Greetings from Amman!
We started out the day running across the busy street in front of our hotel, jumping into cabs bound for the University of Jordan. Upon arrival, we were whisked into a theater, where we watched a concert put on by the University’s music department. Today, the arts department had programming to celebrate King Abdullah’s birthday, which was last month. Afterwards, we watched interpretive dance and theatrical performances by students focusing in each of those disciplines.
Later, three of the professors drove us to the north end of campus, where we saw a marching band, also playing to honor King Abdullah. We started in on a self-guided tour of the campus, which caters to a shocking 45,000 students. Along the way, we passed the fighter jet flown by the Jordanian pilot who was set on fire by ISIS militants. Seeing this incident, which prompted Jordan’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War, immortalized in the center of campus was incredible. A professor, Tiala, brought us to the sculpture department of the University. There, we were able to see the work of some of her students. We met people who majored in different art forms, and talked to them about where they get their inspiration.
Afterwards, we crossed the street to a Yemeni restaurant where we were joined by Batool, who majors in painting at the University and Matteo’s friend Rhea. The food was delicious and we especially enjoyed the Yemeni bread. We then split up into three groups were given an hour to tour the University. We had to find three things at the University, a statue of a dinosaur, the milk bar, and the language center. After this we then took cabs back to our hotel were we had time to reflect on the trip so far.
Tonight we are going out to eat, and learning a traditional Arabic dance called Dabkeh.