Monday, November 28, 2011

11/28/11: Forbidden Attractions And An Unstable Region

Syrian Protest Poster

Well another Monday has come and gone which means it is time to write a more political and informative blog post in terms of what is going on over here in the Middle East (that seems to be the general theme of Monday blogs). While Israel has been experiencing relative quite from her protest movements, other countries in the region are exploding with protests, anti government rallies, rising death tolls, and extreme unrest. It seems, at this moment, the whole of the Middle East has eyes glued to the ever worsening situation in Syria. On the one hand you have Iran and Hezbollah led Lebanon supplying Assad and his supporters with arms, while on the other hand you have major Mid East powers such as Turkey, Israel, and the Gulf states (to name a few) allying themselves with the resistance movement against the Shia Assad government. The death toll in Syria rises daily, refugees are flocking by the hundreds to countries like Turkey and Jordan, and the world is bracing for an all out Syrian civil war backed by Iran on one side and Sunni regimes coupled with the West on the other.

Though my country of focus is Jordan it is hard to escape putting a great deal of attention on the Syrian issue since, as I have previously stated, the Middle East region is so profoundly interconnected; what is happening in Syria absolutely effects the goings on in Jordan. Syria and Jordan border one another and, as of recent days, both Syrian resistance fighters and Syrian army defectors have fled to Jordan for protection from the brutality of the Assad regime. King Abdullah II also became the first Arab leader to publicly ask for the resignation of Bashar Al-Assad, and though his stance is still considered to be weak on the issue, possibly because of a fear of Syrian intervention in Jordan, it looks as though Hashemites are leaning more towards support of the resistance.

It is hard to say what is going to happen in the upcoming weeks, but with the crisis in Syria, the Nuclear program in Iran, talks of Israeli intervention in Iran, potential attacks on Turkey should any Western intervention take place in Iran or Syria, the Egyptian revolutions, and so on, this whole region could implode at any moment. It's an unstable and scary time here, but also a time of substantial and, in some cases, very necessary change. History is being made in the Middle East now and one day, when I am grown with children and grandchildren of my own (God willing) who will be learning about all of these things going on right now in the Middle East, I will have the great privilege of saying that I was lucky enough to be living in the middle of it all. Nothing makes me happier, nor does anything make me feel so incredibly lucky.

My studies are continuing to go very well and I am learning a great deal. I don't have much background in Middle Eastern history so I am very much enjoying catching up on information about the history of the area. Hebrew has slowed down a bit since I am only formally studying the language once a week, but what I am picking up from living with Hebrew speakers and having Israeli friends is invaluable. Arabic is absolutely fantastic and I must admit that I am putting much of my focus on the study of this language. I love how there are only 4 of us in the class which is amazing because we really get 1 on 1 attention. I really can't get enough, and it doesn't hurt that my Arabic tutor is gorgeous :-) Leave it to me to form attractions to Israelis who remind me of Arabs; pretty fitting if you know me and my Arab everything obsession. I'm pretty sure the chances of him finding this blog post are slim so I'm not really worried about expressing the fact that he is very attractive on here. However, if he does happen to see this... well let's just say, if anything, it will be an esteem boost for him!

Other than that everything has been pretty normal around here. Things in the apartment are back to normal after our big Thanksgiving party, we added a few new additions to the place including a rug, TV, TV stand, and washing machine, and we have leftovers from the party that will probably last us for a month! I think that every time we are running low on groceries we should just host a potluck and then we will never have to shop again :-). I'm still loving every second in the apartment and now I am just trying to get a lot of work done before my step sister comes to visit me for 2 weeks! I am so excited to have family here with me and I can't wait to show her all around Israel. We will of course be making an obligatory trip to the West Bank as well which will be a bit of a culture shock for her, but I think she will love it!

My step sister and me! We have a long history :-) 

Until we meet again ya chaverim <3,
Jordana Simone

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