December 5, 2002 - Owl Online: Lee Wilbur 's Jordan Peace Corps service cut short

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Jordan: Peace Corps Jordan : The Peace Corps in Jordan: December 5, 2002 - Owl Online: Lee Wilbur 's Jordan Peace Corps service cut short

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 9:22 am: Edit Post

Lee Wilbur 's Jordan Peace Corps service cut short

Lee Wilbur 's Jordan Peace Corps service cut short

Doane alum's Jordan Peace Corps service cut short

Joelle Schumacher
Staff Writer

Less than two weeks ago, former Doane student Lee Wilbur was working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan, 7 kilometers from Palestine.

The week before Thanksgiving, the Peace Corps program was suspended and Wilbur, along with all the other volunteers, was evacuated because of security concerns. After several days of debriefing and medical sessions, Wilbur is now at his parents? home in Missouri.

Wilbur joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Jordan four months ago. After the first two months of training, he began the customary 24 months of service. Wilbur was a Non-Governmental Organization Development adviser for the scouts and guides of Jordan. He was living in the Jordan River Valley, a few miles northeast of the Dead Sea.

?I was thus the lowest Peace Corps Volunteer on earth,? Wilbur said.

Wilbur said that some days were wonderful because he loved speaking Arabic and interacting with the people, but at other times he was nervous of the situation his work put him in.

He said that he was living alone in a small community and that he was very visible as the only American in the area. This meant he was available as an easy target for anyone with misplaced anger.

?I did get a couple threats and was hit by a stone once,? Wilbur said.

Anti-American tensions are on the rise in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East. A few weeks back, Larry Foley, the head of the USAID delegation to Jordan was assassinated outside his home.

It is unknown who killed him and why. Last week, an American civilian was killed in Lebanon.

Wilbur said that anger towards the United States is growing daily, caused by what is perceived as America?s ?hypocritical and terribly unjust foreign policy.?

An attack on Iraq has huge potential for setting extremely negative events in motion, Wilbur said.

He also said that it will result in all new feelings of understandable anger and frustration with U.S. policy.

Wilbur closed his service with the Peace Corps when he returned from Jordan. He said he may join again later, depending on how he feels in the coming weeks and months. He said that he has mixed feelings about being back in the United States.

?My parents were quite worried about me, and they are very happy that I am home,? Wilbur said.

?But I am truly sad that current world events and tendencies are so negative that people have to leave each other out of fear.?

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Story Source: Owl Online

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Jordan



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