The Holy Land

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Jordan seemed to us more conservative than Syria with more English speaking folk.

We had the privilege of spending time drinking glasses of sugar and tea in the company of a Bedouin police sergeant, which was interesting, one of the hitchhikers we picked up in our hired car – a common practice and one which we’d no doubt have benefitted more from if we had better Arabic.

Did a bit more thinking about the complex situation for women in the middle east. It’s a complicated and I have half forgotten to think about it sometimes. I get frustrated about the way I am looked at or talked to (or not talked to as the case may be) sometimes but forget how free I am in comparison to other women. I was reminded by a woman we shared a taxi with from Amman to Damascus: 38 yrs old and leaving her husband who was according to her limited English, ‘an angry man’, and four young children. She was on her way back to Lattakia in the north of Syria to get her brother’s permission to fight for her children as her husband had said she couldn’t stay with them. Was a very upsetting conversation especially as there was little I could do other than touch her arm in solidarity and hope not to offend. I want to explore these issues further. After all, it was part of what I’d said I’d try to learn about here.

Dead sea more than lived up to all my long held expectations. Could see Israel (or whatever name is better to call it – I am unsure how to stay out of the politics) just a short swim away. Got off the track to find a place where I could swim bikinied without too much hassle way better than the ‘public’ beach area we saw further down the road later.

Petra blew our minds -simply.

Our second day in we walked and walked for over 12 hours. Awesome and not in a cliched sense.

Really an amazing place. We got away from some of the main trails to where some of the Bedouin still live illegally (they were all kicked out in the 1980s to make way for tourism). There’s a story for another time.