IRAQ IS A WAR TORN COUNTRY, and the US is mainly responsible for such a state in the Arab country – but Martin Feess had a different experience in Jordan, and the experience is immortalized in Living Between Iraq and a Hard Place: Peace Corps Volunteers in Jordan, 2005-2007. Marty Feess terms his Jordanian experience a real-life twenty-first-century adventure.
In the two years, Marty and his wife Karen Louise (Coote) Feess (Jordan 2005-07) have basked and submerged in the Arab-Muslim culture, embracing the attributes of Jordanian culture and gaining enough experience of a lifetime that’s inscribed in the memoir.
Marty Feess narrates how he and his significant other imbibed backwater Jordanian life and forged friendships that grew near and dear while witnessing the turmoil and tumult in which the Middle East is embroiled. Marty Feess writes how his thought process evolved in lieu with all the various issues plaguing the Arab world, particularly those in Iraq, whose cradle of civilization, is racked.
When asked about this memoir, Marty Feess says,
This book is an account of the experiences and thoughts of Peace Corps volunteers in Jordan during the tensest years of the Iraq War, including the time of the execution of the dictator Saddam Hussein.
This book is a window into the thinking of the people in Jordan. Some of what they think is surprising, much is enlightening. Attitudes and events about the Israeli-Palestinian and Sunni-Shia conflicts are elaborated. Stories of the travels and adventures of Peace Corps volunteers are sometimes humorous and always entertaining. It is a mix of all the happenings in the Middle East that also has its focus on how people there are more alike to the rest of humanity than different.
Martin “Marty” Feess is a retired teacher with a Ph.D. in history. He served in the Peace Corps twice: Jordan, 2005-2007, and Albania, 2013-2015. He has also lived and taught in Vietnam and on the Navajo reservation. He has written four books.