Friday, July 31, 2009

Checking in from Wisconsin

There are lots of things I'd like to do when I get back to the Middle East in September: reconnect with old friends, meet the new people who'll have joined our program, eat koshari and Yemeni food, go on a felucca ride, and all of those other predictable Cairene delights. However, I'm also trying to compile a list of new things to experience and new places to visit, some closer and some further afield. Maybe Turkey or Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine? Within Egypt I'd like to make it south to Luxor and Aswan, northeast to Port Said and over to the oases in the west. We'll see how long my ambition lasts. If I find my fellowship responsibilities too arduous to go off on longer distance jaunts, I always have the little things in Cairo to keep me entertained. Maybe the Japanese gardens at Helwan or the Giza Zoo.
If any of you has suggestions, I would be more than happy to entertain them!

Oh, and I'm thinking about taking Arabic classes or looking for some kind of language exchange. I think it would be shameful to spend a year and a half or two years without some kind of minimum proficiency.

In the meantime, here is some more news out of Egypt:
Former mufti declares Egyptian gas exports to Israel '7aram'
Border with Palestine to be temporarily opened next week
Number of death sentences in Egypt spikes in recent months
Swine flu keeping some from the Hajj this year (an article by my friend Liam Stack)

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