The Hostess with the Mostest: Refugees and Host Communities in Jordan

For Khalid, the beaches of Tartus are unrivaled. “The sand is white, no rocks to trip on, no urchins to sting you.” He told me this as he brushed off the pebbles that had stuck to his feet. “I don’t like it here.” Khalid, 16 years old, fled his native city of Homs just over … Continue reading The Hostess with the Mostest: Refugees and Host Communities in Jordan

Less Room in Homeroom

So many backpacks bobbed by my building this morning. It is a sight I haven't seen since my first weeks here. Despite the noise and tremors to the North in Syria, to the West in Palestine, to the South in Egypt,  for Jordan's children, school is still school. It's still drudgery. It's still that unwelcome … Continue reading Less Room in Homeroom

Lost in the Layer Cake

Living on top of a hill provides a false sense of confidence. When you can see everything, it all makes sense. It seems manageable, understandable. In Amman, neighborhoods are defined by the hill on which they sit. Jabal Amman, Jabal Hussein, Jabal Weibdeh—each has its own character, its own style, its own landmarks and identity. … Continue reading Lost in the Layer Cake

How We Measure Greatness

I wrote the following for the Oslo Scholars Program blog, after attending the 2012 Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway. The original post can be found here.  How do we measure greatness? How do we affect change, and how does change affect us? Asking these questions is not encouraged as much as it should be. As … Continue reading How We Measure Greatness