Leaving Jordan (Arabic Adventure)

6 Sep

The past month has allowed for plenty of time to study and prepare for Morocco, but there were still a lot of fun things to do around Amman. I found some of the other Americans from the language program who stayed after as well, and we went on some adventures. I really enjoyed the “Citadel Nights” Festival that we attended towards the end of Ramadan. Jabal al-Qal’a (The hill on which the ancient Citadel is situated) provides an amazing view of the Amman during the day, but even more spectacular is the night view of the ocean of lights, spread out across the hills on which the city is built. During the festival we were able to watch performances for popular Jordanian musicians, such as Omar Al-Abdallat. My friends and I were watching this concert unfold with some small opening acts, when all of a sudden a band came on stage and started playing and the surrounding audience exploded with energy. We had no idea who they were, but they seemed to be popular. I later told my homestay father about the concert and the band and he said “Ah yes, Omar Al-Abdallat! The #1 Musician in Jordan!” Ah, it all makes sense now.

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We also saw the vast automobile collection of the Late King Hussein. With lavishing Motorcades, top-notch sports cars and an impressive collection of motorcycles, the man went all out.  But while the cars and bikes themselves are neat to see, their significance lies with the events that each one witnessed and the places they were steered. For example, the Harley-Davidson Bikes in the collection were custom made for the King, who liked to take long trips with Queen Noor through the Jordanian desert. The King was known to be huge racing fanatic. Included in his collection are a Lotus Esprit Turbo and a Mercedes-Benz 190 E, which he used to compete in hill climb competitions. You can also find Aston Martin, BMW, Porsche, and Ferrari in the set. The motorcades were used for royal processions during special events, holidays and visits from foreign dignitaries. The King enjoyed rides on the roof of his motorcades during royal processions in order to be closer to the people, as captured in famous footage upon return from the U.S. health clinic shortly before his death in 1999.

The people of the Levant are incredibly genuine and hospitable. I really enjoy daily encounters with people like taxi drivers, store owners, and students at the university, who generally take great interest in the welfare of their foreign visitors. My peer tutor from the University, Ahmed, is a bro and I really appreciated his help with the language and getting to know this country. I wish him best of luck with his pursuit of working for Google. I was also recently invited to dinner at the house of the Palestinian man, Al-Bara, whom I sat next on the plane coming to Jordan and received assistance from him in getting through the airport. It was great to see him again and to learn more about the culturally conservative element of this region. Finally, I have also been blessed with the hospitality of the Syrian family, whom I have been living with for the past month. Wonderful family! Home-stay is the best deal ever and I am excited for that same opportunity in Morocco. Goodness, there are just so many great people here!

Alright I need to wrap this up now, and not much more needs to be said about what is happening next. Here is a link to one of Omar Al-Abdallat’s hits “Hashmi Hashmi” a tribute to HM Abdullah II and the Hashemites (the video is a collection of footage from daily life of the King). Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed these last 3 entries. I will continue to post in Morocco, expect a post very soon. Enjoy!

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One Response to “Leaving Jordan (Arabic Adventure)”

  1. Anne Dare September 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Ya Will! Kefak? 🙂
    Sounds like an amazing experience! So glad to hear you’re enjoying your time.

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