Privacy is Overrated, sort of…

My husband was born in a refugee camp for Palestinians in Amman, Jordan.  One of his earliest childhood memories was his house getting blown up, as his family fled for shelter in a nearby school where he clung to his mother’s leg while she tried to shush and feed her second child, still a baby….

Jerash, A Stroll Through Time

When one thinks of antiquities, they usually refer to Athens or Rome and they are right to do so. But let your mind wander to the outer reaches of the Greek and Roman Empires and here, you will discover some of the most well-preserved towns of the ancients. About 48 Kilometers north of Amman, we…

Car seats, high chairs and other nefarious torture devices

In the states, we are obsessed with safety and protocol. One would never imagine letting a kid run wild in the backseat of a moving car, those days died with the Nixon era.  If I start backing down the driveway without my seatbelt my ten-year-old starts having spasms of shock and admonishment. But as we…

The Household, Amman

As the twins fall asleep at four AM to the lull of the Imam, the rest of the house awakens. My father in law is called to his duties and prayers at the Mosque. A recently retired economics professor, he now devotes his final chapter to God and the community. He his in his eighties,…

Amman, Jordan

It’s hot. It’s 3am, I am awake with the twins-jetlagged babies. It’s time to play.The prayer call will start in about 20 minutes, an eery and haunting lullaby that echoes through the city. Then the streets will start filling up with the vendors driving around and beckoning over their loud speakers much like the hot…

Jerusalem, Part 2

We return to the Jewish quarter with our passports and after a few phone calls we are finally granted access. It is much quieter and less crowded than the Arab Quarter of the city. There are European and American cafes boasting bagels and burgers. There are kids on field trips perusing the sites with their…

Jerusalem, Part 1

Some cities just illicit strong emotion and a sense of reverence, Jerusalem is one of them. One of the oldest known human settlements dating back to 4500 B.C. It is a place of pilgrimage and worship for Islam, Judaism and Christians alike. We enter through the West Bank from Jordan and our first stop is…

A Journey to the Holy Lands

We managed to avoid the travelers’ diarrhea until today, the morning we set out for Jerusalem. A nasty little bug is having a hay day. The twins were restless all night with stomach pains and Emma wakes up complaining of dizziness, the vomiting starts shortly after. My husband has been making comical dashes to the…

Wadi Rum, A Night in a Bedouin Camp

I’m intrigued by the native people of these lands, the Bedouins. I’m not sure why, maybe just some deep limbic nostalgia for a simple and true way of life. The Bedouin are the semi-nomadic tribal people who have inhabited the North African and Arabian deserts for thousands of years. They herd goat, camel and sheep…

Aqaba, The Red Sea

The Arab World was ruled by the Ottomans until they were defeated in WWI. It was then divided and these countries were carved out by the French and English who then occupied them until the next Great War. As many as possible were given access to the seas, either the Mediterranean or Red. Syria and…