One of one of my favorite aspects of living here in Jordan is how close I am to the news and politics here. Back in America, I thrived off of Middle Eastern news. There was always a delay in the news though, since the Middle East is on the other side of the world.
Since being here, though, I've been able to watch al-Jazeera as new Osama Bin Laden tapes were played for the first time, as Bush landed in Iraq during his secret trip, and as Nuri al-Maliki and General Casey announced the death of al-Zarqawi.
Even if I may be classified as a nerd for thinking all this is cool, it's still cool.
It's fun to talk to people about it all too. It's kind of fun to talk with Palestinian taxi drivers, even when they start yelling at me about America's support for Israel, which leads to American occupation in Iraq, which leads to the future war with Iran. It's cool!
The only time I've acutally been afraid to talk about the news was right after al-Zarqawi was killed. After I watched the news conference, I got on a minibus to go to school - a minibus heading up to al-Zarqa (hometown of al-Zarqawi). Instead of blaring Arabic music from the radio, an Islamic cleric was on, screaming his head off about "Death to America! Death to the infidels! End the American Occupation of Iraq! Death to America!." Every person stared angrily at me the whole bus ride, so, I decided to shut my mouth. Good idea.
Most people here are happy with al-Zarqawi's death and everything, though. They're actually pretty good at separating American politics from the American people, so I'm still safe here. It's still fun every time I bring up the hot issues with people, especially the Palestinians.
Life's great here!