Jordan · Middle East · USA

Do Americans know about the USAID?

I know almost nothing about the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). From Wikipedia it seems it is a federal government agency, not a private agency. I know they build schools and help finance some water-related and other projects here in Jordan. Of course as anything foreign the USAID is not short of controversy over the agency’s goals.

Since I only know that they do good things I have to state that I am thankful and appreciative of their good deeds. Especially, since their logo states that their donations are “from the American people.” This means that they get their money from the taxes. Why else would they say “from the American people”, right?

One of their projects in Irbid, Jordan is placing big recycle bins in a neighborhood. In one neighborhood in West of Irbid city I saw these recycle bins scattered properly almost everywhere. The bins are big enough with excellent instructions. I can understand the motive behind this project; introducing recycling to the Jordanians. I love it. Who wouldn’t love to be green?

But, if you know anything about Irbid you know the last thing we need in this city is recycling bins. This is like donating ski gear to the homeless. I don’t want to belittle the USAID work but seriously what they were thinking?

All the recycle bins ended up being used as a garbage container for the neighborhood, like the one below.

2014-10-12 17.32.59

I laughed a lot when I saw this recycle bin because it is a reminder how much the US government sometimes feels like they know nothing about the Middle East. 

Irbid city is poor and overpopulated. The municipality can barely handles cleaning the streets because they are overwhelmed by the amount of trash. Also, I don’t like saying it but I have to since this issue plays a major role why our streets are always dirty and these recycling bins are the least of our concerns. Unfortunately, Jordanians don’t treat public places as their homes. It is very common here to see people throw trash on streets. 

If you are an American, did you hear of the USAID before? What do you think of this failed recycling project?

p.s. Maybe I should mention that introducing recycling in Jordan is a noble cause but it is too early for it in the time being.

Arab · USA

The Six Types of Arabs You Will Meet in America

  1. The Students: This group integrates very well in the American society. Individuals in this group are between the agesarab student of 18 to 35. By their second year in the States, their English and exposure to the American culture is much better than many of the groups listed below. They know a lot about the American culture and they live similar lives to other American college students.  Almost all undergraduate students return back to their countries when they graduate. Graduate students on the other hand, are split between returning back to teach at an Arab university or staying in the States. Those choosing to stay later become The Professionals. Saudi Arabia alone has close to 50,000 students.
  1. The Professionals: Mostly came to the USA to continue their study. After their masters or PhD they find a job and adapt to the American way of life. They are mostly Engineers, Doctors, and Professors. They are well off. Besides their big house in the States they might have another back home, just in case. They vacation in both the USA and their homeland. They BBQ and some of them watch American football. They of course speak fluent English and second to their USA-born children (The Arab-American) when it comes to American culture awareness.

    arab police
    NY police officer Ahmed Nasser from Yemen
  1. The Arab-Americans: The second generation of Arab immigrants. Their first language is English. They don’t speak Arabic but many of them can at least understand it. Unlike their parents the idea of leaving the USA, one day, never crossed their mind. They consider the USA their homeland. Some individuals of this group either studied part of their k-12 in Islamic schools or they studied from elementary to high school. Regardless of whether they went to public schools or Islamic schools most individuals of this group are successful people. They all have a college degree. I am very proud of this group. I am sure it wasn’t easy on them growing up in one culture at home and exposed to a different one outside the home. I met many of them at our masjid and on campus. They are intelligent and down to earth. They managed to find and merge the good of two cultures. They also have the funniest stories to tell about the culture difference.
  1. The Haters: Although, they are legal and pay taxes, they hate everything about America. They hate its politics, policies, laws, economics and lifestyle. They hate people who live in America, regardless of their race, color or religion. They even hate Muslim Americans because according to them they abandoned their religion. They believe living in a non-Muslim country is Haram (sinful). Yet, they have been in the USA no less than 20 years. Why they don’t leave America you ask? They don’t because deep down they love it, but they will not admit it, out of fear (in their mindset) that loving America means not being a good Muslim. Think of it this way, how would you judge someone who keeps adding “I don’t lie” after every sentence. They are very few and their numbers hardly match any of the other groups in this list but they exist.
  1. The Temps: They came to the States on a six month tourist visa, but intend to stay for a couple of years. They work in Arab owned grocery shops and restaurants. They are males, work 16 hours a day and live in small crowded apartments with other men of similar status. They came to the States for one goal only; save as much money as they can, so they can return back to their families with good money. They exist only in cities with big Arab populations. Although they came to the States as tourists, they never leave the city they are working in. Because they are family men they are dedicated to their goal. That is, work hard, save money and go back home. They speak poor English if any, and know nothing about the American culture or system.
  1. The Arabs: They can speak English, but hardly use it. They work with Arabs and their businesses sarab shoperve Arabs, mostly. They are either retail owners or retail workers. These retails vary between restaurants, car dealers, gas stations, taxis, limousine services, groceries garage mechanics and many more. They work between 12 to 16 hours a day. The owners are w
    ell off and live a very good life in the USA. Because of the 16 hours shift and their frugal life style the workers save good money. They are also the most to brag about their non-existing-lavish lives in the USA when they visit their relatives back home.
Environment · Picture America · USA

Picture America – Recycling

I keep my reusable grocery bags in the trunk of my car. I like to use them instead of the plastic bags that are suffocating planet earth. Lucky’s Market, a new grocery shop that opened recently in my neighborhood, gives customers 10 cents for each reusable bag used. Customers can choose to deduct the 10 cents per bag from their receipt or receive a token worth 10 cents, to be denoted to one of the three charities shown in the picture below.