Ahlan from Amman

Watching the sun set over the city of Amman, Jordan on my first day.
Watching the sun set over the city of Amman, Jordan on my first day.

Ahlan! After being in Amman, Jordan for a grand total of ten days now, two words come to mind when I am asked what it is like. Organized chaos. Taxi drivers cause your life to flash before your eyes with their almost near accidents, pedestrians dart in front of busy intersections to cross the street, and men shout at one another over the prices of vegetables. Yet with all this commotion, everything seems to come together in a beautiful way.

During my time here, I have noticed that there is a variety of things to do that appeal to a wide range of people. Amman is filled with restaurants, shops, cafes, mosques, churches, hookah bars, and nightclubs that can cater to individual needs depending on what one may be interested in. I am personally fascinated by the striking contrast of the way in which people are called to worship five times a day by the adhan (Islamic call to prayer) and the bustling crowds of cars and people that gather outside bars, kicking off the weekend. It would seem that it may be a source of conflict between the differing groups, yet I have only noticed a sense of harmony arise as people are given the choice to enjoy their free time in their own way.

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The Roman Theater, situated in the middle of East Amman.

Before I departed from the states, I was told by numerous people that Jordan was a country filled with rich heritage which offers an enormous amount of generosity, simply adding to the allure of the stunning country. I could not agree more as in the past week and a half I have been able to see ancient ruins, taste unique foods, create new and lasting friendships, start at a local university, improve my Arabic, use different forms of public transportation, shop in the markets, and be on the receiving end of Jordanian hospitality on numerous occasions. I cannot tell you how many times complete strangers have offered me a cup of tea, given me free knickknacks, offered assistance in navigating the city, practiced Arabic with me, and made me feel at home while I am halfway across the world.

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I currently have about fifteen weeks left in Jordan and while I am eager for the upcoming excursions and events scheduled throughout my time abroad, I am mindful to experience each and every day to the fullest extent as I know time will pass by in the blink of an eye. With that being said, for the duration of my time in Jordan I want to stray away from the multitude of American fast food chains scattered on every street corner and elect to not resort to English simply because it is easier and faster. I want to instead become wrapped up into this world of organized chaos in order to fully immerse myself in the captivating world of Jordanian culture.

From Jordan, with love