August 26, 2010

Last Week in Amman

All told I had a great summer in Amman. Its true that its not Cairo, its not Damascus, its not Jerusalem. Perhaps it offers less of what the Western traveler has come to expect from "the Orient" (on the other hand this is to some Western travellers a virtue). In reality Amman is a quite beautiful city and an excellent and undistracted place to study Arabic. I met some documentary filmmakers making a movie about hip hop in Jordan, a Fuilbright scholar mapping public space in Amman, and the writers and organizers of 7iber(including my friend and former G'town colleague Reem), in addition to a lot of reaaallly smart people who are excellent at Arabic grammar. My experience at Qasid Institute was excellent--the teachers and quality of instruction were both very high. In addition I benefited from a community of Muslims from America (many of them disciples of the Sufi Sheikh Nuh in Kharabsheh) from all different backgrounds who were also there to study Arabic. I found their mindset to be a bit different from those who study Arabic strictly for non-religious reasons. Overall it was a blessing to be in that space this summer, and I will not soon forget the many beautiful people I met.


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