Reflections on Israel, Egypt, and Jordan
New Delhi Travel Blog› entry 8 of 13 › view all entries
Kiron and Jenyaâ€™s Reflections on Our Middle East Travels
We went to Israel, Egypt, Jordan. What are some of your impressions?
J: Egypt and Jordan were streaming hot. You didnâ€™t even need to take out a jacket. Israel was a bit cooler. I am beginning to get used to the heat.
People look different than Americans. I noticed that on the beaches in Sinai, the Egyptians werenâ€™t allowed even on their own land, and I found that unfair. Only tourists (who are mostly European) and workers are allowed there. In Jordan, in Little Petra, I saw all the sandstone buildings and imagined what it would be like in the olden days. I imagined fruit stands, people selling things, horses and donkeys trotting down the street, where the Kings and Queens ate. You can climb the steps up to high buildings. We saw an old painted ceiling with twisty flowers and cupids. I think people made it with colored henna.
K: My impressions of Israel, Egypt and Israel are the armies ďż˝" there is so much tension between the borders, so many guns. Usually when I think about the Middle East, I think about violence. I noticed that in Israel, people who had Arab clothing or anything Arab would be stopped and checked at checkpoints. I learned a lot about the six day war and how Jerusalem changed.
In Egypt, I didnâ€™t feel as much tension as Israel....
J: What about all the security guards just to get into the hotel? They were worried about bombs and Israelis. I think that place had the most tension. Jordan doesnâ€™t like Israel too. We did not practice our Hebrew, and we traveled with American passports. Tamar, who does have an Israeli passport, used her British passport. When people asked her where she was from, she said California, or she was born in London.
Jenya, tell me about your first experience snorkeling...
J: We went to the Red Sea in Egypt and there was beautiful fish everywhere: all different colors and shapes. I saw clown fish, fish from Finding Nemo, piperfish, lionfish, rainbow fish, and many others that I donâ€™t know their names. I breathed normally, wore a tight bathing suit so I wouldnâ€™t get cold. I really loved it. I saw clams that shut together when I came near them. I saw a bunch of corals, some pointy and round, some squishy in a ball. They came in many colors: orange, blue, green, some black, and even a little pink one.
Kiron, tell me about snorkeling and the places we visited from an environmental perspective...
K: The Red Sea was very clean compared to other oceans. It was very colorful, and there were a lot of fish that I have only seen in movies. The reefs were great, but I saw people step on them, which will kill them. I saw this guy snorkeling and he stood on the coral on purpose to shout something to his son. Iâ€™m not sure if he did this out of ignorance or he didnâ€™t care.
I noticed that there was trash in every place (not as much as here in Delhi): cigarettes, bottles, cans, plastic bags. People learn to throw their trash on the floor from people around them. My cousin Noam did (and my mom stopped him).
What are you learning and interested in?
K: I am learning that people arenâ€™t very aware about what is happening to the environment. They donâ€™t know how much cars are polluting, and how much trash is everywhere and how much it will fill up. I think about the exhibit I saw on the future of plastics in London and what could happen here.
In Jordan, we went to a Bedouin camp in the desert. It was a lot cleaner there, and there wasnâ€™t as much plastic. They use less plastic and when they do, they throw it away. Not where the camp was, but in tourist areas, where our jeep went, there was trash in beautiful places, so we picked it up. We climbed up the rocks to a small pond and there was trash there: bags, bottles, stuff like that.
What was your experience in Jordan?
J: I loved the Bedouin tent, the camel ride, the jeep tour. It was very interesting how people made a living in the Wadi Rum desert. There were many tourists and we ate dinner and breakfast together. We cleaned up the trash in the desert and I hope people donâ€™t put trash there again. The desert was so beautiful, with huge rock formations.