Ramadan Khalili – slaking Ammanis’ thirst for over half a century

By Muath Freij

AMMAN – The passion for making juice has been passed on from generation to generation in the Khalili family, which is well-known for preparing different flavours of juice.

Ramadan Khalili, owner of the Ramadan Khalili shop in downtown Amman, said his family never abandoned the juice-making profession and they were determined to teach this craft to the family’s upcoming generations.

“We are attached to our heritage,” the 81-year-old told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.

The story started 71 years ago when Khalili’s father Abdul Aziz used to go around the Palestinian city of Hebron selling fruits and juice during the 1940s.

Ramadan joined his father at the age of 10 and began learning the basics of juice making while keeping a close eye on his father’s techniques.

“We used to sell a box of fruit for 50 fils. Demand was not high since people faced financial hardships at the time,” he recalled.

On account of the unstable situation in Palestine, Abdul Aziz, along with his wife and seven children, came to Jordan and settled in Amman.

“We stayed in the Muhajreen neighbourhood in downtown Amman near a small mosque. My father could not afford to live in a different area,” Ramadan said, adding that they rented the one-room house for 70 fils a month.

Abdul Aziz depended on his knack for making juice to earn a living and asked his son to give him a hand.

However, a few years later he decided to go back to Palestine and spend the rest of his life in his hometown.

In 1955, Ramadan decided to carry on his father’s legacy and began making juice in his house to sell to pedestrians.

“At first I used to prepare lemon and liquorice in my house and then go around downtown Amman selling them to passers-by,” he said. read more

Ramadan Khalili prepares carob juice for customers at his family’s juice shop in downtown Amman (Photo by Muath Freij)

Categories: Jordan, Palestine

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