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Posts from the ‘Amman’ Category

Avoiding Disaster: 5 Tips for Packing Successfully for Amman

Nadia Elamin is a student at  Chatham University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Nadia is currently studying abroad with ISA in Amman, Jordan.

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What over-packing looks like

When about to embark on any trip, especially a study abroad program, packing is the first step in beginning your journey! Here are 5 tips to help you out: Read more

Dreaming of Amman, Jordan

Nadia Marrakchi is a student at Colorado State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Nadia will be studying abroad with ISA in Amman, Jordan.

A little over a month before leaving behind everything I know and love in Colorado, I had my first dream about what my life in Jordan may come to be. I found myself in downtown Amman, alone, confused, and surrounded by all things foreign. My dream didn’t last long as I was awoken by an unknown force, compelling me to sit up in my bed and question what the heck I was getting myself into. I always assumed this was an unattainable goal, where pigs would surely be able to fly before it came to fruition. Yet, reality has begun to knock at my door to ensure me that this is in fact the real deal.

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Dreaming about my future during a hike in my beautiful home state.

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Cutting the Cord: How I Learned to Ditch the Smart Phone in Jordan

Harold Lyons is a student at the University of Maine, Orono and an ISA Featured Blogger. Harold is currently studying abroad in Amman, Jordan on an ISA Academic Year program.

Smart phones are undoubtedly one of the greatest technological advances in the last 100 years. Music, navigation and internet access make them an invaluable tool in our everyday lives. Recently, there has been an explosion of app development. There is quite literally an app for everything. All of these aspects combine to make an addicting piece of technology.

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College marked my first foray into smart phone technology, and I was hooked. As a man who enjoys efficiency almost to the point of laziness, my HTC Desire was the perfect tool for school. Google Calendar allowed me to schedule my time, to plan my assignments and to easily share this information with others. Apps such as Twitter and Flipboard allowed me to check the news while I got my morning cup of coffee. Evernote allowed me to access my notes for impromptu study sessions anywhere.

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Surprises in Jordan: Rain, Cold, and Scuba

Lydia Shippen is a student at University of North Carolina, Wilmington and is an ISA Classmates Connecting Cultures  blogger corresponding with her Arabic professor at UNC Wilmington. Lydia is currently studying in Amman, Jordan on a Fall 1 program.

This is a sunset in on the Gulf of Aqaba.

Up until the past two weeks, the weather in Amman has been fairly predictable: sunny, dry, and warm.  Things began to change in a drastic way within the last two weeks.  It actually started to rain!  Along with the rain came the sudden cold weather.  My roommates and I find ourselves frequently quoting Al-Kitaab (our Arabic textbook) as we say “Baarid jiddan” (It’s very cold).  The voice from the book will forever be stuck in my head. Read more

Discovering Amman’s Hidden Colors

Lydia Shippen is a student at University of North Carolina, Wilmington and is an ISA Classmates Connecting Cultures  blogger corresponding with her Arabic professor at UNC Wilmington. Lydia is currently studying in Amman, Jordan on a Fall 1 program.

As I mentioned before, at first glance Amman is a city built of cream-colored buildings.  They seem to be stacked upon one another as you scan the horizon.

This is a view of Amman from Jabal Weibdeh, one of the artsy neighborhoods.

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Electoral Approval in Amman

Harold Lyons is a student at the University of Maine, Orono and an ISA Featured Blogger. Harold is currently studying abroad in Amman, Jordan on an ISA Fall 1 program.

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minis...

President Barak Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

The election of 2012 was of personal importance to me. The election was not significant to me because I was particularly supportive of either candidate, quite the opposite really. It would have been the first presidential election when I would be eligible to vote. The ability to vote for our leaders is a right I have never taken for granted, and I was genuinely excited to exercise my right. Spending time in the Middle East studying political science has only made me appreciate my rights more.

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Why I Would Waste Away in Wadi Rum

Harold Lyons is a student at the University of Maine, Orono and an ISA Featured Blogger. Harold is currently studying abroad in Amman, Jordan on an ISA Fall 1 program.

Hailing from the rough coast of Eastern Maine, I always assumed I understood the term “rugged beauty.” Vast forests of evergreen rise up to oppose the never-ending blue of the Atlantic Ocean. The bold coastline was my home for many years, so forgive my slight bias when I proclaim there is nothing more beautiful than the Maine coast.

Any desert is as alien to this native of Maine as the deserts of Mars, itself. Needless to say, I was completely unprepared for what was in store for me. Simply describing Wadi Rum as a “desert” does not give justice to its vastness, its loneliness, its emptiness. Spires of sandstone erupt from the glistening sea of red sand, interspersing the simple peacefulness with something much more dangerous. If the Atlantic Ocean could envelop you in a chilled embrace, than the desert of Wadi Rum could wrap you in an endless inferno.

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Middle Eastern Hospitality: Tea, Dessert and Dancing

Lydia Shippen is a student at University of North Carolina, Wilmington and is an ISA Classmates Connecting Cultures  blogger corresponding with her Arabic professor at UNC Wilmington. Lydia is currently studying in Amman, Jordan on a Fall 1 program.

Before coming to Amman, many people told me that Jordanians are some of the most hospitable people that they have ever met.  Following that news, I came expecting people to be nice and welcoming, but I honestly did not expect the sheer amount of hospitality that I have experienced!  Within the first few weeks here, my friends and I met a man who owned a hotel in downtown Amman.  He invited us over for tea and we enthusiastically accepted his offer.  The night turned into one of the best nights in Amman as we drank tea on the roof of his hotel that overlooked the ruins of the Roman Amphitheater.  Then we went downstairs where he hosted a Dabkeh dance party.  The Dabkeh is a traditional dance from Jordan, Syria, and Palestine.   Below is a YouTube video of the guys showing us their skills.  Later they taught us all how to dance and we continued the festivities late into the night.

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Meals in the Middle East

Harold Lyons is a student at the University of Maine, Orono and an ISA Featured Blogger. Harold is currently studying abroad in Amman, Jordan on an ISA Fall 1 program.

The most affordable fruit stand in Amman.

The importance of food quickly became evident while attempting to acclimate to Jordanian culture. In the States, home cooking is usually a sign of hospitality. It seems as if hosts prepare lavish feasts in order to indirectly boast of their means. In Jordan, exceptional cooking is an obligation ingrained into their very culture.

Food is quite affordable in Amman. In what I thought was a bizarre cosmic joke, I realized the healthier, more authentic Arabic food is cheaper than America’s fast-food counterparts. Luckily for me, American food is viewed as somewhat of a delicacy. For example, Pizza Hut is much more expensive than most of the Jordanian restaurants in the area. In a rare twist of events, I am now happy to be a broke college student. My inherent lack of funds force me to eat the local Jordanian food, by necessity alone. Read more

Jordanian Values: the Individual vs. the Family

I am used to living in a place where, even as a woman, I am encouraged to live and travel on my own. A question that I often receive is “Are you alone here?” The fact that I am a woman traveling without family is mind-boggling to a lot of people.

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