Friday, July 20, 2007

From Jon-Al Ajnabee

Here is Jon "al Ajnabee" , checking in once again. Jon is much easier for people to say here than Jonathan and Al Ajnabee means the foreigner, a word I hear constantly whether walking on the street or sitting in a taxi. My status as a "Ajnabee", of course follows me everyone I go and is indellibly printed on my pale-white (though more nicely tanned, now) skin. It has its advantages like being able to travel where I want, more or less do what I want, and getting hand fed when being a guest at people's homes (this happened to me yesterday... was quite bizarre). All this while Palestinian who live here can hardly travel within their own country, many are very restricted in what they can and can't do, and some depend on the UN and other organizations for their daily bread. I am ashamed many times of this.

Why me and not them? Why am I so different by holding this little blue document called a passport? This little paper document makes all the difference in the world... and I am ashamed to have it at times. I am tiring of constantly, by nearly everyone I meet, being asked whether in joke or jest in I can take them with me to "America" or help them get there. Today I got proposed to by a girl who is from Gaza, but lives now in the West Bank and can't get back to Gaza. She's stuck here. The girl gave me a marriage proposol on the spot, in jest (though there is some truth in every jest), in order to get a green card to the US. It really saddenned me.

So I have three weeks left here. Im doing allright, but will definitely be ready to be home when the time comes. Everything just weighs on you here so much. Till then I will be doing some interviews, a little traveling, continuing my Arabic and wrapping up relationships and my volunteer work. Life has now a constant rhythm that I am accustomed to: lots of hanging out, lots of talking, some food every once in a while... :)

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I appreciate you all!

Salaam. (for more pics of my trip look under the "links" section on the right of the page)

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