“Children Without Borders” Staff Gathering – 国境なき子どもたち “KnK” スタッフ茶会

A few days ago, we have had the great pleasure of hosting the wonderful local staff of the non-profit organisation KnK,  who supports underprivileged youth in Asia, by offering them educational programs and extra curricular activities.

KnK began operation in 2000, from their base in Tokyo, and in 2007 Jordan joined their network, and currently caters to almost 800 kids.

We were very glad Kato-san, the project coordinator, was able to feel the warmth of her home while enjoying her tea.

Our host, Mariam-san, proved to handle her first official Chakai very well.

The staff of KnK consists of teachers and social workers, who besides providing the education and activities to the kids, they also work on reintegrating the underprivileged youth into society.

This event was an introduction to a bigger two-day event, dedicated for all the kids, which Chanoyu Arabia is looking forward to taking part in at the KnK centre in Jabal Amman, on the 27th and 28th of June 2011.

Thanks to Kato-san for coordinating this event and introducing us to the wonderful staff, and thanks to Tymoor-sensei for coming up with the initial idea, and for documenting this event, and thanks to Mariam-san for her efforts and support.

Looking forward to meeting and sharing tea with the kids on the coming big event.


Incentive Tea Gathering for “Sitat Byoot”

“Sitat Byoot” is a group of women that work from their homes, by creating and selling various handmade products.

The founders of this group approached Chanoyu Arabia to host their incentive gathering, and introduce their members to Japanese culture, and the numerous crafts that involve Chanoyu.

It was a great pleasure meeting all those creative and proactive women, and see them absorb this new experience and learn a few new things, that hopefully would help them come up with new ideas for their projects.

After greeting the guests, and introducing Chanoyu to them, everyone was paying attention to the steps of preparing tea.

To our pleasant surprise, the main guest, by mere coincidence, had previously experienced Chanoyu, several years ago. She was very excited to try it for the second time, in this more elaborate setting.

With the great help of Mariam-san, it was possible to serve all the guests in a good pace.

This was the first official event that Mariam-san sat in as the host, and prepared tea for the guests, which made us very proud of her.

The guests got the chance to have a close look at the Natsume and the Chanshaku, which for them meant more than utensils, but rather handmade products, that showed the Japanese craftsmanship.

The guests were interested to learn the stories of the utensils, where and how they were made.

Thanks to “Sitat Byoot” for choosing Chanoyu Arabia for treating their members to this incentive tea gathering, and giving them this chance to explore this part of Japanese culture with us.

Recent Tea Gatherings 茶会

With many events happening lately, there hasn’t been enough time for practice sessions, but surely there were many special occasions for gathering and sharing tea with great and memorable guests.

With the first group in this series of gatherings, even though it was their first time, it seemed as if they knew what they had to do, which made me feel very proud of them.

In another special gathering, all of the guests were from Saudi Arabia.

Being born in Saudi Arabia, it was great talking about the similarities between the Saudi and Japanese cultures.

This lovely gathering arose the prospects of Chanoyu Arabia in Saudi Arabia.

Dipping the toasted rice cakes, in either soya sauce, and wrapping it with nori (seaweed), or with hot water and sweetened kinako (ground roasted soy bean).

A wonderful couple, full of positive energy. I enjoyed hosting a lot, and hope to share with them more tea in the future.

Our last two guests for this series of gatherings, were two wonderful brothers, who were lured into this experience by a friend of mine, and were pleasantly surprised. 🙂

Chakai 茶会 (Tea Gathering)

In April, M-sensei came from Cairo to Amman to be part of the Japanese Speech Contest jury, which was a great chance to host him at Chanoyu Arabia’s Tea Room. The scroll reads 松樹千年翠 (shouju sennen no midori) which talks about the beauty of never changing green colour of thousands of years old pine trees. A note to pay attention to unchangeable beauty, which is harder than appreciating the changing things around us.

Having such a special guest as M-sensei, was a great excuse to share Koicha (thick tea) with him, along with A-sensei, H-sensei and T-sensei.

The main guest approaches to reach for both the Chawan and the Kobukusa (a square silk cloth to hold the chawan with).

“A Cup of Humanity”

After having the Koicha, the guests get to see the Chaire 茶入れ (thick tea container), the Chashaku 茶杓 (tea scoop) and the Shifuku 仕覆.

A macro shot by our great T-sensei.

After having Koicha, the guests go out to the garden to refresh, while the host prepares for Ususcha (thin tea).

Thanks to T-sensei for capturing this wonderful occasion with his high sense of beauty, and thanks to M-sensei for accepting this humble invitation, and making it a memorable chakai.

Tea with Yasuda-sensei

The most rewarding thing about making tea, is the precious encounter with great people.

I have had the pleasure of spending some quality tea time with Yasuda-sensei, who came to Jordan to share his love and passion for the traditional chess-like game “GO”, and introduce it to people in Jordan.

Yasuda-sensei is a true master of the game, but he is mostly known for his keenness to introduce children to the game, and as a therapeutic activity in institutions for the elderly and the mentally challenged.

After our tea gathering, Yasuda-sensei was very kind to present a folding fan, with his hand-written message that says “All people upon the Earth are the same: precious, important lives, each one is different, but all are wonderful”.

In the middle of the fan, a drawing of a formation that can arise during a “GO” game, which expresses “Mutual Life” for both players or “Live and Let Live”.

Thanks to Yasuda-sensei for accepting this humble invitation, and thanks to Izumikawa-san and Gupse-san of the Japanese Embassy, for making this special encounter happen. Hope we will meet again, and enjoy more tea together.