Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Date-filled cookies for everyone!

Oh my goodness. That is all I can really say now. Have you ever watched America play a soccer game against a team from the Arab world with a bunch of other Arabs? It's an experience I'd recommend to anyone. Tonight, we went to the local Markaz Shabaab, where we watched the American-Algerian game. If America won, they would make it out of group play. Our only allies among a crowd of some 75 Jordanians were a handful of Egyptians. There is no lost love between Egyptians and Algerians- the two countries almost cut off diplomatic relations after Algeria beat out Egypt to qualify for the World Cup. Talk about an intense 90 minutes. The crowd erupted with cheers at every near miss (or not so near miss) by the Algerians and every defensive stop from the Algerian defense. When America had it's opportunities, our cries in English were supported only by a few yells from the Egyptian crowd and some dude in a white thob that I had never met before. At halftime, I traded war cries and insults with the local shabaab (the guys from the area). The match dragged on, my nerves nerves were increasingly frazzled, and America, despite some golden opportunities, couldn't punch it in. Stop time started, and then the impossible. Altidore rushed Algeria's left side, got off a shot that Mbohli deflected- right into the path of Donavon who punched it in for a win in the 91st minute. The Americans and Egyptians erupted, the Jordanians started filing out. They were good sports and congratulated us on the win- Algeria really did play a solid match. We went to the shops and bought date cookies for our friends the Egyptians who work at the bakery. Wonderful!

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