…at keeping up with this blog. At least I’m better than my brother.
Anyway, life in Amman is very much in a routine right now. The immense amount of class that we have each week (about as much as I take at Columbia, but all in Arabic, and without the same number of credits) and the lack of exciting things to do in Amman has made things move very slowly. I can’t complain too much, though. My family is still extremely kind, and I have accomplished some exciting feats in my Arabic education- most importantly, finishing my first all-Arabic research paper- a satisfying 18 pages on the appearance of the first human form statues in Neolithic Ain Ghazal, Jordan.
I thought that I should dedicate a post to the every day life here- complete with pictures of my home, and the persistent cat that, though decidedly a stray, has decided that he wants to be my pet. He spends every day at my window, attempting (sometimes succeeding) to open it. When I go outside, he comes running and jumps on me for some cuddles. Twice now, I’ve woken up to find the cat purring contentedly on my chest. I feel almost guilty putting him back outside. He certainly is sweet, but I can’t vouch for his cleanliness or healthiness. I wish I could bring him to a vet and take him home with me. I named him Agammemnon. Anyone want a cat?
As I said, school plods on, though not free from the frustrations that have bogged us down from the very start. When your history teacher asks you why you would claim that the Neolithic Age was from 12 to 8 thousand years ago when that was clearly before the time of Adam, or when he argues that once a girl is capable of having children, there is nothing stopping her from marrying, you begin to lose faith in the educational system. Especially when he ardently maintains that he is liberal. And when your host brother, an intelligent man in his 40’s, asks how you could possibly read for fun, you begin to question whether there is any hope for the educational system. My host family, like I said, is lovely, but I feel decidedly out of place where the only books other than the Qur’an find their home on my bedside table.
Thankfully, I am taking a few weekends to travel, view art and ancient civilization, and remind myself what it is that fascinates me about the Middle East. Next weekend should take me to Damascus (after a plan for this weekend fell through) and the weekend after, Eid el-Adha, or the day of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac (or Ishmael, depending which holy book you read) should find me in Jerusalem. If at all possible, I plan to squeeze a visit to Beirut in, as well. It seems a pity to miss the opportunity to buy a $200 plane ticket.
If all of these plans come to fruition, rest assured I will write about them here. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of my home life here.