Life, Travel, USA

I head back to Jordan on Tuesday after a pretty amazing three weeks in the US. Coming back to America less than two weeks after the election, I really didn’t know what climate we’d be walking into – in New York, in the south, and places in between. It was eye-opening for both of us, and Layth is much better at having civilized, reasonable political discussions with people who he disagrees with than I am. But more on that later.

We finally made it official by having a wedding party in Louisiana, and I was overwhelmed with how generous and welcoming my family was toward both of us. Continue Reading

Middle East, Travel

A four-day Eid weekend took us south to Petra, Wadi Rum, and Aqaba and the Red Sea, with a fair amount of off-roading along the way.

Layth took us on the scenic route to Petra, via a turn-off south of the Dead Sea – and luckily we we were in the trusty Feroza, and luckily Layth knows these roads really well. We passed quite a few “road closed” signs, but pressed on as it wasn’t physically blocked, and it was actually paved for the first part – I guess this road was pretty much unpaved until quite recently. But we came to the unpaved part, and going up the steep switchbacks made for some stunning views of the valley as we made our way to Petra. Continue Reading

Middle East, Travel

Yesterday was my birthday, and we drove two hours northwest of Amman and spent the day at Umm Qais, in the presence of Roman ruins, overlooking the Golan Heights and Syria off to the northeast. It’s one of my longstanding favorite places in Jordan, but it makes me sad to think that at night now, you can often see airstrikes happening just over the border. We had a classy picnic with some friends, ate a birthday cheesecake, had a nice hike, and got to see plenty of sheep and goats happily munching on the grass. All in all, a successful birthday outing.

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