Posts Tagged ‘Middle East University’

Yes!  To answer the oft’ asked question, the answer is yes.  We do celebrate Christmas in the Middle East.  As Lebanon is a country of multiple religions, including Christianity, Christmas time is a big time of year.

In an effort to meet our neighbors on Sabtieh Hill, we (being the community at Middle East University) celebrated by inviting neighbors, friends, family members and strangers to join us for our first ever Christmas Village.  The event presented a live walk-through of the Christmas story, with scenes of the Angels, King Herod, the Manger, the Census Booth and a display of Christmas Around the World.

Much hard work went into the whole process

I’d specifically like to thank all of my friends and family members who prayed without ceasing for us to have good weather and a good turnout during the event.  We were blessed with both.

Check out my sometimes shaky but very proud video footage of the event.

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I always seem to know when I’m going to fall in love.  I get this little feeling in my gut.  I get a little nervous with the requisite butterflies.  That’s the way I felt when I boarded my first flight to the Middle East.

It was confirmed when I caught the face of an old lady, gently wrapped in her hijab.  The skin around her eyes crinkled slightly when she smiled, and somehow she always seemed to be smiling.  I was equally excited when I received two invitations within the first few hours of my trip from my seatmates on either side.  I’ve always found the challenge of traveling to be balancing my western sensibilities (read: my lack of trust) with the innate hospitality engrained in other cultures.  I’m sure I caused my mom to battle Daniel in the fervency of her prayers when she found out I bent the no hitchhiking restriction placed on us at my study abroad college in Spain….wait, maybe I hadn’t told her that story.  Ooops.

My euphoric feelings of falling in love were quickly balanced by my inability to get on the Wireless Network at the school.

After 2 flights, a layover, a once over from the guys in customs, who insisted that because I’m black I must be African and an adventurous taxi ride to the campus that I credit to the creativity of Lebanese driving, I arrived at North Hall.  After struggling to lug my bags up two flights of stairs, the taxi driver bid me adieu and headed on his way.  I was left in the capable hands of a student resident assistant, who it turns out, will be in one of my English classes, though I couldn’t find a flaw in anything she said to me.  She continued the trend of hospitality by offering to let me use her computer to access the internet, after the password she gave me didn’t work on my computer…and from there the battle ensued.

Every attempt I made at using the password I was given was quickly denied, and because I forgot my phone charger at my house, I was unable to make any calls home.  So there I was, knowing my mom, along with several others, was interested to know I’ve arrived safely.

So, if I were able to connect with my mom, I’d tell her that every love has its challenges, and I’m sure I haven’t even begun to experience them yet.  But I still have a feeling I’m going to fall…

(I’ve since been able to get in touch with her, since this was initially written)