In the US, most people know at least one Jim, one Sarah, etc. In Jordan, everyone probably knows at least ten Ahmads. No joke.
The other day I was having a conversation with my friends and the name Ahmad came up. Then came the confusion. Which Ahmad?! Your Ahmad? My Ahmad? Ahmad's Ahmad? Which Ahmad? I kid you not when I say it got quite confusing.
A couple days before this, I was talking to the women who own a clothing shop next to my apartment...I decided to strike up conversation which started by common ground. Oh, you know my friend Ahmad (he is Circassian and they are Circassian = common ground) This was met by......"oh.....Ahmad who?" Oh, the Circassian Ahmad who works at the same language center I do. Suddenly the lights went off...."oh, that Ahmad."
My friends and I were wondering how many people would turn their heads if we yelled, 'Ahmad!' downtown. My guess is about 50.
Next time I mention any Ahmad, I'm going to have mention the last name, family origins and occupation. Then, and only then, will people might pinpoint exactly which Ahmad is being talked about. And now, I have to call back my friend Ahmad.