In the past three and a half months I have come to love Jordan. I have a wonderful host-family which cooks the most delicious meals every day. I enjoyed my classes which consisted of lectures given by prominent Jordanian political scientists, youth activists, former ministers and parliament members. My Arabic is continually improving, and every day I get to find out something new and interesting about the culture, history and traditions of Jordan and the region But, life is not perfect. Jordan isn’t either.
While I have come to love and appreciate most of its imperfections, one still stands out. Trash! The streets of Amman and wide spaces of the Jordanian desert are breathtaking, but covered in so much trash. This problem is prevalent in many developing countries around the world – including Serbia – where the culture of disposing your garbage in trash bins is not widely embraced. I won’t even get into recycling, since it is still an alien idea for many.
Having had an opportunity to visit Cairo, I understand that some places have it even worse. Nevertheless, this cannot be used as an excuse by Jordanians not to take care of their land. I find it stunning that the Bedouin tribes who have always lived in harmony with the desert, are now ok with having plastic bags and candy wraps flying around that same desert.
However, good news is on the way. The Jordan Times just today reported that “Work is under way on an integrated plan for sorting and recycling solid waste generated at ministries and government institutions to spread the culture of recycling in Jordan.” The effectiveness of this program remains to be evaluated.
Besides these few ‘distractions’ Jordan is the most hospitable, beautiful, confusing, crazy place which I’ve ever lived in.
Bojan Francuz is studying abroad in Jordan with SIT Study Abroad.