Salaam and greetings friends and family! After a yearlong hiatus, and a barrage of fiercely adamant requests (only two to be perfectly honest), I’ve decided to start posting some new material up on my blog. In the past I’ve used this blog to chronicle my experiences in the Middle East and that’s what I’ll continue to do during the next four months.
I leave this morning from my “fabulous” hometown of Las Vegas to return to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. There I’ll be until Christmastime taking sixteen credits of Arabic language classes with BYU’s Arabic department. There are about 60 of us students and faculty engaging in this, hopefully, phenomenal experience. Completion of this program is the final step in finishing my Arabic degree.
Why am I studying Middle East Studies/Arabic? I find the Middle East fascinating. It is an immensely important region with many conflicts to be understood and resolved. Arabic is a world language spoken by around 500 million people making it the fourth most spoken language in the world. I hope to play some small role in helping bridge the gap between the West and the Arab world through whatever opportunities are given me. My plan is to apply to medical school in the coming summer and become a doctor, but I intend on always being informed of and connected with the people and issues of the Middle East. I thoroughly enjoyed the Jordanian people and their country last summer, and I am sure this fall will prove equally enjoyable.
Well, that’s all for now. I had a great two weeks at home with family and friends before taking off (Here's a picture of my brother Erik and I during our last jam session together for a while - photo taken by my sister, Sarah). I’ll see you all soon, but until then, check back here if you’re interested in how my experience is playing out.