Madaba
david dawson 
madaba, jordan 




Listening to the Lockdown 


Either sat in the courtyard of our house or on the rooftop, the time of day can be judged by one of the many regular sounds of the lockdown. This could be the morning call of the Mosque, the air-raid siren when curfew begins or the sound of the supermarket opening its shutters. This is as much a record of what I heard as what I saw. In Madaba, a normally busy and bustling town, we are experiencing a silence that most have never known and may never return.


april 3rd, 2020 

Windows open as Spring begins and the outdoor and indoor begin to speak with one another. Today the streets are empty and barren as a full curfew has been announced for 48 hours. Suddenly the streets seem unnecessarily wide, with their monotone cracked tarmac stretching across a pointless gap. The streets are dull and the usual sandy white buildings take on the image of mausoleums without the colourful explosion of commerce bursting from their ground floors. All that I found yesterday, on a walk through town, was a sea of shutters with their ubiquitous faded paint, displaying all sorts of products or shops or messages telling people not to park in front of them. It is that perfect moment between spring and summer, where the sun still shines but the trees and grass have not yet turned yellow. All is quiet, the air is clear and fresh and the birds have reclaimed their natural ownership of the trees and skies in the absence daily sounds of the city. If you whistle from the rooftop you own voice comes back to you from various walls in the neighbourhood. It reverberates like the mosque, one of the few sounds that breaks up the day, with each call to prayer. The echoes give the impression that the prayer is not single voice but a huge discussion emanating from every street. This city has never known such quiet and perhaps never well again, for now it is in statis.







what is something you'd like to do that you can't?

Swim in the ocean.