Arabs are not the most prolific swimmers. Today I went to to swim at a upper-scale gym in the equally upper-scale Abdoun area, and there I witnessed the following: In the gigantic pool are 8 middle-aged men, half of them sporting huge but neatly trimmed mustasches, all of them overwight. They all look like they are struggling to stay afloat. But then I realize that the petite, twenty-something woman standing at the poolside, holding a whistle, is actually giving them intructions - or screaming would be a more fitting word; in her nasal voice, she shouts (in English mind you); "Move your arms! And you; move your feet, higher, higher!".
It was so surreal I forgot to put on the obligatory shower cap I had been given when I jumped in. It only took 20 seconds before she started screaming at me. The matriarchy has perhaps not come to the Middle East yet, but in West Amman it is darn close.