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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010


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Dear Jordan/Syria parents,

We have received confirmation that the Jordan/Syria group has arrived safely in Amman. Everyone is doing well! As soon as the group is near internet and rested, the instructor group will have students post a yak.

Here's to a wonderful summer! And more soon.

Boulder Admin

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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Jordan/Syria course has arrived!

Elizabeth Johnson,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Dear Jordan/Syria parents, We have received confirmation that the Jordan/Syria group has arrived safely in Amman. Everyone is doing well! As soon as the group is near internet and rested, the instructor group will have students post a yak. Here’s to a wonderful summer! And more soon. Boulder Admin

Posted On

06/29/10

Author

Elizabeth Johnson

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Hello Soon-To-Be-Dragons!

Our departure date is getting closer and closer!!

One extra thing we wold like you to pack before you leave:

Bring your Ipods!! We will have a portable ipod deck with us the whole summer inshaallah!!!!

Any last minute questions?

Maasalameh!

Linda.

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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One extra thing!

Linda Bouziane,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Hello Soon-To-Be-Dragons! Our departure date is getting closer and closer!! One extra thing we wold like you to pack before you leave: Bring your Ipods!! We will have a portable ipod deck with us the whole summer inshaallah!!!! Any last minute questions? Maasalameh! Linda.

Posted On

06/24/10

Author

Linda Bouziane

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alena's last post said to respond, so --

1. for my isp i want to take either oud lessons or tabla lessons (i have some experience with tabla so it could be cool to continue that formally). but, question: if i'm wanting to take oud lessons, i would rather start sooner in the trip rather than later. at what point in the program would i be able to buy/borrow an oud and start my isp?

2. another music-related question: is anyone going to bring a cd player and travel speakers? last year in morocco my instructors brought those and everybody brought cd's, which worked out pretty well. should we start making our mixes now?

3. i never got my instructor phone call (i missed a call from sara but no one ever called me back). hope that's not a problem!

looking forward to meeting and traveling with all of you,

abby

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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isps!

abby schoenfeld,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

alena’s last post said to respond, so — 1. for my isp i want to take either oud lessons or tabla lessons (i have some experience with tabla so it could be cool to continue that formally). but, question: if i’m wanting to take oud lessons, i would rather start sooner in the trip rather […]

Posted On

06/21/10

Author

abby schoenfeld

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Hey everyone!

You guys are all probably just as busy as I am preparing this week! As I am gathering my things together, I've come across a dilemma about what type of camera to bring. I'm very interested in photography (you all will return with a billion pictures of yourself, don't worry) and I think I would like to incorporate it into my Independent Study Project. I am deciding between a digital and film camera. I am leaning more towards film (reflecting on my trip last year, I found that my film photos were special to me) but I am wondering if there will be a place to get the photos developed if I'd like to use them for my IS.

Thanks!

Lizzy

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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A Photography Question

Lizzy Weiss,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Hey everyone! You guys are all probably just as busy as I am preparing this week! As I am gathering my things together, I’ve come across a dilemma about what type of camera to bring. I’m very interested in photography (you all will return with a billion pictures of yourself, don’t worry) and I think […]

Posted On

06/21/10

Author

Lizzy Weiss

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Ya toulab!

In just a few short weeks we will be exploring the amazing Levant! Conducting an Independent Study Project is a part of this exploration; Lida, Sara & myself want to encourage you to begin thinking about what your ISP might look like. Begin by asking yourself: What are you curious about? Is there a social issue you would like to explore? Do you have a burning question that needs answered?Is there a creative tradition that you wish to explore or an artistic medium through which you’d like to express your time in the Levant?

Over the next few days, you'll each receive a call from me, Sara or Linda. We are so excited to get the chance to speak with you. In preparation for those conversations, which will cover a variety of topics, we'd like to hear now about your potential ISP interests. Below is a list of possible topics that we feel we can most easily facilitate for you based on our local contacts. HOWEVER - please do not feel limited by them! Your ISP can address any interest that you have in relation to the countries that we visit and should be a personal exploration of some aspect of our travels that allows you to get greater insight into the Levant.

So – take a look – jot us a note and look forward to hearing from us over the phone quite soon!

Jordan & Syria ISP Options

POTENTIAL ISP PROJECTS:

Religion/Philosophy
The life of Mohammed, The Media and Islam, Judaism in the Levant,Gender Roles in Islam, Peace in Islam, Western Views of Islam, Islam as practiced by the settled vs. nomadic, the History of Islam in Jordan & Syria, Themes in the Quran, Islamic Architecture,Concepts of Death in Islam

Environment/Wildlife

Desertification, Jordan Valley Irrigation, Geology and Geography of the Levant, Overgrazing, Impact of Tourism on the Environment, Water Management Issues in Jordan and Syria

Economics

Social and Economic Development in the Levant; Socioeconomic Impacts of Tourism, Cultural & Labor: who does what jobs, Perceptions of the Tourism Industry

Education

The Public Education System, Unemployment and Connections to Education, Literacy, Religious Education

Family

The Practice of Polygamy, Marriage Rituals and Arranged Marriages, The Issue of Men Working in the Tourism Industry, Issues of Heredity / Kinship, The Perception of Family: A Cross-Cultural Study, The Concept of Self in Different Societies, Women’s Role in Families, Parental Child Dynamics in Families

Politics& Government

Conflict in the Levant, Al-Jazeera,Relations with the US/West/Middle East, Rights/Representation in Government, Emigration and Remittances, Local Media,Freedom of Press, Refugee Issues: Palestine and Iraq, Local Perceptions of other Arab and Middle Eastern nations, Jordan's Representation System; Jordan's Military, Jordan’s Political Stability

Arts

Pottery/Ceramics, Silver Work,Dancing, Cooking,Islamic Architecture, Rug Weaving,Mosaic Work, Arabic Music: L’oud, Rababa and Tabla

Gender Issues

Veiling, Women in the Workplace, Opportunities and Daily Lives of Rural vs. Urban Women

History

The Hashemites, The Nabateans, The Romans, The Ottomans, the Palestinians

Health

Health Training in the School System, Nutrition, Sanitation,Traditional Medicine,Emergency Medical Care

Culture

The Art of Bargaining, Bedouin/Palestinian Dynamics, Bedouin Traditions,

Creative Expression

The Levant through Photography, Portraiture, Watercolor, Music or Video

If you have further questions please feel free to contact Linda, Sara or myself. Looking forward to seeing you at JFK

Warmly,

Alena Bartoli

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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ISPs and Instructor Phone Calls – Please Respond

Alena Bartoli,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Ya toulab! In just a few short weeks we will be exploring the amazing Levant! Conducting an Independent Study Project is a part of this exploration; Lida, Sara & myself want to encourage you to begin thinking about what your ISP might look like. Begin by asking yourself: What are you curious about? Is there […]

Posted On

06/11/10

Author

Alena Bartoli

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    [post_date] => 2010-06-07 00:00:00
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    [post_content] => Dear Dragons' families, 

The following is sent as an informational update recent events in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Over the past week, Israeli military personnel have intercepted a series of international vessels carrying humanitarian aid to inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. These interceptions have sparked condemnation of and protest against Israeli actions both internationally and regionally, in both Jordan and Syria. The protests, in both countries, have been peaceful.

Current events in the region do not pose a risk to the safety of our summer program. Wecontinue to monitor the local and international press to keep abreast of events in both countries, in addition to communicating regularly with our instructor team and local contacts.

Please note that this message seeks to inform you, rather than to causealarm. In the case that you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our office at 800-982-9203. I can also be reached via email at elizabeth@wheretherebedragons.com.

Best,
Elizabeth Johnson
Manager and Middle East Program Director
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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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Update on Recent Events in the Eastern Mediterranean

Elizabeth Johnson,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Dear Dragons’ families, The following is sent as an informational update recent events in the Eastern Mediterranean. Over the past week, Israeli military personnel have intercepted a series of international vessels carrying humanitarian aid to inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. These interceptions have sparked condemnation of and protest against Israeli actions both internationally and regionally, […]

Posted On

06/7/10

Author

Elizabeth Johnson

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Greetings to all Jordan & Syria students, families and friends -

My name is Tim Patterson, and I've had the pleasure of interacting with many of you during the months of preparation for this inaugural Dragons program in the Levant. I'm thrilled by the intellectual curiosity and personal character of each student on this program, I'm impressed and humbled by the caliber of your instructor team, and I'm especially pleased to announce that I'll be joining the group for the final 2 weeks of the program!

I look forward to learning from all of you during our time together, as I'm sure that you will have much to share and teach by the time I meet you. This will be my second time with a new Dragons course, as I recently scouted and instructed our first Mekong Semester program.

Although this will be my first visit to Jordan & Syria, I focused on Middle Eastern politics while earning my degree in International Relations at Williams College, where I was fortunate to study under Professer Marc Lynch, a noted expert on Middle Eastern media. I encourage all of you to follow Prof. Lynch's blog:

http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/

No doubt all of you are aware of the challenging, multi-faceted and dynamic nature of Middle Eastern politics, a thicket of complexity that I encountered first-hand at a Model UN conference at the American University of Cairo in 2004.

The current events off the shores of Israel have exacerbated many tensions, and put the spotlight on Gaza.

As Alena noted, the Dragons administration and instructor team will work together with our in-country contacts to analyze and monitor the political climate and its implications for our program. For now, though, we are fully confident in our ability to mitigate political risks in the context of our projected (but flexible) itinerary. Indeed, this latest chapter in Middle Eastern politics will be yet one more fascinating and complex issue for us to discuss and explore during our journey.

Inshallah, I will be seeing all of you very soon.

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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Greetings from Boulder

Tim Patterson,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Greetings to all Jordan & Syria students, families and friends – My name is Tim Patterson, and I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with many of you during the months of preparation for this inaugural Dragons program in the Levant. I’m thrilled by the intellectual curiosity and personal character of each student on this program, […]

Posted On

06/6/10

Author

Tim Patterson

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Hello again

My little question is are we going to be effected by this shipping thing going on in the Gaza strip.

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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A very quick question

Peter Wade,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

Hello again My little question is are we going to be effected by this shipping thing going on in the Gaza strip.

Posted On

06/5/10

Author

Peter Wade

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No.

Please accept an update from Dragons administration within the next 24 hours.

Best,

Alena

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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A very quick answer

Alena Bartoli,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

Description

No. Please accept an update from Dragons administration within the next 24 hours. Best, Alena

Posted On

06/5/10

Author

Alena Bartoli

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    [post_content] => 

Ahlan wa sahlan ya toulab! You are of our family so be easy oh students!

We are super thrilled to present to you theTENTATIVE itinerary for the 2010 Jordan & Syria Program! There will likely be revisions once our journey gets underway. As we get to know all of you, we will tailor the course to meet your particular needs and interests, and will encourage you to also take ownership of your course, by sharing your individual vision and goals. Throughout the first 4 weeks of the course you will be learning, practicing, developing, and demonstrating new travel, cultural, and language skills through the experiences that we, as instructors, have chosen. During week 5 and 6 you will be presented with a final challenge which will allow your group even greater direction over the place and shape of our itinerary.

Think of this itinerary as a wonderful set of guidelines for our summer’s adventure.

And remember, as with all itineraries of adventure, what you find below was written in sand ... at low tide.

Much love,

Alena, Linda and Sara

June 28
Meet Alena and your new tribe at JFK airport. Fly to Jordan!!!!

June 29
Aqaba:Arrive in al-irdunand spend the night by the sea at Aqaba’s Ministry of Education Youth Camp.


June 30
Aqaba:
After a morning of team building and briefings, we’ll have our first experience – cultural and environmental - of the Red Sea.


July 1 - 2
Aqaba:
Orient ourselves to the country by learning Jordanian Arabic survival skills, exploring Islamic tradition, understanding Jordanian history and customs, and spending our first afternoon exploring Aqaba’s streets and marketplaces. Spend the night in Aqaba city.

July 3

Aqaba: A homeday with local Aqabawi students and our first, first hand introduction to local traditions.

July 4 - 8

Aqaba - Lawrence Road – Saudi border – Wadi Rum:

Preparation and departure for our three day trek up Lawrence of Arabia’s road to Wadi Rum. Meet Suleiman Sabbah, our erstwhile Bedouin guide, who has prepared for us an adventure full of surprises. Our trek will take us up Lawrence’s Road, toward (but not across!) the Saudi border and into our final destination, Wadi Rum – the heart of Bedouin territory.

July 9

Possible detour to Madaba

An exploration of the bureaucratic ins and outs of Jordanian society and a tribute to HMK Abdullah's attempts to make education accessible to all. All will be made clear with time.

July 10 - 11

Return to Wadi Rum

After a possible detour to Madaba, we will return to Wadi Rum for our first set of rural homestays with nomadic Bedouin families who make their homes in the deserts of southern Jordan. As part of the family, we will be responsible for assisting with meals, keeping track of the livestock and passing the time with copious amounts of tea.

July 11

Wadi Rum Visitor’s Center –-> Diseh Village

We will spend the morning at Wadi Rum Visitor’s Center learning about the management of this protected nature reserve. In the afternoon, we will travel to Diseh, a village of settled Bedouin on the northern end of the reserve, where we will split our tribe into single gender groups as we prepare ourselves four our homestay in this traditional and welcoming Bedouin village. Sleep one last time under the stars of Wadi Rum before joining families.

July 12 – 16

Diseh Village Homestay

Students are paired with homestay families in the village of Diseh where they will experience the traditions and hospitality of the Bedouin, which date back over a thousand years to and before the time of the Prophet Mohammad. Compare experiences and traditions of living with rural and settled Bedouin and begin to consider the impacts of tourism on traditional societies.

July 16 – 18

Petra

Travel by bus with Abu Asri, the Wadi Rum-Petra bus driver, where we will explore the history and current life of this ancient city and modern tourist attraction. Consider in greater detail the impacts of mass tourism and marvel at the rose red city of the Nabateans.

July 19

Travel to Dana

Travel like locals from Petra to Dana Nature Reserve…

July 20 – 21

Dana Village and Nature Reserve

Explore Dana Village, run by the Sons of Dana and Qaddisiyeh Local Community Cooperative and Dana Nature Reserve, a protected area run by Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. Observe your surroundings and consider the effects of development and change on small, rural populations.

July 22

Dana – Wadi Feynan Solo Trek

Spend a day hiking from Dana to Wadi Feynan Reserve tucked down in the bottom of the Jordan Valley. Reflect on your experiences to date as we hit the mid-way mark of our time together. Spend the night in Wadi Feynan Nature Reserve.

July 23

Wadi Feynan – Dead Sea – Madaba/Amman

Rising with the sun, depart by bus for a return to the urban, modernizing world. We will stop briefly at the Dead Sea, before heading north to Amman and Madaba, where we will spend 5 days experiencing life in Jordan’s capital area.

July 24 – 28

Madaba/Amman

In Madaba and Amman, a variety of opportunities will be open to us. Whether visiting with Madaba’s Christian community, painting a local school or doing service in one of Jordan’s Palestinian refugee camps, we will experience the diversity and energy of northern Jordan. Students will take an active role in planning and facilitating each of our activities while in the north.

July 29 - August 4

To Be Determined

Will you continue your Levantine adventure in Syria’s souks and cities? Will you decide that you have fallen in love with the Desert Kingdom and continue to explore the far reaches of Jordan with further gusto?

These are the questions that will be answered during the final weeks of our adventure together as students work together to plan a final journey.

August 5-7

Unwind with a few days amid the ancient ruins and golden fields of Pella in northern Jordan. Present Independent Study Projects, reflect together about the last 5 weeks journey, and prepare ourselves for a return home.

Afternoon of August 7
Return to Amman for flight to NYC.

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Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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Tentative Itinerary! Woohoo!

Alena Bartoli,Jordan and Syria: Crossroads of Tradition & Modernity, Summer 2010

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Ahlan wa sahlan ya toulab! You are of our family so be easy oh students! We are super thrilled to present to you theTENTATIVE itinerary for the 2010 Jordan & Syria Program! There will likely be revisions once our journey gets underway. As we get to know all of you, we will tailor the course […]

Posted On

06/1/10

Author

Alena Bartoli

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