Jordan: Peace at the Crossroads

Explore a land where ancient wonder meets modern city, where starry-skied deserts stretch to the sea, and where a rich history and storied cultures help illuminate current events that reach beyond borders while we seek to unlock the key to a more just and peaceful world.

March 4-15, 2020

In an interview once with Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show,” King Abdullah II of Jordan remarked that his tiny country of fewer than ten million is “caught between Iraq and a hard place,” nodding to the geopolitical, ethnic, and religious tensions that so often appear in U.S. news headlines about the Middle East. A relatively young nation with few natural resources and many different populations inside of its borders, Jordan has had to navigate internal challenges to stability since its early nationhood. But regional developments since the middle of the twentieth century—conflicts between Israel and Palestine, the Arab Spring, civil war in Syria—have also reminded Jordan that its position as a peacemaker in the Middle East also depends upon managing the conflicts that reach across and into its borders. 

What accounts for the relative peace of Jordan amidst cultural, ethnic, and political conflict both in and outside of its borders? Jordan: Peace at the Crossroads invites you to develop frameworks for understanding peace and conflict while exploring the diverse geographical, historical, and cultural environments this critical part of the world has to offer. We will consider the following questions:

  • Conflict: Why does conflict between societies and individuals emerge? How does conflict lead to change across varying levels of society? How can we ensure that conflict leads to constructive growth for societies and individuals?
  • Peace: What is peace? How do we build durable frameworks for peace? Who is responsible for peace building?
  • Identity: What markers do people use to determine their own identities? How do people include or exclude others in their identity creation? How does sense of place shape our identities?

You’ll spend the first half of the trip immersing yourself in Jordanian culture and learning from people and organizations working to build on positive foundations for peace in Jordan. You will have the opportunity to hear from and speak with government officials, international non-profit organizations, local Jordanian organizations, and individuals who are affecting change at all levels of society. Explore local sites of historical and natural interest in the afternoons: souks and streets in Amman; ancient Roman ruins; old crusader castles; and a sunset on Mount Nebo. Enjoy conversation and laughter with young people from around the Middle East during dinners in the evening at King’s Academy.

Spend time reflecting on what you’ve learned and work on putting a project into action while exploring more of Jordan’s ancient and natural wonders during the second half of the program.Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra and hike through canyons to see the ruins of the Nabeteans’ ancient Rose City. From Petra, travel to the desert of Wadi Rum, where you’ll camp in a Bedouin tent for the night and drink sweet tea by a fire as the stars come up. Float feet-up in the salty Dead Sea at the end of the trip to celebrate all your work before making your way back to the U.S. 

List of 1 items.

  • Cost

    Includes all ground transportation, flights, meals, accommodations, visas and all required non-routine vaccines. Families will receive a list of all MANDATORY vaccines that are required.  All travelers must be up-to-date on routine vaccines. 

    Current cost is based on the posted price of flights available at the time of trip planning. There is the potential for this to change. Participants will be alerted to any changes at time of trip sign-ups.

Know Before You Go

Program Leaders
Kayla Corcoran, History Master
Kim McMenamin, History Master
Elbert Liang, History Master

Pre-Trip Work
Before the trip, students will devote approximately 12-15 hours reviewing country background information, engaging in group-building activities, and reflecting on their learning goals during mandatory meetings every other Monday during second lunch following participant selection. 

Important Travel Program Policies and General Information

All passports must be current seven months past the return date of any School-sponsored trip. Please check and plan accordingly. A photocopy of the passport information page is required for sign-up when the first payment is due.

All travelers must be up-to-date on routine vaccines. Families will be charged for any trip related routine vaccines administered on campus.
Families will receive a list of all MANDATORY non-routine vaccines required for this program. If the participant has received any of the mandatory vaccines, documentation must be provided to the Health and Wellness Center no later than December 13.

Jordan Packing List

Student Behavioral Expectations and Expulsion Policies

Sign Up

Target Student Population  
This trip is recommended for students who have taken courses related to the Middle East, including the Middle East: Myth and History, Islamic Studies, Forces that Shaped the Modern World and/or Arabic; however, other students with demonstrated interest in this region and current events will be considered. Students should be able to spend a day walking and/or hiking. There will also be opportunities to swim.

Application to this program is not considered complete until both of the following itms have been submitted:

Through House and Harkness, Lawrenceville challenges a diverse community of promising young people to lead lives of learning, integrity, and high purpose.  Our mission is to inspire the best in each to seek the best for all.