What is your full name?
My given name is Lian and my family name is Haddad, please just call me Lian
May I see your identification?
Yes, of course, here is my passport that I used for registration.
Where do you live?
I live in a two-bedroom flat on the south side of Amman which is the capital city of Jordan.
What do you like about your home?
I like that my home is spacious and conveniently located just minutes’ walk from shops and restaurants.
Let’s talk about making food.
How often do you make a sandwich?
I make sandwiches sometimes, about twice a week, usually for lunch. Like uesterday, I made a yummy chicken sandwich.
What do you use to make food?
I use both kitchen appliances like an oven and stovetop as well as ingredients like rice, meets, vegetables and fruits to prepare a variety of dishes.
Do you like to cook? Do you like to bake? (Why? Or Why not?)
I enjoy cooking very much, as well as baking. Two days ago, I baked a delicious chocolate cake for my family. I find cooking not only helps me relax but also saves me money and time, as opposed to eating out.
What is your favorite ingredient?
The ingredient that I love above all others has to be tomatoes. There are several types of tomatoes, and this vegetable, slash fruit, is both sweet and sour and I use it in many Jordanian dishes.
Have you learned to make any special dishes? (Why?)
Yes, I like to think that I have perfected making Mansaf, which is the national dish of Jordan. This dish contains lamb cooked in fermented dried yogurt, called Jameed, and served with rice or bulgur. In fact, I just made this last Sunday for supper.
If you could learn to make any dish, what would it be? (Why?)
Hmm, that’s an interesting question, let me think for a moment. Well, I’m really into Indian cuisine as well, so it would be great to learn how to make a delicious chicken vindaloo.
When done right, it is just superb.
Talk about an idea you had to improve a relationship
You should say:
- Who it was with?
- What was the idea?
- When and why did you have this idea?
Did it improve your relationship? If yes, how?
You will have one to two minutes to talk about this topic.
You will have one minute to prepare what you are going to say.
An excellent idea that I came up with last year for my family to improve our relationships with each other is game night once every two weeks. My brother, sister and I don’t get to hang out too often these days as we are all busy with our jobs and social life, so we had been feeling a bit estranged from one another since moving away from home. My brother Ahmed is working day and night as a physician, so he has very little time for family and friends. And, my sister Nora is busy with her kids. So, we take turns choosing social games to play like Monopoly and Charades; whoever’s turn it is to choose a game is also the host. We usually get together on Saturday evenings for three to four hours and really enjoy the company. Often there are a few other family members or friends who join in on the fun. It is a great way to unwind from the stresses of life while getting a chance to communicate and catch up on matters. So far, this idea of mine has worked out really well, and, although we don’t all always make it to these gatherings, we definitely make it most. In this way, we have rekindled our relationships and I feel as close to my siblings as ever. I think that these game nights not only help strengthen our bonds but also help us learn strategy, management and sympathy of each other. So, I would definitely say that doing this has improved our relationships.
Let’s talk about relationships
What is important to maintain a healthy relationship with others? Has this changed from previous generations? If yes, how?
Well, I think that respect and time are necessary to keep relationships healthy. I mean, as I mentioned just now, by spending more time with my siblings face-to-face on game nights, we earn greater respect from each other. In this way, we have a positive connection with one another. (follow-up) I don’t believe this is all that different from my parents’ and grandparents’ time. They also needed quality time and mutual respect for good relationships.
Why do people desire to have strong relationships with certain people in their lives? Is this true for everyone?
Well, most people are connected by blood, like me with my Ahmed and Nora, and this elicits an innate sense of obligation to each other. Also, people fall in love and build families. Think these are the strongest underlying factors for people to seek strong connections. (follow-up) Yes, I do believe that this holds true for most people as humans are social by nature. However, there are those people who are antisocial and do not seek companionship as much as others.
How have making relationships changed over the past-half century? Is this for the better or worse?
In the past 50 years, with significant advancements in technology, forming bonds have greatly diversified. Nowadays, millions of people make friends and fall in love through using the internet, by means of social media and matchmaker websites. I have a good friend, Amira, who met her husband through an online dating site. This simply wasn’t imaginable back in the mid-1900s. (follow-up) I think in some ways this is for the better, as it gives people more opportunities to meet the right person, and tech also enables people to keep in touch through great distances, but at the same time it can also isolate people whereby they don’t spend much time in face-to-face interactions.
Let’s talk about solitude.
Some people believe that every person should spend some time alone in order to reflect on their character? Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
Yes, I agree that it is healthy for people to have moments alone where they can review and untangle all of their thoughts and emotions. For this very reason I meditate quietly for twenty minutes each morning. This helps to make better decisions and stay stress free.
Where are good places for people to be alone with their own thoughts? Can you elaborate?
A nice, quite room in the house is a good option for self-reflection, or a peaceful spot in nature when it’s available. (follow-up) Yes, quiet places give people peace of mind away from distraction. I sometimes go for a hike in nature to meditate. This way, I can get away from the noisy city life and really introspect.
Isolation has been used as a form of punishment for many centuries? Is this acceptable? Yes, I think it is. I know that most prisons around the world will isolate inmates who cause problems. I think this is a good alternative to physical punishment and I’ve heard it’s highly effective.
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