Every Monday starting at 7 pm, Shams Community in Jabal Amman hosts a Dinner & Dialogue with a new topic for discussion every week. Even though I have been in Amman for quite a few months now, I had never been to one of their events, or even heard of them. I found them when one of their events popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. The topic of discussion a few Mondays ago was recycling and apparently the Facebook algorithm was pretty good at calculating that I’m pretty much obsessed with recycling and would be interested in attending.
So yes, it was a no-brainer, I had to join, and to summarize my experience – I am extremely glad I decided to!
About Shams Community
Shams was founded on the premise that every individual has the potential to create change, both internally and externally. The organization aims to facilitate such change by connecting, inspiring and empowering people to redesign their lives and their communities. Shams is a shared community, and seeks to find innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to social and environmental challenges in Jordan.
Monday Dinner & Dialogue
It is in the Monday Dinner & Dialogues that they do just that, find pressing topics, gather people from all over the world that live in Jordan, and have them discuss. I went to a less risque chat about recycling, but other topics have opened the door to more sensitive issues with no holding back. For example, past discussions have included: #MeToo, Terrorism, Gender Roles, Marriage and Relationships, Religion, etc.
How to join & How it goes
To join, basically all you have to do is sign-up on the relevant Facebook event, including filling out the Google form. You’ll receive a confirmation email complete with detailed instructions on how to get there and other FAQs, but the basic details are you just have show up at Shams around 7 pm, pay the 6 JD contribution at the door towards the cost of the food and hosting the event, get assigned to a group, head to your designated room, grab some food (vegan-friendly options available)…
…and start discussing the topic at hand with your small group, round table style.
I had a really great time at Shams. It was great to meet people from all different backgrounds and I loved that the mutual respect level was very high. Not everyone has the same opinion of course, but everyone allowed others to speak with no judgement and no interrupting. The experience shed a very positive light on Jordan, it shows that people DO want to promote change and aren’t about to sit back and watch someone else do it or make excuses. If you are looking to join a community of proactive and inspirational people, I definitely recommend you check out Shams and join a Monday dialogue.
Shams Community is located off Rainbow Street, 11 Omar Ibn Al Khattab Street to be exact. To get there it can be a bit confusing as you have to go down a little staircase (which leads you to a pretty awesome skyline view Amman).
Once you head down the staircase, you’ll find yourself overlooking a pastel painted courtyard and you’re there!