Monday, November 14, 2011

Hakiim

Watching the news just doesn't do it justice- I didn't really get what was going on in Libya until I actually met some Libyan revolutionaries tonight, pretty ordinary guys who did some extra-ordinary stuff and really put their lives on the line. There are several thousand Libyans in Jordan these days for medical treatment from war wounds, which presents an awesome opportunity to get some inside information on the Libyan revolution. If only I could understand their Libyan accent better.

Tonight, I met Hakiim, who was a tugboat captain before the war in Misrata. When Misrata revolted against Gaddafi, he became a gun runner between Bengazi and besieged Misrata, supplying vital weapons to a city whose only supply lines were through the ocean. Following the liberation of Tripoli, Hakiim spent a day or so at home to rest before going to Sirte to finish the war. While driving a truck (I think it was a truck that had mounted artillery, but I didn't quite catch it), he was shot through the foot by a sniper. Two other bullets that would have hit him were stopped by the truck door. A couple months later, he is in Amman, Jordan, getting treatment for his injured foot.

Pictures will hopefully follow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

People who I (try to) talk to in Arabic in Jordan

- Taxi Drivers: Hit or miss group that rarely fails to provide an entertaining ride (as long as they don't try and rip you off), whether it's swearing at Palestinians out the window, telling you how they make more money in a taxi than in an office, or trying to sell you Catholic rosary beads.

- Security Guards at the UN: Smart, well-rounded, retired soldiers sitting in front of the UN Food Program building in Amman with nothing to do but talk to Americans about politics and their favorite 80s American TV shows.

- Shopkeepers at the crazy looking, mint-colored mosque: A bunch of lower middle-class, mostly devout Muslims who try to convert you to Islam while offering you processed mango juice with way too much sugar. 

- the Shabaab (not the terrorist organization in Somalia, but the Arabic word for young people): A bunch of crazy, hormonally repressed young adults who have never had a real conversation with a girl in their lives, never study even though they attend one of the premier universities in the Middle East, and like to teach Americans all the good Arabic swear words in exchange for a few English ones. 

- LDS Church members in Irbid: Pious, faithful, extremely small group of Mormons who just can't give up their Orthodox icons yet inspire you by their commitment to come to church week after week and slowing put their lives in line with Gospel despite serious cultural obstacles. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Things I missed about Jordan:

- the organizational capacities of the Jordanian people. Drink tea with the shabaab, stare at girls, throw a plan together at the last minute, and pray that it works.

- Jordanians assume you are rich, bad-a Americans who live in a Hollywood type world with guns, girls, and pro wrestling.

- driving with a driver who has ice in his veins and slips through the most impossible gaps. I've yet to be in an accident.

- groups of shabaab who drive around and honk at every American girl they see.

- the fact that hygiene is a lot less important, meaning that I don't have to shower everyday and it is acceptable for my feet to be very dirty.

- the call to prayer five times a day.

- super friendly people always ready to talk with said rich, bad-a Americans.

Legit.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The next few months...

So, the next few months are just going to be a little wild. Just a little warning for all you faithful readers of a blog that doesn't write often (hopefully that'll change here shortly). After a wonderful summer in DC (hopefully a future blog can be devoted to that) at Development Gateway, I've got a pretty packed next couple months. Here's my itinerary:

--Leave tomorrow for Paris, arrive at Charles de Gaulle on Sunday morning.
--Spend two and a half days in Paris leaving in Vintage Hostel- it's gonna be legit.
--Leave for Amman on Tuesday afternoon, getting there later on in the day.
--Spent four months in Jordan and Israel getting my butt kicked by the Arabic language.
--Be home for Christmas.

Needless to say, I'm super excited about it all. Look for more posts shortly!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mais, non!

Pour tous ceux d’entre vous qui aimez la musique indie, la langue française, et la folie, j’ai trouvé le groupe ultime : Malajube. Ok, c’est vrai qu’ils sont québécois (mes excuses à tous les vrais français, suisses, et belges), mais c’est la première fois que j’ai trouvé une chose pareille- le style de musique que j’aime ET le français. Je voulais afficher la vidéo mais c’est vraiment un truc bizarre (que j’aime bien sûr) au sujet de la suite d’un massacre viking ou je ne sais quoi exactement. Cherchez-le sur YouTube si vous osez.

Click here to listen to a goofy French indie song.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Why do I feel so good?!?

Friends and countrymen, one of the most exciting things of the summer happened today. Maybe the most exciting of my life. Here it is below:

Link
$77, one solid chocolate treasure box, just about every dessert from Serendipity 3 in Georgetown, 11 friends from work and the Barlow, and a shot at glory. Twenty minutes later, the end game:
I had so much sugar during that time I'm surprised I didn't become a diabetic. Maybe my body just has a natural predilection for sugar- two uncomfortable hours and a quick jog later, I feel like I could take on the whole Empire myself. Or, maybe it's just those warm fuzzies you get after doing something great. Either way, I will sleep well tonight.