Few hours ago I had dinner in Amman, one of the oldest cities in the world, surrounded by Moslems, Christians, Arabs, Europeans, conservatives, and liberals. Dinner finished late and I had planned to drive to the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea. Given the late hour, everyone was telling me to be careful. Be careful not because of worry given that I am a woman driving alone at that late hour, but because all over the world driving at night seems to carry a risk with it.
On my way down, I drove across town. While doing so I received a call from a friend who spotted me at the traffic light. We exchanged a nice conversation and I continued my drive down to that breathtaking spot on earth.
On the way to the Dead Sea I was stopped by two army checkpoints stationed there to make sure that we Jordanians are safe. The soldiers could not have been more polite or pleasant. I finally reached my destination, which was one of the most beautiful hotels that one could experience. There I met three of my girlfriends. Two are married and one is single. They all had decided to spend an all girls day off at the Dead Sea.
I hung out with them until 3:00 am and then it was time to leave. I drove back alone to my place next to the Dead Sea at the Jordan valley, one of the most historically rich and agriculturally fertile and diversified areas in the world. The road was dark and empty, but not for one second did I feel anxious, worried or scared.
This made me realize why I love Jordan. In a matter of few hours, I got to experience how lucky we are to feel safe and free here in Jordan. In matter of few hours I got to experience the cosmopolitan side that one finds in a big city. In a matter of few hours I got to experience the familiar side that one finds in a small town. In a matter of few hours I got to experience the loving side of Jordan. In a matter of less than one hour I got to experience temperature change of 10 degrees. In a matterof less than one hour I managed to be at 700 meters above sea level, to being at sea level, and then finally reaching to the lowest point on earth (400 meters below sea level).
My point is that here in Jordan we find tolerance, diversity, respect, security, history, uniqueness, freedom, and lots of love.
Today I realized how easy it is at times to to take fundamental things for granted and how eay it is to forget what a beautiful place our country is. And by the way I am a Palestinian. But I never thought that I needed to make that distinction. In fact I am now sitting 10 minutes away from Palestine. Does this make the people of this area so alien and so different from those sitting 10 minutes away from here that we have to make a point of it? I think not!