A Foodie's Iran: 2 Authentic Recipes You Can Make Right Now

by Paul Ross

Warned not to go, I followed my appetite to Iran and have returned home filled with beautiful memories, blessed with new friends, and brimming with the desire to show and tell, taste and smell, and surprise all those who never expected to see me again.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Father's Syria

Growing up in a suburb of Washington, D.C., I knew only bits and pieces of my dad’s life in the years before he became my dad.

I knew that both sides of our family came from an orthodox Jewish community in Syria (we ate delicacies like fried kibbehs, stuffed grape leaves and baba ghanoush, long before these foods hit the mainstream, and men sang Arabic songs at the Passover seder).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

A PRIVATE LOOK INSIDE EGYPT: What you don't hear about.

EDITOR'S NOTE: YourLifeIsATrip.com executive editor, Judith Fein, received this letter from her friend Manal S. Kelig who lives in Cairo, Egypt. Manal is a devoted mother, wife, tour operator and peace promoter. We publish this with Manal's permission and with gratitude. 

An Egyptian man puts the flag of Egypt on his house with the words " Egypt for All Egyptians" written in Arabic and the sign of peace beside it.

Dear Judie,

Greetings, my apologies for the late reply. Every day I mean to reply but the escalating events are faster than me.

I have been overwhelmed by the chaotic condition that we are living in, and I am not talking about the deaths or the fires, I am taking about the polarizing status that we have been living for the past two years.

For the last 6 weeks all my efforts were directed towards initiatives that aimed to close the gap between the Egyptians. In every single event that ended in violence I knew someone who was harmed there. I had friends who participated in the sit ins and supported it with all their hearts and I had friends who lived in the neighbourhoods of these sit ins and their life became so difficult they had to move out. And yesterday other friends in Luxor had their hotel burned down and their church attacked.

It is very hard days for me as I know friends who are revolutionaries, normal civilians, journalists, MBs, cops, army officers who got shot, are dead or missing and each one of them believe they were standing for justice.

Burned houses, churches, burned police stations and police men, burned cars are all across Egypt. Families mourn the loss of loved ones, the sacredness of their holy places, their personal properties.

Each one of us is making his own sense out of this and --- it is complicated!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

First-Person Report From Egypt

words and photography by W.M. Wiggins

 

On arrival at the Cairo airport from JFK, we (the passengers) were taken by the standard jet-to-terminal bus.

I noticed on the tarmac a "Special" aircraft parked all by itself on the ramp and heavily guarded. I am fairly sure who operates this jet. Lots of pilots call them Caspers. A Casper is a jet or aircraft with NO tail numbers or markings what so ever. It shows up, and then it disappears......like the ghost. In this case, Casper was white.

The following day we were road blocked as three heavily armed SUV's sped down the street. Please note...there are NO OTHER SUV's like this in Cairo...at least I have not seen them. But you might find these same S.U.V.'s being used by folks who are "visiting" Iraq.  I also noticed a C-130 Hercules taking off later...either from Cairo or Luxor. And I thought: now isn't that special? 

 

The pink building to the right of the blaze is the famous Egyptian Museum in Cairo 

On my arrival at my hotel in Giza...I had a gut feeling that things would be happening soon.

 

I was lucky to have visited the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and gone down (up actually) the Nile to Karnak. Shortly afterwards, the museum was ransacked and so was Karnak, by thugs and thieves. These are some of the finest antiquities in the world. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

American ambassadors in Arab lands

 by Judith Fein

Photo Slide Show by Paul Ross

View in Photo Gallery

 

“What country you from?” two young men shouted at me from the stalls where they sold clothing.

“United States,” I answered.

“America! We love America!” they replied, grinning broadly.

The stalls were in the souk in Aleppo, and Aleppo, which has been inhabited by our species since the llth century B.C., is in northern Syria. Yes, an Arab country. Where cautious Americans are not supposed to go.

In Damascus, the capital, I was picking food from a sumptuous buffet and piling it on my china plate when the restaurant owner approached me.

“Where do you come from?” he asked.

“The United States,” I said. “And it’s my birthday today. This is my celebration.”

“Your birthday? Come with me, please.”

I followed him over to a large, standing, locked glass showcase which displayed jewelry and antiquities. He unlocked the case and withdrew a stone.

“Here, for you,” he said. “It’s a rock from the moon. May you have a wonderful day.”

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Hidden Encounters With Saudi Women

by Patricia McGregor

Even in our black abayas and scarves it’s obvious that we’re foreigners. Saudi women rarely venture on to the streets. This is a man’s world. I know the women are somewhere and I’m determined to make contact.

photo by Dave G. HouserWe travel in a full- size tour bus; an escort of police cars, with flashing lights, and secret security men, with big guns, drive ahead of and behind us. No one can miss us.

This works to my advantage. Not being allowed to drive, women stare out of their car windows. We make eye contact.

As my face isn’t covered, it’s easy for them to see my smile. All I can see are their eyes smiling back at me. Some women even return my subtle wave. One lifts up the corner of her veil to get a better look.

Thank goodness for malls and washrooms. It’s there that I get my chance. Curious about me, the women initiate conversations as they touch up their makeup. Why I am here, school, their great shoes, my beaded abaya, Canada. We laugh. I have a brief encounter with woman after woman. As a new grandmother, I admire their babies and show pictures of Claire. We smile and a bond forms in spite of the language barrier.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...