Daily Life Field Note


What is daily life like?


I interviewed Loay, a Jordanian.  He happens to be one of my professors! His life is very typical of an unmarried Jordanian. He is both a student and a professor. Our interview was in Arabic because Loay doesn’t know English very well. All of the questions are answered from my point of view.

What is your full name?

His name is Loay Badran.

Where do you live? What is your house like?photo 1

He lives in Madaba. Madaba is a city about a half hour away from Amman. Although Madaba is known as a city in Jordan, we would categorize it as a town because it is very small. Madaba has a lot of archeological ruins, old churches and is famous for its mosaics. Mosaics are pretty designs made out of small pieces of tile.

Loay has a room to himself in his house. He described his house as very wide. However, he doesn’t like it because he doesn’t like Madaba. Although Loay is 30 years old, he still lives at home with his family because he is not yet married and still in school. In Jordan, you wait until you have finished school, including university, before you get married. Currently, he is finishing his Master’s degree, which is a degree you can work on after you graduate college.

What is your family like?

He says his family is excellent and perfect. He has two sisters and one brother. Both of his sisters are married. His father works and studies. His mom stays at home.

How do you get around?

He always drives his car. Every day he has to go to Amman. When he is there, he meets with his advisor for his Master’s degree or teaches. Instead of taking one of the buses that are very inexpensive, he drives his car because it is easier. Cars are also more comfortable than the buses. This is especially true in the summer because the buses are not air-conditioned. Do you like to ride in cars or buses more?

What types of clothing do you like to wear?

He likes to wear skinny jeans. He also likes to wear business clothes, such as button down shirts and suits. He likes button down shirts where the collar and the cuffs are a different color. Have you seen shirts like that?

What do you like to do in your free time?

In his free time, he likes to visit Facebook and YouTube on the web. He loves to watch videos and shows a lot of videos in class. One of his favorite YouTube videos is of babies eating lemons. The expressions the babies’ faces are so funny because lemons taste very sour and they are not used to the taste.

What language(s) do you speak? How do you say “Hello” in your language?

He only speaks Arabic. “Marhaba” means “Hello” in Arabic. Sometimes in class we have to use Google Translate to know what some words mean because he doesn’t know the English equivalent. Have you ever used Google Translate? It is a great way to discover new words in different languages! We also try to teach him English expressions and words. As much as he is our professor, we are also teachers because we are teaching him English.

Do you have pets?

Yes, he has a cat named Bagheera. Pets are not as common here as they are in the United States. If Jordanians have any pets, it is a cat. People do not like dogs here. Dogs are seen negatively. What is your favorite type of pet?

Have you traveled? Where have you traveled to?

Yes, he has traveled to Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. He is currently trying photo 2 to get a job in the United States as an Arabic professor so hopefully he will travel to America soon!

What do you do for work?

He works for the Council on International Educational Exchange as an Arabic professor. Since he doesn’t speak any English, he teaches in the Arabic Language program. In that program  none of the students are allowed to speak English. This is called ‘language immersion’. It is when you are learning a new language without using any English. He is also a student finishing his Master’s degree.

Is there anything else you would like to say to students in the United States?

His advice for you is to travel if you can. He thinks it is important to travel and to see the world, especially when you’re young! He recommends that you to come to the Middle East. I also agree that traveling is important but I think it can be done at any point in your life! Where do you want to travel when you are older?

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