We were all nestled deep into the red sands of Wadi Rum getting to know each other after dinner. I noticed something shiny on Yosra’s hand as she lifted her hookah and asked her what that was. She showed me her thick silver ring, with Arabic scripture inscribed on the top. It was her name, and she got it at Al-Afghani, her favorite souvenir shop in downtown Amman.
Al-Afghani is a store with locations in Mecca Mall and other spots all around Amman. It’s owned by an Afghan family who came to live in Jordan. I told the owner about Travelaine, and was soon given a private tour after introductions to some of the family.
My favorite part of the store is how they personalize the metal for you.
I decided on a necklace with my name written in scripted Arabic. I chose a silver chain with small letters. Our taxi driver/tour guide, Mohanad, acted as the translator for us. They said it would be ready in a couple of days, so my Uncle would take it back with him the next time he traveled home.
It’s incredibly inspiring to watch someone in the zone as they practice their craft. I watched the artist as he wrote on a picture frame for a newly-married couple.
They also showed me other things their family sold, including mosaics, figurines, pictures frames, and more.
Before we left that evening, we heard a knock at the door. Mohanad got a call that the necklace was already ready and hand-delivered it to our apartment. I was so grateful to take it home with me!
Everyone else I met in Jordan said Al-Afghani was the place to go. Even now, I get tons of compliments on my necklace. I actually wear it everyday.
If you’re interested in buying one yourself, let me know and I can connect you with the store to have one of your own! Or if you go to Jordan, this is definitely a souvenir shop worth stopping in.