Fighting Saddam’s Ghost

It started with a photo. Standing in the Dead Sea with a huge grin on my face, my eyes were squeezed shut because I had accidentally opened them in the saltiest water on earth and gone temporarily blind. The water was blue, the sky was clear, the rocks shone brightly with flecks of salt reflecting[…]

Drowning in the River Arnon

  “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”  Dylan Thomas  (   One moment we were swimming and wading down the Biblical River Arnon in Wadi Mujib, Jordan, the next moment I was drowning. It happened so fast. I turned around to tell Larry I would[…]

Fasting and the Firing Line of Life: Turning Tents into a School for Syrian Refugees

Last week I started a fast. For five days I wouldn’t eat anything; I’d only drink water, herbal tea, and a concoction made from fresh-squeezed lemons, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. My goal was three-fold: to give my stomach a rest, to clear my mind, and to re-focus on what is important. Though it is[…]

Camel Races and Smiling Faces

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” -Iain S. Thomas   As we bumped along discreet[…]

Improbable Jordan

The tires of the pickup whined as they hugged each turn. It was difficult to look at the young driver, head wrapped with a keffiyeh, making two cell calls simultaneously in a language I didn’t understand. I felt the back of the pickup floating as small waves in the road sent it slightly into the[…]