Can’t wait to return

    Seems like only yesterday that this time two years ago I was planning my first trip to Jordan and Syria, which took place in Jan/Feb 2009. There were quite a few other firsts associated with this trip –    first time on an archaeological dig as a volunteer, first time to the Middle East, first time I learned a few words in Arabic, first time I ever tried to find my around the old part of one of those Middle Eastern cities which is designed to get you hopelessly lost in a maze of streets and lanes within about eight minutes…….first time I ever watched Al Jazeera in English (and grateful I was for it, seeing that the January 2009 Gaza conflict was raging a short distance away at the time) first time I fully realised how badly (and unfairly) people from the Middle East are portrayed in the media…

Images of the Middle East are difficult to erase from your head. How on earth are you supposed to settle in back to Canberra when you have dug up the Bronze Age, held a piece of pottery in your hand with a four thousand year old thumb print on it, been to Damascus, the History capital of the World, for goodness sake, wandered around the ruins of Palmyra in the desert light, and oohed and aahed appreciatively at the Treasury in Petra?

This time around I am determined to learn at least a little Arabic before my return visit in Jan/Feb 2011 and have enrolled in introductory language lessons. From the little I know of the language, it seems pretty cool. We think of Western languages such as Italian and French as being ‘cool’ but perhaps not Arabic. But the syllables in Arabic seem to trip off your tongue like…like….well, comparisons fail me. Just think of ‘Al HAM Du Lil La’ and you’ll get the idea.


~ by margoforte12 on October 26, 2010.

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