Seven stupid questions you get as a (female) expat living in Jordan, and their obvious answers
Visitors enjoy the swimming pool of Beirut's bombed landmark Saint-George Hotel. (AFP/File)
There’s a lot of misinformation or country-specific news spreading about the Middle East, and as a result, foreign women living in the region get asked a lot of dumb questions when they visit their home country.
1. Can you drive? Yes. Most women in the Middle East can drive. That is a national problem — in Saudi Arabia — not a Muslim or regional problem.
2. What language do they speak? Arabic.
3. Do you have to completely cover up? No, there’s no set Muslim rule about wearing a burka. Many Muslim women in Amman don’t even wear hijabs.
4. Is there alcohol? Yep, liquor stores and bars galore.
5. Can you go out by yourself? Yes. No, women aren’t locked up in cages only allowed to go out when the sun’s up.
6. Is the food good? Sure, but you’re trading in quality Thai food for great shawarma and falafel. There’s always a compromise.
7. Is it safe? Jordan is much safer than the US, statistically speaking. Much fewer killings, much fewer murderers walking around with guns. We haven’t left yet and we have the freedom to; you can only assume we don’t see Daesh (ISIS) walking down the street.