David and Lili's World Tour

JORDAN

June 2005 - Amman, Petra, Aqaba

Jordan is Middle-Eastern culture at its best. Note that I have heard nothing but good stories from people who have traveled in Syria and Iran, too. The so-called liberal media would surely have Westerners believe otherwise. Aren't all those Arabs supposed to be terrorists or something? The reality is that the streets of Amman and Aqaba are clean, safe, and modern (indeed, downright trendy). A large percentage of Jordanian women do not bother with head scarves, and I've even seen public displays of affection! Amman is a city where ancient Roman ruins tower over a modern success story. This is not to say that women have anything close to equal rights. Indeed, travesties such as honor killings do happen. But I applaud steps in the right direction. We like Jordan. And every Jordanian we have met likes King Abdullah II.

Many Jordanians are of Palestinian origins, refugees from the Israeli occupation, so they aren't too happy with the Israeli and US governments. When people ask where we're from, I let Lili answer, Brazil. Everybody seems to love Brazil and their soccer team. If America spent a fraction of what it currently spends on war to help the poor, we would have some respect again. Instead we are seen by many as arrogant hypocrites, or worse, lying greedy murderers. That's too bad because most Americans did not vote for Bush, and I believe most Americans would like to see morality inside corporate boardrooms. Most Jordanian people can see the difference between Bush and say, me, but the negative stereotype shows through. If only the majority of American's knew what's really going on, but alas, the "liberal" media is not about to tell Americans the ugly truth, as their corporate ownership would lose money. And of course, since we are essentially a race of trained apes, a significant fraction of people will always believe whatever their leaders tell them on TV. This is human nature as crafted by evolution.

The ancient city of Petra, lost to all but the Bedouins for a thousand years, is cool, despite being hot :-)

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