Politics and life are inseparable

Adam Lichtenheld
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I had a friend who dropped a coin in the middle of a café, and as it rolled around, he stomped on it so that he could pick it back up. Everyone glared at him, and he realized why: he had thrust the bottom of his foot (an insult in Jordan) on property that bore the King’s face. This story reflects the simplicity of domestic politics in Jordan: everyone loves the royal family, so don’t knock ‘em. The political issues that receive the most discussion and contention here are regional—the war in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since the country has been significantly affected by both (half a million Iraqi refugees have fled to Amman, and 60% of Jordan’s population is ethnic Palestinian), you’re bound to overhear—or engage in—some intense debates.


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