As a professor, it is always an interesting experience to be sitting on the other side of the podium taking notes and asking questions. Our time in the morning and early afternoon over the past three days in Amman has been spent in a series of very interesting lectures and discussion. Except for one session, we have been graciously hosted by the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy. That exception was today, where we were welcomed into the Swedish Embassy by Ambassador Charlotta Sparre, who discussed European Union’s foreign policy toward the Middle East.
After a trip back to the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy, we were also provided with the US perspective from Timothy Russell, a former academic who currently serves in the Political Section of the US Embassy based in Amman. Dr. Mohammad Mommani gave a detailed account of Jordan’s role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to our group today, while the previous day we had heard from two high ranking Jordanian officials (Former Ambassador to Israel Omar Rifai and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Abu Jaber) regarding the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel along with broader perspective on Jordan relations in the region. On our first day, we received an overview of Jordan in the Middle East from Dr. Zu’bi Al Zu’bi and the pressing concerns over water in Jordan from Dr. Duraid Mahasneh.
We will pick up on the theme of water and the environment when we leave the lecture hall behind and hit the road tomorrow to travel to the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea.
Finally, I realized from reading over the previous posts that the participants on the trip are not listed! So here is our “class roster”:
Amber Garcia, Psychology
Denise Bostdorff, Communication Studies
Elizabeth Schiltz, Philosophy
Garrett Thomson, Philosophy
Joan Friedman, History and Religious Studies
John Rudisill, Philosophy
Kara Morrow, Art History
Kent Kille, Political Science
Sarah Mirza, Religious Studies
Mark Wilson, unfortunately in absentia, Geology