Jon: This weekend

October 3, 2011

This last weekend was AMAZING!!!! We went to Dana Nature Reserve, Wadi Rum where I got to ride camels, ride in a jeep, flip down sand hills, eat with the Bedouin, attend a fake Bedouin wedding, climb a cliff, then climb it again at 5am to get to the very top and watch the sunrise. Then we went to Petra where I rode donkeys, saw the sand building that is famous from Indiana Jones, and saw many other buildings.

On a more serious note the more and more I experience here, surprisingly the more and more of an international isolationist I become. After all, imperialism is so rarely done with the thought of “I am going to exploit these people” but with the “I must help these poor less developed people.” So although intentions may be good, whether it be through infrastructure support, economic development, education, or intercultural awareness we are putting our beliefs, actions and values above theirs. Even if we try and say it is an equal exchange, the Arabs have been conditioned for how many years that our way is better so even if they use their own way our ideas will be influencing them. And as far as social cons such as poor, hungry, social inequality (except in extreme cases) to try and eliminate them or even alleviate them for Arabs is robbing their cultures of obstacles that although are hard, sad, and difficult would help make their culture great. Where would the US be if another country had stepped in and had given us our labor laws before we came up with the idea of labor laws ourselves? Would we formulate future laws, policies, or social constructs in the same way? Would we have the appreciated, dedication and respect that we have for them now?

I’m not saying we need to completely isolate ourselves. I know and agree there is room and reason to engage in the world however a much more critical dialogue needs to happen on these issues I believe before we take actions.


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