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Summer 2015 Amman Arabic Language Issue II

Newsletter amman

In this newsletter, our student Bridget is sharing with us some of her reflections on the study abroad experience in Amman. Bridget as an anthropologist is emphasizing that despite of the differences among cities and people, the human heart is capable of love and care.

Reflections about Amman 

As the summer semester comes to a close, I am amazed by human beings’ capacity to love. I am a non-traditional, older study abroad student, but even as I grow older, I find my heart becoming wider every day—for my classmates, for the CIEE staff, for my wacky Arabic professors, for my host mother, for the rare, beneficent taxi driver, for those I left at home, and for those who are yet to come. I am also an anthropologist, relentlessly searching for the meaning in mine and other’s lives. I came to Jordan as a way to access this meaning, through a language that is even by its name eloquence and beauty. But the streets of Amman are not these things—they are stuffed with angry taxi drivers, the symphony of sharp car horns and thin, hungry cats slithering between filthy dumpsters in search of a scrap. Sometimes during our hungry, Ramadan summer, the smells and sounds of the city overwhelmed me and I longed for the quiet of my small town in Illinois. But the life of an anthropologist is never quiet, and is instead full of wonderful human beings and this unique capacity to care, to listen, and to love one another. More than anything, my experience in Jordan has taught me that there are no bounds to this anomalous, universal force that we call love.


Bridget Hansen

University of Illinois at Chicago


Isabella is surprised by the phenomenon called Arabizi and the multilingual reality in Amman ! Let's read what she has to say about it:

What is Arabeezi !

Living in Jordan this Summer has been a world of new experiences and adventures as I try to maneuver the culture and language while practicing my Arabic. But the one thing I didn't expect, I usually have to persuade people to speak Arabic to me instead of English. Most people living in Amman know some English and the British influence is still visible in Amman after over 50 years of their absence, so this mix circumstance has created a subset of the language jokingly called "Arabese." On a daily bases I use words that Al - Kitaab would probably never even consider mentioning like "yallah bye," "Ohchay," and "nighty" among others; much like in the U.S. where sometimes reudementary spansih is thrown causually into conversations.  The mulitlingual atmosphere is much more present here than it is in the U.S. which makes communicating in only Arabic diffuclt at times, especially when the person finds out you're a foriegner. Either way, living in Amman has definitely shed a new light on the linguistic culture in other areas of the world.


Isabella Alves

University of Missouri-Columbia




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