Final Blog: Jordan

Europe is weird. America is weird. These are the first few thoughts I had while on my layover in Europe and upon returning home at the conclusion of my study abroad experience. It did not hit me until I jaywalked across a Frankfurt road and was chastised by a Frenchman. So the next time I…

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The End to an Arab Adventure

I sit now in Montage cafe, at the bottom of Rainbow St., right before the steps which lead down to Wasat al-Balad (City Centre), downtowan Amman. A thirty minute walk, this hidden cafe has played host to numerous social and academic endeavours of mine. Here I met Shadi, the soft voiced but endlessly talkative Palestinian waiter…

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Trump Makes My Job Hard

Donald Trump makes it hard to be an American in the Middle East. I am Muslim, proudly. I am Puerto Rican, proudly. I am Arab, proudly. But above all, I am an American. On a sunny September evening 21 years ago, I was born to a pair of poor immigrants in an Orlando hospital. My…

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A Note on American Media

It is widely held among young, liberal arts educated students that the United States media possesses inherent biases that, for better or worse, shape our worldview and influence our interaction with our immediate and perceived environment. This first became eminently clear upon my field study to Cuba where I observed that indeed Cubans are not overwhelmingly…

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Dubai, A Gulf Miami

In light of Turkey’s recent turmoil, SIT Jordan switched excursion locations to the United Arab Emirates, a country so starkly different, yet in so many ways congruous with the Middle East. Arriving into Dubai International Airport, one is instantly struck by the grandeur nature… of everything. A brand new Jaguar and Mercedes Benz greet you,…

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Let’s Climb

Returning from the badiyya, I was a bit saddened. The relationships I made, the genuine honesty of the people, the respect between children and parents, family members and general communal respect. The weather, the cleanliness of the air, the quietness, the sunsets across the mountains of Petra. The badiyya is with little comparison. It isn’t Orlando, it isn’t New…

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A Moment Away From Home

What a month October has been. A whirlwind of excursions, academic inundations, and copious sugar, I have developed significantly as a result of my experiences this month. Beginning with my badiyya homestay. Badiyya, an Arabic term loosely defined as desert, is more appropriately denoted as “rural.” Jordan is divided into three badiyyas: northern, central, and southern, each possessing individual topographic…

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Turning 21 in Amman with 12 cakes and 3 Parties

I am honestly feeling a bit speechless. Jordanian and general Arab hospitality is indeed world renowned, but the love I have felt these past several days is with little comparison. Turning 21 in Jordan was a dream realized. We left on the day of my birthday, September 19th, to a city named As-Salt, as part…

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Why Nicholas Cage is Weird… in Arabic

A few weeks in and I am quite fascinated by Jordan, much more so than I ever had anticipated. Traveling somewhere new always brings with it an initial feeling of elation. Being in a new place is exciting! However, I have been in Jordan for several weeks now and still, the feeling has not worn…

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Jordan, Three Weeks Prior

As the summer winds down, I find myself increasingly anxious about my departure to Jordan. The weeks of this summer have passed under ceaseless study of Islam and the Middle Eastern region, however, with a focus toward Turkey. Jordan is different. As the son of an Arab, I’ve been blessed with a first hand insight…

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