Discover more from Matthew's Notebook
Hello to my newest readers...
The officers at the airport wanted to know about my social media. I hope they enjoy reading this Substack as much as I enjoy writing it!
I’m back in New Jersey for a little bit, and I was interrogated at the U.S. border on the way in. The agents were very polite, and the whole thing was over quickly. But it was a bit surprising, because this was the first time I had trouble at any border, anywhere.1 If it wasn’t a hassle to visit Iraqi Kurdistan and come back to the United States, then I wasn’t expecting a Jordanian passport stamp to raise eyebrows.
I suppose it was just the length of time I’d been in the Middle East. The passport control officer asked how long my stay was, then matter-of-factly said “we’re going to finish this up in another room.” It is a little funny that one arm of the U.S. government pays for me to stay in Jordan for a year2 and then another arm finds spending a year in Jordan suspicious.
After sitting for a little bit in a common waiting room, two new agents brought me to an interrogation room. One of the agents had actually been to Jordan, and was pretty knowledgable about the security situation there. Jordanians should rest assured that the U.S. government is concerned about the captagon smuggling issue.
The agents asked for my social media. I gave them the address of this blog. So hello and welcome to my newest subscribers:
I hope you enjoy reading about my main work (media analysis), my side-projects, my book reviews, and whatever other historical or social topics come to mind. I’m pretty much an open book, being a journalist/researcher and all.
Thanks for reading Matthew's Notebook! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
How ironic that an U.S. passport lets you enter almost any country hassle-free — except for your own.
The views expressed here do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State, or any of its partner organizations.