Walking down the street, you might think it was Halloween, or that a United Nations meeting just let out. Around you people are donning the traditional garments of the Levant, the Gulf, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and others I’m not even sure of. Really, like many Americans or Europeans that visit Jordan, they’re just tourists. And while they may have come to see Petra, or the Dead Sea, or well-preserved Roman ruins, the primary purpose of their trip is to visit hospitals, clinics, laboratories and private practices. And walking down this street hosting many of these destinations, I am among them.
Jordan is a new nation, and early on it recognized that unlike its neighbors, it had little to offer in the way of natural resources, so it began to invest heavily in education and national security. Its citizens are highly educated, English-speaking professionals who are leaders in the region for banking, IT, advertising, medicine and law. Jordan is also a secure nation from which the US safely administers its war in Iraq, and many regional corporations headquarter their operations in Amman. Continue reading