Saturday, April 22, 2006

Rambling thoughts

Ever since I got here, I've been romanticizing life in Amman. Enjoying how everyone goes out of their way to be nice to me, the simplicity of our social life here, and the way it's so easy to feel like a mover and shaker in this town, among other things.

But there's also another side to life here that I don't miss at all: sitting in meetings with men (older guys, in particular) who revel in their so-called "expertise" on everything under the sun and barely let anyone else get a word in edgewise, getting stared at continuously, and the way many people in authority are often generally useless. A good example is how everyone pretty much knows that any policeman with his siren and lights on probably isn't on the way to the scene of a crime but rather just annoyed with the traffic and wanting to push ahead.

Anyway. These are my thoughts of the day.

Today I went out to a small town called Dlail (outside of Zarqa) to attend a play about domestic violence. It's part of a project to raise awareness around the country on the subject and it was fascinating, really, to see how much people participated (both men and women) in the discussion about what the play presented--particularly since it's such a sensitive topic. Not to mention that open discussion in public is not too common among men and women in these smaller, and very conservative, localities.

This is my favorite thing on earth--to be involved in projects outside of the city that allow me to get to know people in the villages and interact with them. I was just checking out the project and happy to see that it's being done well. The only thing that makes me kind of sad is that the vibe I got from people when I arrived, and before I talked to them, is much different than it used to be. Being the blond American in the room is certainly not a bonus. And no surprise, either. However, once I began to interact with people in Arabic, they were extremely welcoming and lovely.


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