Middle East travelers report busy first week

Prof. David Coury, Humanistic Studies, shipped home an email Monday (July 12) from the nation of Jordan, where he’s helping lead a Wisconsin delegation that is spending a month abroad on a Fulbright-Hays grant.

Jordan-group photo

The photo (above) was taken at the Jordanian-American Commission for Educational Exchange in Amman, the capital city. Travelers from UW-Green Bay include Coury, staff member Jay Harris of International Projects, Profs. Jolanda Sallman of Social Work, Heidi Sherman of Humanistic Studies and Jill White of Human Development, and students Cory Miller, Michael Jacob and Jeremy Wildenberg. Also traveling are several K-12 educators from across Wisconsin. The group met with Alain McNamara, the Commission’s executive director (top row, in sport coat) at the outset of their visit.

The group is spending a month in Jordan as UW-Green Bay establishes the new Center for Middle East Studies. A few of the week’s highlights:

desert castle

•  A two-day trip to archeological sites in the north, including the ancient Roman cities of Jerash and Um Qais as well as the ancient medieval Islamic fortress Ajloun in Jordan’s Eastern Desert (photo above). On their way back, they met with faculty members from Yarmouk University in Irbid where they had lunch with the university president Dr Sultan Abu-Orabi, who posed with Coury and Harris (photo below). The UW-Green Bay faculty members made research connections with Yarmouk faculty in anthropology and archeology;

• Meeting up with former UW-Green Bay Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Prof. Ibtesam Al-Atiyat, who is teaching several classed this summer for the German-Jordanian University and invited the group to her Intercultural Communication class to meet her students and discuss a variety of topics;

•  Pursuing future collaborations involving UW-Green Bay and local school districts with partners in Amman, focusing on areas of teacher training, pedagogy, educational assessment, cultural exchange and more;

•  Met with Eric Atkins of the U.S. Embassy in Amman for an introductory briefing; a native of Kohler, Wis., he was quite happy to welcome visitors from Wisconsin;

•  … and began instruction in the Arabic language.


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