Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Pope's Visit

Whatever one’s religious affiliation may be, the visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Jordan was a remarkable event. This is the third such historic visit to Jordan by a Roman Catholic Pope that I know of. I remember the first visit by Pope Paul VI in January 1964. The weather was freezing and people lined the streets from Marka airport into Amman patiently waiting for a glimpse of one of the most influential men on earth. Then in the year 2000, Pope John Paul II visited, and this year Jordan was privileged to receive the present pontiff.

My eldest grandson went with a bus load of students, Moslem as well as Christian, from his school to attend the Mass on Sunday at the Sports’ City. They arrived at 6AM for the 10AM Mass. The logistics of managing about 16,000 people was an accomplishment in itself.  He was thrilled to be able to attend this special outdoor service on that beautiful spring morning. My youngest grandson, who attends a different school, was given Sunday off as a Christian, but no special program was planned for him so his parents took him to the Baptism Site Sunday afternoon. There were fewer people and the atmosphere was less formal but just as dignified.  Both boys will treasure the memory of this special day for the rest of their lives.

During the last few days, many journalists have asked members of my husband’s family what it is like to be a Christian living in a Moslem country. Their answer is always the same, “We are Arabs first, Jordanians second, and then Christians - in that order. There may be some who would disagree with their priorities, but I for one am proud to be a part of their family living in this country.




Blogger joladies said...

me too! J

Saturday, May 16, 2009  
Blogger Nicole said...

You've lived here how many years and you still write 'moslem'???? In Arabic you should know that it doesn't translate like that. A tad of Orientalism??? That is embarrassing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009  
Anonymous Sam said...

So pray do tell, how does it "translate" in arabic Nicole ..... many of us write 'it' that way .... we all need to be enlightened obviously ...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009  
Anonymous Umm Nasser said...

Nicole .... why don't you read behind the words .... a tad embarrassing that you don't get it??

Tuesday, May 19, 2009  

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