After a relaxing day spent at the Dead Sea, the class hit the ground running on Monday, December 14th in Amman, Jordan.
We had our first meeting of the day with James Fromson. Fromson works for Mayday Rescue NGO, which trains the Syrian Civil Defense. Fromson has coauthored pieces with one of our previous speakers, Steve Simon, and was able to provide an interesting perspective as an American living in Jordan. After this meeting, we headed on the bus to the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the Foreign Ministry, we had the opportunity to meet with the Director of International Relations and Organizations, Leena AlHadid, and Ibrahim Awawdeh, the Director of the North American Department. Qais Biltaji, the First Secretary to the Private Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and Mohammed Hindawi also joined us. The panel was able to provide insight into Jordan’s relationship with the U.S. and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Once the meeting concluded, we left the Foreign Ministry and went to a nearby sharwma stand for lunch.
After our delicious sharwma, we went to the office of Arab Reports for Investigative Journalism. At the office, we met with the Executive Director of the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, Rana Sabbagh. Sabbagh provided insight into the media’s role in the conflict. Sabbagh also introduced us to many of her colleagues from across the Arab world and allowed us to ask them their personal opinions on questions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Then, the class rushed back to the hotel for a meeting with Adnan S. Abu Odeh, the Minister of the Court & Political Advisor to King Hussein and King Abdullah II. He talked in depth about the current state of the Middle East. After our last meeting, we had dinner at the hotel and then worked on our memo.