MattKauffman MattKauffman

I’m a freelance journalist living in Amman, Jordan. The Middle East is a place whose stark beauty and dense history has fascinated me since I was a boy. The changes happening here are both exciting and important. My first foray here only left me wanting more. While I’ve been here, I’ve reported on and photographed Amman’s hip hop scene and Syrian refugees in the Kingdom among other things. As a graduate student at Northeastern University in Boston, I interned at GateHouse media, writing articles for various local weeklies such as the West Roxbury Transcript and the Brookline Tab. Aside from learning the language and reporting, I also plan to eat my body weight in mansaf, shawarma, falafel and all other manner of Jordanian/Middle Eastern food.

Media created

Thumb sm
All together now
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
21 Sep 2012

Protestors sang loud and proud despite an increase in detainment of those criticizing the government, they said.

Thumb sm
Held up
AMMAN, Jordan
By MattKauffman
21 Sep 2012

A reform protestor is held by police after a tussle broke out up a side street after the demonstration had ended.

Thumb sm
Protesting in Peace
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
21 Sep 2012

Friday's pro-reform demonstration, which drew about 300 protestors, was largely peaceful save for a few minor scuffles that broke out with pro-government supporters

Thumb sm
Chanting loud
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
21 Sep 2012

Two young demonstrators march behind a sign that reads, "No repair under the grip of security."

Thumb sm
Follow the leader
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
21 Sep 2012

Demonstrators march away from Hussein Mosque Friday afternoon.

Thumb sm
Change the system
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
21 Sep 2012

Protesters displayed signs and shouted slogans on a variety of subjects, from what they said was an increasing crackdown on freedom of expression to championing causes like free healthcare and free education

Thumb sm
Holding the line
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
21 Sep 2012

Police link arms ahead of the protest marchers. Jordan Police came out in large numbers — at least 200 strong — to ensure the demonstration stayed peaceful. Nonetheless, a few scuffles broke out.

Thumb sm
Waiting to be Heard
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
20 Sep 2012

A pro-reform protest leader stands on the fringes during noon prayer at Hussein Mosque. Demonstrators took to the streets to decry the arrest of political activists and launched thinly veiled criticisms of King Abdullah.

Thumb sm
March from the Mosque
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
22 Sep 2012

Pro-reform protestors march from Amman's Hussein Mosque after Friday prayer

Thumb sm
Goal Jordan
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
04 Jun 2012

Jordanians celebrate their country's equalizer against Iraq during the first match of their World Cup qualifier on June 3.

Thumb sm
Eyes on the action
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
04 Jun 2012

Jordanian fans watch their team in action against Iraq on June 3

Thumb sm
Kick-off
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
03 Jun 2012

The scene inside Amman International Stadium just before Jordan's World Cup qualifying game against Iraq.

Thumb sm
Countdown to game time
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
04 Jun 2012

Fans of the Jordan National Football Team relax outside Amman International Stadium before the team's World Cup qualifying match against Iraq.

Thumb sm
Faith and X-rays
Madaba, Jordan
By MattKauffman
31 May 2012

X-rays of Ahmed's mangled foot, the result of an altercation with Syrian military after leaving his neighborhood mosque in his home of Dara'a, rest on top of the family's Qur'an. After undergoing three surgeries in Amman, doctors told him they should amputate his foot above the ankle. He refuses to go back for the last surgery. He and his family of 15 now live on the ground floor of a private residence outside Madaba.

Thumb sm
Safe, but not strong
Madaba, Jordan
By MattKauffman
31 May 2012

hmed Hussein Awayer, dodged the Syrian government for two and a half months, hiding in homes and farms around his home of Dara'a — all the while with a bullet in his left foot — before he decided to flee to Jordan.

Thumb sm
Wounded but not deterred
Madaba, Jordan
By MattKauffman
31 May 2012

Darraj, wounded fighting the Syrian regime, recuperates in Jordan after he and his family were smuggled over the border by the Free Syrian Army. Despite losing his legs, Darraj wants to get back and continue to fight.

Thumb sm
The Price of Freedom
Madaba, Jordan
By MattKauffman
31 May 2012

Samir Ahmed Darraj, 41, who lost his legs while fighting for the Free Syrian Army, rests on the only bed in the apartment he shares with family of six.

Thumb sm
Waiting to go back
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
30 May 2012

Saif, Jana and Tajj, the children of dislaced Homsi family, outside their cramped rooftop apartment in Amman .

Thumb sm
"Get Down Bashar"
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
30 May 2012

Jana holds a sign outside her family's rooftop apartment in Amman.

Thumb sm
Room for Eleven
amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
30 May 2012

Tajj stands in the living room that he shares with ten other family members

Thumb sm
Big family, small space
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
30 May 2012

Abu Tajj, right, his family and five relatives live in this small rooftop apartment in Amman since fleeing Homs in April.

Thumb sm
Home for now
Al-Mafraq, Jordan
By MattKauffman
24 May 2012

Waleed's sons Awad, 1o , and Talal, watch cartoons in their makeshift home in Mafraq, Jordan.

Thumb sm
Fear of retribution
Al Mafraq, Jordan
By MattKauffman
24 May 2012

Waleed, 39, hides behind his son Talal in order to conceal his identity to protect relatives back in native Syria. Waleed and his family of six escaped Homs and were smuggled into Jordan with the aid of the Syrian Free Army

Thumb sm
Safe in Jordan
Al Mafraq, Jordan
By MattKauffman
24 May 2012

From the safety of his small living room, Waleed, a Syrian from Homs, talks about escaping with his family to the north Jordanian town of Mafraq.

Thumb sm
Waving flag
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
19 May 2012

Protestors wave the Jordanian flag while demonstrating in downtown Amman

Thumb sm
Airing grievances
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
19 May 2012

A protestor is interview outside King Hussein Mosque in downtown Amman

Thumb sm
Protesters make themselves heard
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
19 May 2012

Protestors outside King Hussein Mosque in Amman decry the rising cost of living

Thumb sm
A message in the air
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
19 May 2012

Activist organization Youth in Amman passed out and tossed fliers into the air during a protest after noon prayer Friday outside King Hussein Mosque

Thumb sm
A message in the air
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
19 May 2012

Activist organization Youth in Amman passed out and tossed fliers into the air during a protest after noon prayer Friday outside King Hussein Mosque

Thumb sm
Waiting for Prayer
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
18 May 2012

Two locals, having grabbed makeshift prayer rugs made of cardboard, await noontime prayer at King Hussein Mosque in Amman.

Thumb sm
Power in Numbers
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
18 May 2012

Police congregate across the street from King Hussein Mosque in downtown Amman before friday prayer. Police expected protests after large demonstrations had occurred in the previous weeks.

Thumb sm
Hiding in plain sight
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
18 May 2012

Members of the Jordanian mukhabarat, or secret police, keep a careful eye on proceedings in expectation of protests after noon prayer.

Thumb sm
Ready for Prayer
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
18 May 2012

King Hussein Mosque's expansive entrance, just bustling with goods and wares, is cleared in preparation for Friday's noontime prayer

Thumb sm
Watchful eyes
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
18 May 2012

Policemen meet across the street from King Hussein Mosque in Amman before the start of noon prayer

Thumb sm
Headed to Mosque
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
18 May 2012

Men enter King Hussein Mosque in downtown Amman amid banners in protest of the rising costs of living

Thumb sm
Washing up
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
18 May 2012

Local boys, having just purchased color-dyed chicks at the flea market, wash up before noon prayer.

Thumb sm
Vendor outside King Hussein Mosque
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
17 May 2012

A street vendor transports his goods before jumu'ah (friday prayer)

Thumb sm
Laborer in West Amman
Amman, Jordan
By MattKauffman
17 May 2012

A Jordanian laborer pulling weeds in the posh Abdoun neighborhood of Amman