A new summer itinerary

The university has spoken: The former Dialogue of Civilizations trip to Egypt will now be an excursion to Jordan and Turkey.

Jordan

Turkey

My first thoughts upon hearing the update were filled with disappointment since I spent an entire semester focusing my blog on news in a country I will not visit this summer. But, with that being said, I don’t regret my choice to focus my attention on the revolution unfolding in Egypt. While I concentrated on news from Egypt, I also learned about uprisings in other places in the region, including Tunisia, Libya and now Syria. At the very least, I have increased my knowledge about the world and am one step closer to being a well-informed global citizen.

The blog beat pushed me to attend a rally for the country in Copley Square, which was an event I might not have attended otherwise. It also allowed me to speak with local students, such as Omar Duwaji, who have become social activists in Boston fighting for their parents’ homelands in the Middle East. And, with my final project concentrated on Jillian York and social media from the Middle East, I will continue to learn about the events unfolding in Egypt and elsewhere.

Now I must research Jordan and Turkey, two countries I am not familiar with. I think I can start by understanding Jordan is one of America’s most important allies in the Middle East. Similar to Egypt, Jordan was influenced by the uprisings occurring in the region: On Feb. 1, King Abdullah II dismissed his cabinet and prime minister with the goal of calming street protests that have also been fueled by the country’s worst economic crisis in years.

As for Turkey, the United States’ relationship with the country isn’t as firm as with Jordan. For example, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly challenges the way the United States manages Iran’s nuclear program and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

The opportunity to act as a foreign journalist for five weeks in two distant countries will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. This summer is my last opportunity to study abroad as an undergraduate student in college. I need to make the best of it!

Jordan and Turkey, here I come.

First inserted photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Second inserted photo from Wikimedia Commons.

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