My Parents, the Arabians from Alabama

11 Mar
December 24, 2012 at Ecce Homo Arch Convent, Jerusalem

December 24, 2012 at Ecce Homo Arch Convent, Jerusalem

We enjoyed a long-anticipated 9-day visit from my parents over this past Christmas. Although my parents have spent all of their married life in Georgia, they both claim roots in the north Alabamian town of “Arab” (pronounced /ay’rɑb/). Now, before I point out the obvious humor here, just for the record, I have to state that my parents are both white Americans with absolutely no known Arab/Middle Eastern heritage. Nonetheless, the name of their hometown provided an excuse to make jokes and puns the whole time they were here!

 

 

 

Me & my dad enjoying normal (for us it's normal) activities together:  looking at rocks and talking about how things are made.

Me & my dad enjoying normal (for us it’s normal) activities together: looking at rocks and talking about how things are made.

I could write so much about all the amazing things that we experienced and saw together — especially the 4 days that we spent in the Old City of Jerusalem.  I could recount the highlights of literally walking in the streets of history and in the steps of Biblical figures (thanks to Phillip, our family Biblical/Historical scholar and tourguide!).  I could post hundreds of photos that were our attempts to “take it all in.”  I could also write pages and pages about it all.

Me & my mom enjoying normal (i.e., non-tourist) activities together:  plucking eyebrows & drying bangs.

Me & my mom enjoying normal (i.e., non-tourist) activities together: plucking eyebrows & drying bangs.

But I think what I will remember and treasure the most about Christmas 2012 is that my parents came to see us and our world here in the Middle East.  For the future Christmases, family dinners, and visits that we share — إن شاء الله (God willing), they will be a great many more — we will have fantastic memories and stories to tell and retell to each other. From our home in Atlanta, Phillip and I were just a 90-minute drive from my parents and 2 1/2 hours from his dad.  We know the expense of resources and time that it takes to make a trip from the U.S. to Amman; and we knew that most of our face-to-face communication with family and friends would be over skype during the two years we spent here.  Thus, it was all the more special to have both of them with us.  Here are some of my favorite photos with them.

All of us at the Roman ruins in Jerash, Jordan (the city called "Gerasenes" in Mark 5).

All of us at the Roman ruins in Jerash, Jordan (the city called “Gerasenes” in Mark 5).

Merry Christmas Eve Sunrise -- We didn't realize that we changed time zones by leaving Jordan and entering Israel/Palestine, so our analog alarm clocks got us up in time for a gorgeous sunrise over the Mt. of Olives.

Merry Christmas Eve Sunrise — We didn’t realize that we changed time zones by leaving Jordan and entering Israel/Palestine, so our analog alarm clocks got us up in time for a gorgeous sunrise over the Mt. of Olives.

I like this one, too!

I like this one, too!

Atop the Mt. of Olives (where else?) in the shade of an olive tree (what else?) with Jerusalem's Golden Dome of the Rock a 15 minute's walk behind us.

Last but not least:  my parents, the Alabamian Arabs, in Jordanian/Palestinian attire.  (Couldn't resist, mom & dad!)

Last but not least: my parents, the Alabamian Arabs, in Jordanian/Palestinian attire. (Couldn’t resist, mom & dad!)

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