Posts Tagged ‘Chris’

Playing a Christian Song in an ‘English Village’ in Mu’tah University, Insanity?

Chris is one of four American volunteers in a governmental American organization called ‘Peace Corps’. Today, Chris gave us the 4th lecture of the English Village course in Mu’tah University.

Since less than a year, Chris lives in Smakieh, my village. “We, volunteers, don’t choose where to live! Peace Corps just choose where we live!” Chris explained to a student in Qaser-University bus today’s evening.

Today’s lecture was about English songs. It was clearly that Chris had a hard job preparing this lesson for less than 30 students who attended his three-hour lesson. How many hours did he spend preparing the lyrics, downloading the songs from the internet then to his iPod, carrying large speakers to and fro the University, standing for 3 continuous hours explaining, discussing, and interacting with Jordanian students studying in Mu’tah University! If volunteers decided to ask for money in return for their lessons, what amount of money is enough to repay them their favors?

Chris asked us, students, what songs to play. He just enumerated the songs he prepared. Then he would wait for students to decide. After the first song or two he played, he started to talk about a song he had talking about ‘Christian Song’. “Oh God!” I thought to myself. Does he really understand what he is talking about? I discovered that it was only the beginning.

He described this song as “very emotional”. It is about a “conversation between God and his son, Jesus!” I didn’t know what to say or do! Doesn’t he know that he touched the most controversial issue between Christianity and Islam? The Quran talks specifically about the ‘infidels’ who claimed that ‘God had a son’. What? Why? How? I was baffled and my face flushed instead of Chris’.

Chris just continued. He didn’t seem to care. He talked as comfortable as if he was talking about the weather. I wanted to warn him. “You should stop! This is not a topic of discussion! Christians believe that Jesus is the ‘Son of God’ and Muslims…” How could I explain all of this to him in front of all students? Will I deliver my idea correctly? Should I enter in a discussion related to a forbidden subject as “Religion”? I sat silent waiting to see a student or another raising his voice to object to Chris. “How pity is Chris! He doesn’t know much about religions in the Middle East!” I felt sorry for Chris!

Students chose the third song and ignored the idea of hearing the “very emotional Christian song”. I felt relieved! But, for not too long!

We finished the third song. It was time to choose the next song.
Again, Chris began to explain what options we had. Again, I heard him mentioning “God and his Son”. “What is the matter with him?” I thought and thought! Again, the students voted to listen to another song. I was voting with them! I surely understood why they don’t want to understand such a song! Discussing religion is like discussing Sex or Politics. Nawaal Sa’dawee نوال السعداوي , an Egyptian feminist and writer, describe those horrible and unspeakable topics in the Arab World as “Forbidden Trinity”. Choose any other topic and talk about it!

Again, we finished this song. Chris wanted to start another. It was way long before lesson ends. Again and Again, Chris offers the Christian song, and we students, choose the one of the remaining 3 then 2 options.

20 minutes prior to the end of the class, Dr. Layla Omari, a doctor in the English department of the Faculty of Arts in Mu’tah University entered our class. Since the beginning of this course on Sunday, this is the first time the Supervisor doctor attended a lecture with us.

We finished the 5th or 6th song. We were left with two songs to choose from. The first song, you name it. The other one was about ‘loving one’s country’. A fuss occurred in the class, a female student behind me whispered to Dr. Layla. I was sitting between the two. I didn’t turn my head toward them. I didn’t want to appear spying on them. In the first place, why was she whispering? She wants the subject to be classified.

I overheard the following words… “Tell him… Religion…. Religion…” Then Chris just interrupted and all the students, including this one, stopped talking. Dr. Layla nodded like she understood what the girl talked about.

It was the time to choose the last Song to hear. It was almost 5 o’clock. Students had only two options. What do you think we chose? You guess it! I smiled at how Chris insisted on describing what the Christian song talked about. I have never seen him in the Church in Smakieh. Why Christianity was so important to him then?

After the lecture, I waited till all students left. I approached Chris and was beginning to explain to him this controversial issue between Christianity and Islam. “I know!” Quickly he answered. I was shocked. “Muslims doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God!” I said nothing more. It turned out that he knows! Why did he talk about it then? Is this “Bravery” or “Misjudgment”? I thought for a moment until Chris expressed his opinion!

How courageous is to have a principle in life! What is more courageous is to defend this principle! The principle might be wrong! This might be the case as trying to play a Christian song in Mu’tah. But in the end, you are defending what you believe in no matter what Moabite or others think of!

“OK, Muslims don’t believe in this… Fine! If you listen to other’s opinions, this doesn’t mean that you are accepting them! Just listen to them”

What do you think? Is Chris’s principle correct? Should you listen to an idea or opinion you definitely believe is incorrect?

Playing a Christian Song in an ‘English Village’ in Mu’tah University, Insanity?

Chris is one of four American volunteers in a governmental American organization called ‘Peace Corps’. Today, Chris gave us the 4th lecture of the English Village course in Mu’tah University.

Since less than a year, Chris lives in Smakieh, my village. “We, volunteers, don’t choose where to live! Peace Corps just choose where we live!” Chris explained to a student in Qaser-University bus today’s evening.

Today’s lecture was about English songs. It was clearly that Chris had a hard job preparing this lesson for less than 30 students who attended his three-hour lesson. How many hours did he spend preparing the lyrics, downloading the songs from the internet then to his iPod, carrying large speakers to and fro the University, standing for 3 continuous hours explaining, discussing, and interacting with Jordanian students studying in Mu’tah University! If volunteers decided to ask for money in return for their lessons, what amount of money is enough to repay them their favors?

Chris asked us, students, what songs to play. He just enumerated the songs he prepared. Then he would wait for students to decide. After the first song or two he played, he started to talk about a song he had talking about ‘Christian Song’. “Oh God!” I thought to myself. Does he really understand what he is talking about? I discovered that it was only the beginning.

He described this song as “very emotional”. It is about a “conversation between God and his son, Jesus!” I didn’t know what to say or do! Doesn’t he know that he touched the most controversial issue between Christianity and Islam? The Quran talks specifically about the ‘infidels’ who claimed that ‘God had a son’. What? Why? How? I was baffled and my face flushed instead of Chris’.

Chris just continued. He didn’t seem to care. He talked as comfortable as if he was talking about the weather. I wanted to warn him. “You should stop! This is not a topic of discussion! Christians believe that Jesus is the ‘Son of God’ and Muslims…” How could I explain all of this to him in front of all students? Will I deliver my idea correctly? Should I enter in a discussion related to a forbidden subject as “Religion”? I sat silent waiting to see a student or another raising his voice to object to Chris. “How pity is Chris! He doesn’t know much about religions in the Middle East!” I felt sorry for Chris!

Students chose the third song and ignored the idea of hearing the “very emotional Christian song”. I felt relieved! But, for not too long!

We finished the third song. It was time to choose the next song.
Again, Chris began to explain what options we had. Again, I heard him mentioning “God and his Son”. “What is the matter with him?” I thought and thought! Again, the students voted to listen to another song. I was voting with them! I surely understood why they don’t want to understand such a song! Discussing religion is like discussing Sex or Politics. Nawaal Sa’dawee نوال السعداوي , an Egyptian feminist and writer, describe those horrible and unspeakable topics in the Arab World as “Forbidden Trinity”. Choose any other topic and talk about it!

Again, we finished this song. Chris wanted to start another. It was way long before lesson ends. Again and Again, Chris offers the Christian song, and we students, choose the one of the remaining 3 then 2 options.

20 minutes prior to the end of the class, Dr. Layla Omari, a doctor in the English department of the Faculty of Arts in Mu’tah University entered our class. Since the beginning of this course on Sunday, this is the first time the Supervisor doctor attended a lecture with us.

We finished the 5th or 6th song. We were left with two songs to choose from. The first song, you name it. The other one was about ‘loving one’s country’. A fuss occurred in the class, a female student behind me whispered to Dr. Layla. I was sitting between the two. I didn’t turn my head toward them. I didn’t want to appear spying on them. In the first place, why was she whispering? She wants the subject to be classified.

I overheard the following words… “Tell him… Religion…. Religion…” Then Chris just interrupted and all the students, including this one, stopped talking. Dr. Layla nodded like she understood what the girl talked about.

It was the time to choose the last Song to hear. It was almost 5 o’clock. Students had only two options. What do you think we chose? You guess it! I smiled at how Chris insisted on describing what the Christian song talked about. I have never seen him in the Church in Smakieh. Why Christianity was so important to him then?

After the lecture, I waited till all students left. I approached Chris and was beginning to explain to him this controversial issue between Christianity and Islam. “I know!” Quickly he answered. I was shocked. “Muslims doesn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God!” I said nothing more. It turned out that he knows! Why did he talk about it then? Is this “Bravery” or “Misjudgment”? I thought for a moment until Chris expressed his opinion!

How courageous is to have a principle in life! What is more courageous is to defend this principle! The principle might be wrong! This might be the case as trying to play a Christian song in Mu’tah. But in the end, you are defending what you believe in no matter what Moabite or others think of!

“OK, Muslims don’t believe in this… Fine! If you listen to other’s opinions, this doesn’t mean that you are accepting them! Just listen to them”

What do you think? Is Chris’s principle correct? Should you listen to an idea or opinion you definitely believe is incorrect?

English Village in Mu’tah University Started on Sunday

I met 2 Amreican volunteers till now. The man, named Adam, is a unique person. He is the kind of of teacher you will remeber till the end of your life.

I was surprised to know that there were Iraqi Kurdish students studying in Mu’tah university. Four are part of the English village.

Today, Chris is gonnna give us his first lecture. Will he be as shy as he is in public buses? Will he be as confident and funny as Adam is? Will he be as courageous as Rachel was in front of the angry doctor who wanted to get us out of the classroom? Will he control the lesson strongly as both Adam and Rachel did?

A guy told me that Rachel is married to a Tarawneh man. Really? If so, I wonder what personality doles this person have that he was able to make an American women, of different culture and different standard, to fill in love with him?!

Who is to be blamed more on poverty, governments or individuals? My opinion was that it depends on what country that individual lives in. If he is a hardworking person but lives in a country where there are no jobs, and if there are jobs, they generate low salaries, then the blame is not his but on his country. Don’t you think that my opinion is correct?

10.09.2008 Chris, An American Volunteer Arriving at Smakieh in the House of M Hijazeen (2nd day)

*. At 9 o’clock this evening, I went to M Hijazeen house. Yesterday, I arranged with the new guest of Smakieh, the American Chris, to visit my aunt. He wanted to install an internet connection at his house. I suggested that he share a connection with my cousin. Although I wasn’t sure of what I was talking about, I just wanted to socialize with this different human being. Today, however, I did my calculations again. Why should I force myself on him? Certainly, he will look down at me. Doesn’t a proverb say, “Easy come, easy go!” If Moabite gave his services quickly and without any considerations to his own needs, will this make Chris respect him? I don’t think so. What if you think that you have good English when compared to inhabitants of a desert village like Simakiyya? Chris is not searching for fluent English speakers. He is searching for someone who is not interested in improving or even learning English. This way, he will be improving his Arabic more effectively. Are you good at dealing with your fellow Jordanians? How could you deal with a person from a different culture? Do you have a lot of friends? You don’t have. How could you gain the friendship of a foreign person?

As a result, Moabite didn’t talk to Chris at all this evening. At the beginning of the 10 minutes visit to M’s house where Chris was invited to dinner, Moabite apologized to Chris because his cousin is in Amman (my cousin is bringing his wife from her family’s!). Next thing, he asked Chris how his first day of School was. “Students here are much different than of Irbid.” It was the only good sentence that he said that contained no compliments. Moabite acted like a smart ass and said, “These are the type of people Lawrence of Arabia lived with!” Wow! How informative are you Moabite. Do you know anything about this Lawrence except the Movie you watched? Do you know any worth-mentioning point about this obviously great man?! Why are you opening subjects you are not well-informed about? “Yes,” Chris answered. What could he answer other than this? Moabite then realized how he is raining this fresh visitor of not very accurate information. “Bedouins!” Chris cleverly deduced. Moabite was touched when he heard Chris’s answer. “How could he think of such a simple, concise, and 100% correct answer?”

After asking this question, Moabite sat silently. He talked not to anyone. M was talking to his sister-in-law, Umm Ud. M wife was occasionally talking to Moabite. “What does your brother study? You study in Jordan University? How many years have you been studying?” Moabite was asked. The TV was turned on. It was a Syrian soap Oprah. “A person doesn’t get bored with all of these shows!” M’s wife commented to Moabite. Moabite didn’t have an answer and only gave a smile. He ignored the TV and tried to figure out what important subject is preventing M from talking to Chris. It seemed that M was discussing something very important with Umm Ud. Moabite lost hope in M. “He won’t talk to Chris! It is non of my business. I am not talking to him.” Moabite thought, “I have many questions to ask, but I won’t to make any further damage to my image in front of Chris.” The situation continued this way for more minutes. There were about 6 children in the room. All of them were, as yesterday, looking at Chris. This time, however, TV shared attention with Chris. Children would look at the TV, then quickly look back to see how Chris is reacting to whatever is shown on the Channels. The situation continued this way. “M,” M’s wife grabbed her husband’s attention. “You have a guest!” He sounded like a mother banishing her son. “Talk to him!” M was very interested in his conversation that he didn’t even respond. He just continued speaking. Moabite kept silent. Chris tried to take interest in the TV. Chris tried to smile between now and then.

Finally, Chris said in broken Arabic words that he was tired. He left and Moabite followed him as a child follows his father. They walked together to Chris’s house. It was less than 50 meters away. Moabite, still, didn’t say a word. Chris commented how the sky is clear. It seemed that Chris was anxious because he didn’t correctly locate the hand of the house outside gate. “Nice to meet you!” Moabite said just before Chris was about to disappear behind a wall. Chris responded the same sentence. “You know something?” Moabite almost shouted to grab Chris’s attention because Chris almost arrived at the door of his house. Chris stopped and walked toward Moabite as if he waited Moabite to say something. “I don’t know you name yet!” Moabite commented. How ironic? Moabite had spoken with Chris for hours and hadn’t asked him about his name! “Chris!” Chris simply answered. “I…” Moabite muttered. Chris understood Moabite and answered after little hesitation, “Moabite!”.

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p>Moabite continued walking toward the direction of the house of his aunt, he said at last, “Nice to meet you!” How irrelevant! Moabite didn’t know what to say! The same sentence was repeated from the yard of the house. Moabite went to the Layer’s house to check what happened with the potential buyer of their land in Ws. He didn’t find the layer. Later that evening, the Layer called them and told them that the buyer thought that the land is very tall in length. Moabite, courageously, called Hussien and told him that they only wanted to sell one piece of land. Hussien said that he only wanted to buy the two. “Put yourself in our place, will you sell the two pieces and put the money in bank?!” After hearing this great explanation, Hussien didn’t comment anymore. Moabite continued, “If you happened to want to buy the land, call us!” Next and lastly, “Thank you Abu Sa’ed!”.

10.09.2008 Chris, An American Volunteer Arriving at Smakieh in the House of Mukhles Torman Hijazeen (2nd day)

*. At 9 o’clock this evening, I went to Mukles Toman house. Yesterday, I arranged with the new guest of Smakieh, the American Chris, to visit my aunt. He wanted to install an internet connection at his house. I suggested that he share a connection with my cousin. Although I wasn’t sure of what I was talking about, I just wanted to socialize with this different human being. Today, however, I did my calculations again. Why should I force myself on him? Certainly, he will look down at me. Doesn’t a proverb say, “Easy come, easy go!” If Moabite gave his services quickly and without any considerations to his own needs, will this make Chris respect him? I don’t think so. What if you think that you have good English when compared to inhabitants of a desert village like Simakiyya? Chris is not searching for fluent English speakers. He is searching for someone who is not interested in improving or even learning English. This way, he will be improving his Arabic more effectively. Are you good at dealing with your fellow Jordanians? How could you deal with a person from a different culture? Do you have a lot of friends? You don’t have. How could you gain the friendship of a foreign person?

As a result, Moabite didn’t talk to Chris at all this evening. At the beginning of the 10 minutes visit to Mukhles house where Chris was invited to dinner, Moabite apologized to Chris because his cousin is in Amman (Daniele is bringing his wife from her family’s!). Next thing, he asked Chris how his first day of School was. “Students here are much different than of Irbid.” It was the only good sentence that he said that contained no compliments. Moabite acted like a smart ass and said, “These are the type of people Lawrence of Arabia lived with!” Wow! How informative are you Moabite. Do you know anything about this Lawrence except the Movie you watched? Do you know any worth-mentioning point about this obviously great man?! Why are you opening subjects you are not well-informed about? “Yes,” Chris answered. What could he answer other than this? Moabite then realized how he is raining this fresh visitor of not very accurate information. “Bedouins!” Chris cleverly deduced. Moabite was touched when he heard Chris’s answer. “How could he think of such a simple, concise, and 100% correct answer?”

After asking this question, Moabite sat silently. He talked not to anyone. Mukhles was talking to his sister-in-law, Umm Udai Torman. Mukhles wife was occasionally talking to Moabite. “What does your brother study? You study in Jordan University? How many years have you been studying?” Moabite was asked. The TV was turned on. It was a Syrian soap oprah. “A person doesn’t get bored with all of these shows!” Mukhles wife commented to Moabite. Moabite didn’t have an answer and only gave a smile. He ignored the TV and tried to figure out what important subject is preventing Mukhles from talking to Chris. It seemed that Mukhles was discussing something very important with Umm Udai. Moabite lost hope in Mukhles. “He won’t talk to Chris! It is non of my business. I am not talking to him.” Moabite thought, “I have many questions to ask, but I won’t to make any further damage to my image in front of Chris.” The situation continued this way for more minutes. There were about 6 children in the room. All of them were, as yesterday, looking at Chris. This time, however, TV shared attention with Chris. Children would look at the TV, then quickly look back to see how Chris is reacting to whatever is shown on the Channels. The situation continued this way. “Mukhles,” Muklhes wife grabbed her husband’s attention. “You have a guest!” He sounded like a mother banishing her son. “Talk to him!” Mukhles was very interested in his conversation that he didn’t even respond. He just continued speaking. Moabite kept silent. Chris tried to take interest in the TV. Chris tried to smile between now and then.

Finally, Chris said in broken Arabic words that he was tired. He left and Moabite followed him as a child follows his father. They walked together to Chris’s house. It was less than 50 meters away. Moabite, still, didn’t say a word. Chris commented how the sky is clear. It seemed that Chris was anxious because he didn’t correctly locate the hand of the house outside gate. “Nice to meet you!” Moabite said just before Chris was about to disappear behind a wall. Chris responded the same sentence. “You know something?” Moabite almost shouted to grab Chris’s attention because Chris almost arrived at the door of his house. Chris stopped and walked toward Moabite as if he waited Moabite to say something. “I don’t know you name yet!” Moabite commented. How ironic? Moabite had spoken with Chris for hours and hadn’t asked him about his name! “Chris!” Chris simply answered. “I…” Moabite muttered. Chris understood Moabite and answered after little hesitation, “Moabite!”.

Moabite continued walking toward the direction of the house of his aunt, he said at last, “Nice to meet you!” How irrelevant! Moabite didn’t know what to say! The same sentence was repeated from the yard of the house. Moabite went to the Layer’s house to check what happened with the potential buyer of their land in Ws. He didn’t find the layer. Later that evening, the Layer called them and told them that the buyer thought that the land is very tall in length. Moabite, courageously, called Hussien and told him that they only wanted to sell one piece of land. Hussien said that he only wanted to buy the two. “Put yourself in our place, will you sell the two pieces and put the money in bank?!” After hearing this great explanation, Hussien didn’t comment anymore. Moabite continued, “If you happened to want to buy the land, call us!” Next and lastly, “Thank you Abu Sa’ed!”.