Live From Jordan
Live From Jordan Madaba Reviews
LIVE FROM JORDAN Oct 11, 2007
A funny thing happened after returning from Jordan. Life relaxed back to the enjoyable day-to-day and I stopped reading about the Middle East...until I encountered Benjamin Orbach (username = benjaminorbach) on TravBuddy. I think we shared an exchange or two, but it wasn’t until I read one of his responses to a Forum entry that I learned he had authored a book on the Middle East, “Live from Jordan”.
Lured in by the title which was to near and dear to my recent adventure, I bought a copy despite a misguided opinion that the writing quality would be fairly pathetic (i.e., I was expecting it to read like one of my blogs, lol). But please know this is a remarkably well written book with an important message. Having lived in Israel, Jordan and Egypt, Ben reached the same conclusions which Tom Friedman did serving as the NY Times correspondent in Beirut and Jerusalem. Even though the conclusions are same, the foundations are polar opposites.
Tom developed his opinions ‘top down’ by mingling with high profile politicians, etc. Ben earned his research ‘bottoms up’ by living in downtown Amman where water rationing limited him to a brief, cold shower every other day. “Living in Jordan” is a heart warming documentary that paints a sober picture of the daily struggles faced by the everyday populace. I could recommend the book solely on the merits of a personal adventure as Ben shares his triumphs and travails with touching sketches and great humor. But this is much more than a personal odyssey: compelling conclusions are woven into the saga around many of the problems facing the Middle East today.
The ultimate conclusion is that as remote as it may seem, hope persists that the Israeli-Palestinian struggle can reach a happy ending. My favorite quote from the book is that “it is possible for there to be Palestinian bakers that sell kosher ruggelach”. Reading this book will help support a TravBuddy --- but don’t buy it for that reason. Purchase this book to support a true understanding of places and people horribly misrepresented by popular media. I purchased my copy from Amazon, so it is readily available…I give this outstanding work five stars and two thumbs w-a-a-a-y up!
Part of the Journey to Jordan travel blog
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