Thursday, April 13, 2006

Let us begin

This blog, Jordan Journals, was created today, and since I came to Jordan first and am the oldest of the ladies, I will begin.

I arrived in Jordan in the spring of 1959 and was introduced to my new family - which was actually a huge Arab Christian Tribe. During the past four decades I have become as much a member of this tribe as I am ever going to be and still hold on to my own identity. I have also learned much about the Arab world - its language, food, customs, values, and traditions.

In 1959 Jordan had a population of about one and a half million people and the capital, Amman, had about 200,000 inhabitants. There were no traffic lights anywhere, few people had their own cars, and maybe 12 women in the entire country had a driver's license. If members of my husband's family who lived in the hometown of Madaba, about 45 minutes away, came to visit us in Amman, we needed to feed them and offer them a bed for the night. Since I came from a big city in the USA, I was amazed that life was so simple here. I had no concept of how Jordanians lived. My ignorance and cultural shock seemed limitless then. The learning process began and with it came a strong desire to share what I have discovered with others who have never visited the Middle East. I hope my comments will help to make Jordan a familiar place and Jordanians a real people.

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