“What I like most about Christmas is going to Church,” says Jamal, who comes from Iraq and takes part in CRP’s After-School Club. “I always like going to Church because I like the singing, it’s the best part.” Jamal goes to Church every Saturday with his grandmother and aunt because Sundays are working days in Jordan.
For Christmas, it will be different. Like in Churches in other parts of the world, the place will be decorated with a Christmas tree and the Mass will have a Nativity play recounting Jesus’s birth.
Although Jordan is a predominantly Muslim country with only six percent Christians, Christmas is still an important event for a lot of people—and December 25th is a public holiday.
The most important thing on Christmas will be the walk to the Church, chimes in Sami, explaining that the boys will wear white dresses and carry candles during the ceremony. Both boys’ families came from Iraq and live now in Amman’s neighborhood Hashemi Shamali.
“Last year I missed Christmas because I had to study. I had exams,” recalls Sami, determined that this will not happen this year. In addition to Christmas Mass, he looks forward to the food that follows the ceremony. As a special dish only for Christmas, his mom will prepare bumbar, special sausages with goat meat and rice, followed by chocolate cake. His favorite cake, Sami adds.
And of course there will be presents. The boys have clear wishes: Sami is hoping for a doctor’s kit, “because I want to be a doctor in the future,” he says. Jamal is hoping to get a remote control car. “I just want the car, I really hope I will get it,” he says.
Sami and Jamal supplement their education with games and classes at CRP’s After-School Club, where, like in all over Amman, even non-Christians are enjoying the Christmas-vibe that has reached the city. “I don’t celebrate Christmas, I just like the music,” say a lot Sami and Jamal’s friends at After-School Club. But many other of their peers are also Christians from Iraq. Most of them fled sectarian violence, and are looking forward to spend Christmas this year here in peace, surrounded by their family—which is something we are all striving for no matter where we live
So help us share the gift of peace and donate here to keep CRP’s youth and education activities running throughout the coming year.