I was reading this AP piece today and it occurred to me that it’s actually pretty reflective of something I’ve observed recently: there are a lot of foreigners learning Arabic in Jordan. Casual visits to areas like Rainbow Street feel like study halls. Most of them are American. The numbers are increasing to the point of notability and you can’t help but run into someone of such background every now and then.
Part of me is actually impressed. I think to myself: wow, in this post 9/11 world, here is this whole emerging generation that is so interested in this region, our culture, our tradition our language.
And then the other part of me thinks: damn, these guys are all going to go back to the US…
And work for the CIA or NSA.
[for further reference, see comment #7]