster

Kharabeesh is considered the creative arm of the organizing team. Our role was divided into two major parts.

A- Branding and communication design which include designing all kind communication materials such posters, flayers, outdoors. ads and TVCs.

Amman Centennial Parade Website

B- Float design, and that was the most challenging and interesting part, because it was the first time ever we design a float, from concept to workshop drawing, eleven floats were designed. Ten of these floats, each represent a decade from the 100 years of Amman.
Amman Centennial parade | One the floats concept sketches

The parade is going to be on Friday 9th of October and it’s gonna start form the roman theater and ends at Ras Al Ain.

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Replacing the big NO with Arabic alphabet “Noon” and changing the color from dark red into fresh yellow. Kharabeesh productions and Untitled design joined forces to come up with a new cool brand for Nourmina.

Utilizing the illustrative spirit of kharbeesh, and using the basic shape of “Noon” in many different scenarios, setups and formation was the major concept behind the logo identity, animation and screen design..

Most of the brand elements are not yet implemented and there is going to be a transitional phase in the upcoming weeks.. but in overall we can say that Nourmina is changing in both image and content as well as in message and direction. We hope that this is going to be for the best..

Good-luck

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Becoming a storyteller

April 28th, 2009

Whenever I see someone, I wonder how many stories he lived or kept inside him. Whenever I see a light coming from a home or a window at night I wonder what stories happened inside that house. Maybe because I have a big nose, or maybe I have a passion for telling stories and living them.

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Our existence in no more than stories to be told or kept as secrets. Stories are told every second in every inch among everyone.

These words come out of passion. A passion from someone who decided to become a storyteller.

But the question is? How can this storyteller make a living out of this passion?

He found Kharabeesh with other people who believe in the power of storytelling. A place where storytellers can narrate their stories to others. A place where creative writers and artists can meet together and tell stories about their lives, culture, people and believes. Kharabeesh is the cradle for the untold stories.

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Check out Kharabeesh.com

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I had a very bad experience when I had to pull my kid’s stroller at the Rainbow street.. I had to left the stroller many time in and out the sidewalk. I had to drag the stroller on a very ruff pavement and I had a very hard time crossing the road or moving from point to point.

They spent thousands of dinars to revamp the street and they could not think of how a stroller can move inside it.. Mobility in this street sucks.

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It’s really cool to see maps for Amman on streets… but unfortunately the finishing of the sign is poor, the quality of map and printing is so bad and the design of information is not legible… but the idea is good and i support such initiatives like this…

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Calligrapher Saleh Nasab and designer Hussein Al Aza’at are leading a new effort in organizing a second round workshop in calligraphy. This time they are going to take a farther step and will introduce 4 courses. a comprehensive course, Diwani, Farsi and Thulth courses as well.

This time the courses will be much longer and much focused. It’s going to be a good chance for everyone to dive deep into the art of arabic calligraphy.

I wish this workshop will be a great success same as the first one and I hope it will get the attention it deserve from media and cultural society.

Read more details

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