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From Ice To Paradise: A Hand-made Comeback

Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
by Sami Haven
by Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven
Photo Credit: Sami Haven

Text by Jennifer MacKenzie

From snow drifts to clouds of jasmine: in one season, the landscape of Amman has undergone a renaissance, thanks to a sturdy network of volunteers that aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

Last December, winter storm Alexa left 4,000 trees uprooted across the city and damaged over five times that number. In its wake, the municipality of greater Amman moved quickly to coordinate a civic recovery. The first wave of re-planting on January 15 gathered 800 volunteers who planted 5,000 new saplings in two parks and along Jordan Street, with rounds of more planting continuing each month. By May, the mayor of Amman, Aqel Biltaji, says the city’s green cover will comprise half a million trees.

These plantings are part of a long-term plan to make the water-short city an urban oasis. Nabal Qattan, executive director of the municipality’s social centers, rattles off the varieties of trees planted in over 20 neighborhoods: “Washingtonia on Abdullah Woshey Street, Jawanib Zenzelat on Ibrahim Qptan Street, and from the First to the Sixth Circle on Zahran Street, Rubinia and Hur trees.”

Last but not least are the tens of thousands of jasmines—the indigenous variety—that have also been planted. The blizzard might have been hard, but soon enough, the only patches of white dotting Amman will be millions of flowers, divinely perfumed.

For more info – Jordan Times

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Sami Haven

Sami Haven was born in Amman, Jordan, in 1987. His mother is originally from Yabroud, Syria, and his father is English born in the Caribbean. He grew up in his grandmother's house in Jabal al-wehbdeh, in the heart of Amman. In 2003 Sami moved to Al-Saru, on the outskirts of Amman, where he studied graphic design at Al Ahliyya University, graduating with the highest grades of his class. In 2005 he moved to Rome, Italy, where he did his masters in Photography. Sami worked with the world's most famous photographers like Steven Klein and Oliviero Toscani, along with many others. His works have been included in the Biennale of Venice directed by Kazuyo Sejima, Paris-Photo, and also in Tokio. After working in various editions of X-FACTOR Italia - making video clips for the contestants - in theatre with Fendi, and in the high fashion industry, Sami felt there was something missing, and so he decided to go to Gaza, Palestine, because it is an example of resistance and humanity, and to try and contrast the image constructed by the Western media that serves only the powerful. Today Sami is co-funder and part of an on growing conceptual group called Jasmine. A group united through passion against fear, a smell that's to spread out from the Mediterranean like a virus, to contaminate the world with Love, and heal from indifference. All can be part, and all shall be armed: Culture, Art, Music and Sport shall be our weapons of mass construction.

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