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Down East Seniors Club explores the Middle East

The Down East Seniors Club held its June 6 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. As stated last week, Chip Ide and Gary Brinn swapped offices for the remainder of the year. President Gary Brinn led the meeting. Jim Hackney played for the singing of “God Bless America,” followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Charles Smith gave the invocation, and Ed Hamrick read factoids for the date in history followed by humor.

One guest was present.

Gene Schwartz provided the program. He told about several Middle East countries he and his wife visited during the nine years that he worked in Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar with U.S. air bases have many foreign contractors and women have more freedom than in many other countries of the area. Egypt has a very long history, which is shown in its pyramids and museums. Egypt has very little arable land so its major income is from tourism. Jordan is a land of refugees, mostly Palestinians driven out of Israel. Syria has a large fort that was built during the time of the European crusaders. Turkey has some large cities that are a mix of modern and ancient. Israel has many religious sites that have existed since biblical times. Two factors that impressed Gene and his wife were the large bazaars (open markets) in the center of most cities and the friendliness of the people.

John Tunstall won the 50/50 drawing.