Sunday, March 29, 2009

Aqabawi Band

Playing traditional Aqabawi Arabic music at an outdoor amphitheater in Aqaba city center. March 2009

Wadi Araba

Wadi Araba, Jordan March 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

This Friday at the Mosque...

Two young girls sit outside a mosque during the midday Friday prayer.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Eid al-Adha in Alexandria, Egypt

Above: Eid al-Adha street festivities for children in Alexandria, Egypt (November 2008)

Eid al-Adha is a Muslim holiday that commemorates Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as an act of obedience to God. Satisfied with Ibrahim's devotion, God put a ram in place of Ishmael at the last moment and Ishmael was saved.

To celebrate Eid al-Adha many Muslims sacrifice a goat, lamb, cow, etc. as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice, and then distribute sacrificed meat to the poor.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Purim in Tel Aviv

Purim is the Jewish festival commemorating the deliverance of the Jewish people of ancient Persia from Emperor Haman's plot to annihilate them. However, among the young and secular in Tel Aviv, it has become a costume party in the streets which runs until past dawn.

Above: Purim in Tel Aviv (March 2009)

Judaism In Jerusalem

Women pray in front of the female section at the Western Wall, with Jewish prayer books in the foreground

Orthodox Jewish men on a street in West Jerusalem

Young Orthodox Jews wait to cross the street

Men pray, sing, and embrace at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism

Above: Jerusalem, March 2009

The West Bank -- Life Under Occupation

Above: A young boy sells gum at Qalandia checkpoint in Ramallah.

Qalandia is monitored by Israeli soldiers and restricts Palestinians from leaving Ramallah.

Above: A young woman walks through the high-security Qalandia checkpoint.

Palestinians with permits granted by the Israeli military authority are allowed to enter Israel. Permits --usually for work, medical or religious reasons--are only administered to a select few.

Above: Ramallah at sunset

Saturday, March 21, 2009

February Street Scenes in Aqaba

My Students

Photo Above: My students from Aqaba International School on a class field trip to Ayla Aviation flying school.

The school was originally created to cater to the families of International investors, however the majority of the students are Jordanian locals. Although development in Aqaba has surpassed Aqaba Development Corporation's predictions, the school has fewer expat students than ADC had previously anticipated.

Conservatism In Aqaba

Although Aqaba is one of the largest and most modern cities in Jordan, it is still seems considerably more conservative than other well-known Middle Eastern cities such as Amman, Ramallah, etc. It is not uncommon to see women dressed in black abayas, and many girls start wearing headscarves at a very young age.

In 2000, Jordan designated Aqaba a "Special Economic Zone," which gives foreign investors monetary incentives to invest in the development of Aqaba. Many of these new investments are in the tourism industry, as people are trying to develop Aqaba into a resort destination.

Because tourism in Aqaba is still a developing industry, the relatively low cost to vacation here has attracted an influx of European travelers, which makes makes for an interesting street scene when white, bikini clad tourists brush shoulders with Arab, burka clad locals.

Home Is Where The Heat Is -- Aqaba, Jordan

Ahlan wa Sahlan!

Thanks for checking out my blog, The Daily Garbanzo. I will mainly use this blog to post photos from my travels around the Middle East. I hope you enjoy!

Photos Above: These are pictures taken outside of my apartment window in Aqaba, Jordan. The view overlooks the Gulf of Aqaba and the city of lights in the background is Eilat, Israel. Stunning sunsets are the norm here.