Detail from the Roman Theatre in Old Amman, see the Citadel on the hill in the background.
What a feeling to arrive in Amman Airport late night, and finding Joe Awad waiting for me together with my new friend, Faeez from Amman, the YMCA driver and Jack of all Trades. We hugged and smiled and drove from the airport to the hotel. Joe updated me on his meeting the same evening with the National Board of Jordan YMCA. Joe and I have shared a few miles already and we enjoy one another’s company. He is the Global Staff Team member from the Middle East and we have talked a lot about how we can make the Middle East Area work more effectively together. It is not easy in an area where people can not always go to the same countries and not meet in the same places.
Faeez, my new friend from Jordan YMCA.
Jordan YMCA has a magnificent YMCA centre with two swimming pools and a lot of other rooms and halls and cafeterias. The challenge is to attract the young people when you are located a bit out of the city centre.
The President of Jordan YMCA is an impressive personality. He is in the early 80s and he used to be the Mayor of Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authorities are located today. He was expelled many years ago and now resides as a refugee in Jordan, where 70% of the population is Palestinian. At a time he was the Minister of Transport in the Government of King Hussein.
The National Board, the President between Joe and me.
In the lobby of the YMCA centre they have exhibited a little museum of different office machines they have used through their history, and there I find a photo of Prince Abdullah of Jordan, participating in an YMCA event. He is now the King Abdullah, and he came to Ramallah the same day I visited Ramallah. I really wanted to visit Yasser Arafat’s tomb, which is located in the same place as the Presidential palace. Because of King Abdullah this is closed for me and I have to travel on, leaving King Abdullah to discuss with President Abbas.
We make interesting plans together with the National Board together with two young people whom I had met in Alexandria two days before. Exciting!
During a fascinating tour of old Amman, on 4 wheels and walking together with Faeez, we make some new friends in the old town, visiting the old Roman amphitheatre .
In addition to some interesting roadsigns, which some of you may have seen on my Facebook site, the late night market in Old Amman offers a fabulous choice of herbs and spices,
as well as a rich variety of local fruits.
Next day Faeez takes me through the mountains of Jordan to Mount Nebo where Moses looked into the promised land and shortly after passed away.(See Deuteronomy 34,1-6) There is a magnificent view of all Palestine from that mountain, looking across the Dead Sea.
Most days the air is not clear enough for a good shot of wide landscapes, but if the fog and mist becomes too thick, there are interesting and helpful roadsigns along the road. I am sure Moses appreciated this one on his way down from Mount Nebo!
Shortly after I find my self floating around in the Dead Sea. Again a fascinating experience, it is very close to walking on water!
The Dead Sea, unfortunately loosing its water and becoming smaller.
The crossing of the border between Jordan and Israel through King Hussein’s Bridge is an experience in itself, I take an emotional good bye with Faeez and cross the border and enter a taxi on the other side of the bridge and I am on my way to Jerusalem.