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goodbyes, and a discussion of water scarcity in the Middle East

Published: July 30, 2017

Ahlain! Today was a bittersweet day, as we said goodbye to eight of our villagers. After breakfast, we held a closing ceremony for our departing friends. We heard from our dean and our curriculum facilitators and viewed a slideshow of photos of the villagers. Lovely ladies of beit Beirut and Amman, we already miss y’all! <3

some of our departing villagers










We also said goodbye to Salsabeel in the musalsal yesterday. However, the thief’s story is not over yet! In today’s episode, our thief becomes enamored with another shifty character, who steals from him, and whom he sees doing the same to others all over the souq (market). 

the thief with his shady love interest










Nevertheless, he is smitten, so smitten, in fact, that he goes to his father, telling him that he wants to marry this girl. Sadly, he doesn’t know anything about her, so his father can do nothing to help him!

the thief with his bewildered father










The next day, he goes to the market to see if he can find the girl. He meets her, but she refuses to answer any of his questions. He notices that she has a partner, and even runs after her partner to question him, but he also refuses to say anything. The thief attempts to continue questioning his true love’s fellow thief, but suddenly, her partner decides that our thief already knows too much and attacks! What happens next? Tune in tomorrow!

the thief questioning his true love's fellow thief










For dinner today, we had delicious Egyptian kofta, hummus, and freshly made pita bread!

hummus with zeit zatoon and paprika










Our evening program for today focused on the problem of water scarcity in the Middle East. There is water inequality in the Middle East, not only between nations, but also within nations, across classes. The villagers watched a documentary discussing the water scarcity issue in the Middle East and some local solutions which attempted to address this issue. At another station, villagers calculated how many gallons on average they use every week, based on how long their showers are, how many baths they take, how much they flush the toilet, how many loads of laundry they do, and how much they use the dishwasher. Afterward, we headed to the soccer field for a simulation of water scarcity through a game similar to Capture the Flag. The villagers divided up into two teams, and each team was given a specific number of water balloons, with one team having far fewer water balloons than the other team. The object of the game was to capture additional water balloons for one’s team from the other side without getting caught. Afterward, we held a water balloon fight, and the fact that we could do that shows how privileged we are in Bemidji in terms of having access to water!

made it back to the home front!










Some observations which the villagers had at that night’s bonfire were that they had to work together in order to gain access to more water, perhaps a sign that nations or organizations need to come together at some level to address the problem of water scarcity, and that different people played by different rules, which was frustrating, but may very well be a problem in the Middle East, if regions differ in their laws on who has access to water. Villagers were also told at the bonfire that today everyone would only be able to shower for two minutes, in order to gain some understanding of water scarcity.

After the bonfire, we held cabin council, and then headed to bed!


closing program one week-ers

More photos