DEADLINE - 15 MAY 2014
Respecting the Beliefs and Values of Our Jordanian Hosts
One of the Madaba Plains Project's most valued assets in Jordan is the long-standing positive relationship which it has enjoyed with the people of Jordan, especially the staff and faculty of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Amman Training College where we stay while in the country. Located in Muqabulayn, a southern suburb of Jordan's capital city, Amman, the vocational college is operated by UNRWA as an institution of higher learning for persons of Palestinian origin.
Most of the students, as well as the majority of the faculty and staff of the college, are Muslim. This means, among other things, that they place a high value on the sanctity of the family, the purity of women, and avoidance of certain foods and beverages. These values are also shared by the largely Muslim population which lives around the college. One should remember in this connection that, as with all world religions, there are various expressions of the Muslim faith around the globe-from extremely stringent observation of religious and social guidelines to a total lack of attention to them. Most of the people we work with in Jordan, while serious about their faith, are somewhere in the middle of the continuum; for example, alcoholic beverages are off limits for most of them (men and women), but not all women wear veils. In addition, the gracious hosts that they are, the people tend to be tolerant of foreigners, whom they hope will also be understanding of them.
As leaders of the Madaba Plains Project, we seek to do our utmost to affirm and respect the values of our gracious hosts at the Amman Training College and of the surrounding community. We therefore make every effort to conduct our own personal lives in ways which are in harmony with the sensibilities of these hospitable people. We also expect those who join our team as volunteers, students or staff to do likewise.
To this end, everyone who chooses to participate with MPP is expected to make an earnest effort--before coming to Jordan--to learn about Middle Eastern Muslim beliefs as they relate to these matters (you will find reading material on the subject on this website. In addition, all newcomers to the project are expected to take part in a cultural orientation session which will be conducted as part of our orientation program during the first few days of the dig by the director and other veteran staff. This session will further explain behaviors (appropriate and otherwise) in the local cultural context.
Your signature below will be interpreted as evidence of your commitment to conduct yourself in a manner which avoids offending our local Jordanian hosts. This assumes your taking personal responsibility for learning about and avoiding what are deemed to be offensive behaviors in the local context (particularly those having to do with drinking, inappropriate dress and inappropriate behavior across lines of gender).