Jordanians and Americans joined in front of the Jordanian Embassy at dusk yesterday to mourn the bombing deaths in Amman and to denounce the terrorism that caused them.
With red, white, black and green Jordanian flags wrapped around their shoulders, or with small Jordanian and U.S. flags protruding from pockets, they held candles against the darkening sky.
"We, as members of the Jordanian immigrant community, want to extend our sympathy, our love of Jordan and our solidarity with the nation of Jordan and His Majesty King Abdullah II," said the Rev. Fuad Khouri, a parish associate pastor at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church.
"Jordan has been shaken," he said, "but it will rise again, and it will continue to be a country of peace the way it has been," he said.
The vigil, which drew more than 100 people and included citizens of several countries, was organized by the Jordanian Embassy and several Arab American and Muslim groups after bombings this week at three Amman hotels killed nearly 60 people and wounded many more.
Inside the embassy in Northwest Washington, people lined up to fill a book with handwritten messages in Arabic and English. One note read, "To the only place I call home. My heart is filled with tears." Another read, "May we in the US support you during this difficult time."
Merissa Khurma, the embassy's press attache, said "hundreds and hundreds" of calls and messages had been received, and she called the support "deeply stirring."
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush went to the embassy on International Drive NW on Thursday to express their sympathy.
"This enemy must be defeated," the president said then. "They have no heart. They have no conscience."
Khurma said the gestures affected her personally; a relative was killed in the bombings.
She said her cousin Mosab Khurma, 36, a businessman, was waiting in the lobby of the Hyatt to meet his fiancee for dinner when the device detonated. His wife-to-be was late and escaped the attack.
"It's shocking, because it's always been a safe haven in such a volatile area," the attache said. "People could go to Jordan and relax.
"We want to make it known loud and clear that this is not Islam," she added, "and we will reclaim Islam back from those who hijacked it."
Outside the embassy, three Jordanian women stood on the edge of the group. "We've been here for only a week," said Gulnar Junbulat, 36, who said she accompanied her sister, Rana, 34, who was taking a work-related class.
At their hotel, they watched images of the bombings flash across television screens. "It's too much for us to take," Junbulat said. "We feel shocked. We're angry. We thought something like this was just impossible."
She said she and her sister are anxious to go home to Amman next week to be with their relatives, to learn the names of the victims and to help.
Meanwhile, she said, it was a relief to be surrounded by Jordanians and others who have friends and family there.
"We feel close to home here at the embassy," she said.
Staff writer Martin Weil contributed to this report.