Sunday, 30 August 2015

Ma'a 'ssalaamah

The time had come for us to say goodbye to Jordan. I was sorry to do so, but at the same time excited at the prospect of travelling further east to India.

My choice of  blog title was driven by coming across this photograph:

East meets West: Viewing different cultural perspectives

I found it hilarious and thought provoking at the same time. To me this photo signifies how cultural values change from one place to another and how different cultures find it important to preserve certain aspects of their culture.

Over the period of a few years I have met many people from different cultures and have found it important to respect the beliefs of each of them. It does not matter how different the cultures are but one must learn to find a degree of mutual respect, even though one might not agree over some matters. This understanding has shaped the way I interpreted my experiences in Jordan.

As a student of tourism studies I have learnt to keep my senses open to the world. I have learnt that the tourist experience is multisensory (1). In Jordan I used all my senses to experience the journey to the fullest. I have 'seen' the architecture, 'heard' the cries of prayer, 'tasted' the lovely food, 'smelt' the dust in the desert and 'felt' the salty water of the Dead Sea.  Whilst our journey I tried to make sense of the environment around me in terms of tourism studies. I have attempted to correlate the experiences in Jordan to relevant theories.

I have enjoyed this trip immensely whilst performing the dual role of a tourist and a student of tourism studies, I have nothing but respect for the Jordanian people and their culture and am extremely proud to have had a 'taste' of it. I am filled with an immense affection for all the people involved in this trip: my classmates, my teachers, Omar, our driver Kamil, the people at ACOR, the people at the embassy,all our lecturers and Eng Rustum Mkhjian, who gave us his wonderful message of love between all people of all races and religions.

I left Jordan with a clear message to people in the East and the West. Jordan is a lovely country, and I will be speaking highly about it to everyone I meet. I am greatly in dept to the people who gave me such a lovely time and I would definitely like to visit Jordan again.

Ma'a 'ssalaamah! And see you again!


References

(1) Pan, S; Ryan, C. Tourism Sense-Making: The Role of the Senses and Travel Journalism. 2009 [Online] Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10548400903276897?journalCode=wttm20