“I’m from Jordan. Jordan is home to biblical sites like Mount Nebo, where Moses was said to have seen the ‘Promised Land.’ It is claimed to have been named after the Jordan River, where Jesus is said to have been baptized.”


“Jordan is essentially defined by historical monuments. It is home to the famed archaeological site of Petra, an iconic 2000-year-old city carved into the red mountain rock.”


“Amman, the capital of Jordan, houses ancient ruins. Atop Jabal al-Qala’a hill, the historic Citadel includes the pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules and the 8th-century Umayyad Palace complex, known for its grand dome.”


“The famous Dead Sea is also bordered by Jordan to the east. It is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water.  It is the deepest salt lake in the world.”


(The Dead Sea is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean. Such salinity makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name. It has attracted visitors for thousands of years. It was one of the world's first health resorts [for Herod the Great], and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from asphalt for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the lake to create cosmetics and herbal sachets. The salt content level makes floating in the water a lot easier.)


“My dad has always encouraged us to explore on our own, learn on our own, be independent. My two sisters and brother basically did their own stuff – they left home at an early age and studied abroad and eventually found jobs abroad. My dad suggested that I look up Philippines. He said that if I found it interesting then I could come here to study college.” 


“When I came here, it was hard at first. I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know where to go for stuff, I didn’t have any idea how things work here, etc.” 


“You take care of everything – from the laundry to the bills to cleaning up to buying and cooking your own food, literally everything. But you’ll learn to be independent – the word in its very essence – and in the end, it’s those unsettling experiences that sharpen your spirit and make you braver.” 


“I think that what prevented me from going home was that I found a family in my co-foreign students in the University – it’s your solace when you’re a foreign soul in a foreign land. I guess that’s one thing about human relationships that’s fascinating – instant connection between strangers.”  


“I’m all about confidence. Don’t worry about what other people think about you. What matters is how you see yourself – that you always see the light in you and that in your darkest days you focus on that light… If I could give people a certain gift, I’d give everybody the gift of confidence. Because confidence translates to embracing who you are and it pushes you to up your game in every aspect of your life.” 


If you had superpowers, what would it be?

“A flying power, so I could just fly back home to Jordan whenever I miss my family, and I miss them everyday.”



Interview & Text by RONA LIN







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