A Single Perspective of Four Countres

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Apologies for loading up such a big file and well done for your patience if you waited for it to open, but I couldn’t resist the irony of this visual depiction of a single perspective on the Middle East.

I’m sitting in full sunshine in a Jordanian beach resort with a notice nearby announcing that by the pool, bikinis are de rigeur and “cloths” are forbidden. Having packed loads of long sleeved modest outfits with an eye to local cultural norms, I’m unsettled by this sudden reversal of dress code. And inadequately prepared.

It’s all quite delightful. Jordanians are hospitable and friendly and we are basking in the reflected glow and usefulness of Eldest Daughter’s moderately fluent Arabic; once locals have recovered from the shock of hearing it spoken by someone appearing to be an English tourist.

But the single most fascinating feature of this area of the Red Sea coast (and I’ve experienced it also from the Israeli/Eilat side) is the surreal view of being able to simultaneously view four countries without even a turn of the head. Imagine if there truly were one single beautiful view of the Middle East.

A classic subject for the panoramic iPhone camera feature.

Jordan in the foreground; Saudi Arabia on the left visible through the umbrellas; Egypt is the land mass in the distance on the right; Israel is the near land mass on the right

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