Summer 2013, Issue 1
Urban Challenge Winning Photo
Our students with their peer connections went in an urban challenge around the city of Amman, they visited a lot of places and took a lot of pictures. This picture is the winning picture in the photo contest arranged after the challenge.
Western Perceptions of the Middle East and Islam
In the days leading up to my trip to Jordan, I encountered the same one question from numerous people: “Why Jordan?” People often asked me this question in a number of ways, ranging from genuine curiosity to absolute bafflement over how I could consciously choose such a “dangerous” country for study. The latter was so common that I, myself, began to wonder if I had made a mistake. A lot of people hear “Jordan” and immediately think “Syria” or “Islamists” or simply “Terrorism.” During my time spent here, I have come to realize how sad and simpleminded such a narrow view of a large and diverse region is, especially coming from a country whose citizens think of themselves as some of the most internationally aware and accepting of different cultures. I urge everyone to travel to, or at least learn about, the Middle East and discover all the amazing ideas and values such a place has to offer. One will find that, just like millions and millions of Americans, people here just want to live their lives in the most noble and dignified way they can. There is always common ground, even between seemingly opposing groups of people.
College of William and Marry
Athletics with Peer Connections
Over the last few weeks, many of us have been braving the hot Jordan sun to do some outdoor athletics with our Jordanian peer tutors. Overall, the experience gives us a great opportunity to practice our Arabic and get to know our peer tutors while having a bit of fun. Though we certainly aren't the most skilled players, we more than make up for it with enthusiasm and sweat. Soccer here in Jordan is extremely popular, so many of the peer tutors are extremely eager to show us a bit of their culture. Scoring is usually hard to come by, but few seem to care as the games tend to be more about the laughs than the goals. Soccer is certainly the game of choice, but other athletic activities have included basketball and frisbee.