Our bed tonight will be in Amman. We either count today as extremely short or yesterday as extremely long – my body’s leaning towards the latter. Our flight out of JFK airport was delayed by four hours, giving us a 2:45 am departure. The waiting room was full –the overwhelming majority was Arabic speaking, and a majority of those were Muslims. Having been away from Palestine for two years, and being an Anglo-American Protestant, I had forgotten the unnatural discomfort of standing out. Living in Palestine has been my closest exposure to living the minority experience.
For our fellow Muslim travelers, the fasting time was mercifully short due to our traveling East. Overall, we experienced maybe six hours of sunlight today. When the sun had set behind us, the captain announced the end of the fast, and the call to prayer sounded over the loudspeaker. Bags of figs appeared out of luggage, and hands eagerly shared them with neighbors, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. “Ramadan Kareem (Generous Ramadan),” one would greet. The other would respond, “Allah Akram (God is more generous).” I then remembered what I had missed about the Arab culture, Christian and Muslim alike: strangers quickly become acquaintances; acquaintances quickly become community.