Khalid Shoman's life was one of dedication. Ica Wahbeh walks us through the house dedicated to his memory and alive with his presence.


Dar Khalid

It is not a stuffy museum and not a shrine. "Dar Khalid" is a living place, an "inhabited" lodging where, once you've stepped in, you are made to expect the occupant to appear. Dedicated to the memory of Khalid Shoman, "Dar Khalid" could be interpreted as the familiar Khalid's House or, on a more elevated plan, as the Eternal House, one in which his spirit dwells (the word Khalid meaning Eternal in the Arabic language).

With deeply rooted life values and convinced that anybody who does his work proudly and with love should be honoured and remembered, wife Suha decided to transform the upper house of the Darat Al Funun compound into a home, Khalid's home, immortalising the man and his complishments while, at the same time, preserving for posterity yet another building whose origins speak of the history of the country and its people.

Capturing the life and character of a person is not easy, especially for the unassuming. But with lots of love, symbolism, images and messages, "Dar Khalid" manages to let you have a glimpse at the soul of the family man, friend and banker.





"Khalid's" office, light and airy, looks as if the owner has just left for a little while and will be back soon. You almost feel like a trespasser, but the friendly atmosphere beckons you in. A few transparent panels acquaint you with the "official" appearances, with the function and position of Khalid Shoman.They tell the story of the banker. But the official atmosphere ends here.

  The warm, tobacco-coloured leather panels lining the walls of the office make a beautiful, manly, background for the wooden shelves with precious mementos in wood, metal, glass: plaques, trophies, statuettes (mostly animals) and the favourite - the fish. Photo albums tell of people, places, accomplishments. A few framed photographs allow a glimpse at the man's life, as a father and a banker.  
  The big-size fish hovering above are a reminder of the man's passion for fishing. A little sand work with the bank's logo, a camel and a horse is a present from "a man from Petra". The gratefulness pouring out of the painstakingly created work is telling. To the left is the desk with leather chairs that complement the same tobacco-brown leather paneling. More photos, more mementos from the life of a man showing fulfillment, contentment, congeniality. Whether amid royalty, friends or family, the smile, posture, gestures constantly express the same traits: kindness, happiness, giving to those around.

An oversized portrait dominates the room and reinforces the feeling that he is due back in the office any moment. Two diplomas from the University of Cambridge (admission to the Degree of Bachelor of Arts and to the Degree of Master of Arts) sit, humbly framed in brown wood, next to an abacus - ancient instrument for computing that survived the computers and, perhaps, is symbolic of the way the man's memory will survive time and contemporary fellow men.