May 25: Happy Independence Day, Jordan! 70 years of Independence from Britain

In celebration, our dear volunteer, Ms. Aya Nidal Zannad, gave all of us a red "kefiyah scarf" to wear, in solidarity with our hosts, the Jordanian people.  Here we are in 'Umm Jimal, "Mother of Beauty", in northern Jordan, near Za'atari refugee camp and outside of the city of Mafraq. This is an ancient Roman city, also part of Byzantine Empire and later the Ottoman Empire. The city was built out of volcanic rock.

Below, our host Sheikh Khaled (Sheikh/leader of a local tribe in Mafraq) hosted us at his brother's farm, and then at his own house, where his wife prepared an amazing "light meal" (not light) for us to enjoy.  the Sheikh also taught us about his role as tribal leader, marriage counselor, dispute resolver, and otherwise problem-solver for issues (large and small) that affect his 18,000 tribal members.

"I can see Syria from my mound!"
Below, students are channeling Sarah Palin by pointing to the distant Syrian village beyond the northern border of Jordan.


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