Sheik: “an Arab chief, ruler, or prince”(ss) –Merriam Webster Dictionary
Krisheik: A fashionable trendsetter who travelled to the Arabic country of Jordan, and was called a Jordanian princess by her friends while wearing a headscarf.
Another day in Jordan evoked all of my senses. I should have known it to be true the second I put on the red Jordanian head wrap I had purchased from a market in Amman. In each thread, I could see the imprints of a country with so much to be proud of, even while surrounded by so much turmoil in neighboring countries like Syria, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. The scarf seemed to stand out against my olive green button down and high waisted, wide leg, tan trousers. Putting that wrap on Day 3 of Jordan was the foreshadowing of what would be an immensely cultural experience. I would temporarily trade in my American National Anthem sung the day before in Petra for the songs and scenery of the Wadi Rum desert.
Our adventure began with a jeep ride through the Wadi Rum. Around us, as the day before were gorgeous rock formations sculpted by the Divine. It felt like a tour of God’s art gallery, not a bit of “man-made” in sight. After about an hour of admiration and some conversation in the jeep with wonderful people, we stopped in the middle of the desert where there was a tent awaiting us. The tent was covered with colorful fabrics and housed an adorned teapot filled with aromatic black tea. A man dressed in a brown coat and headscarf poured the tea into clear glass teacups ready to be served. As soon as the beverage touched my lips, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the subtle sweetness in the tea. You can be sure I went back for seconds.
With tea to quench our thirst, we continued by jeep for a little while longer before stopping in front of a pack of majestic camels. While intimidating at first, we befriended the creatures and sat upon them (luckily, we had experts to guide us as we rode or I’d be beyond afraid). I named my camel Delilah because she was elegant yet ferocious. Despite her strong personality, we made excellent riding partners. “Arabian Nights” from Aladdin played in my head, because I did “come from a land, from a faraway place,” and somehow I found myself in the Wadi Rum desert of Jordan—on a camel.
If you think the day was adventurous enough to this point, I’m going to have to disappoint you. Our group rode for about an hour until we arrived at an even grander resting ground. There was a group of tents, and in the middle of them a huge outdoor circle for dancing. We enjoyed delicious kabobs right off the grill, some yummy hummus, and a plethora of pita bread. It was officially time for the finale of our day: Arabic dancing. As I heard the rhythmic sounds of the Middle East, I found myself moving my hips and hands like I had not in a long time, as if the whispers of an ancient culture were finding their way into this twenty-first century American girl.
I had never had so much fun dancing before, especially since the setting was so special. Being isolated in the middle of the desert with my abroad family dancing to our hearts’ content is an experience that cannot be rivaled. It was a day filled with the utmost joy, and I kept it “Krisheik” along the way!
Keeping it Krischic,
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