Monthly Archives:

January 2015

Who’s an Assal: How to Say a Boy Is Cute in Arabic — By Jennifer Shipp
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Who’s an Assal: How to Say a Boy Is Cute in Arabic — By Jennifer Shipp

I recently read a theory set forth in the 19th century by a Muslim man who married a French woman. In summary, it said that one of the reasons why the Arabic world lags so far behind the west in terms of economy and power is because it subjugates it’s women. Our Arabic language instructor, a woman named Mona, told Lydian recently that if she wanted to say that a boy was cute, she should say, "Hoowa Asaal." ...
Missing Information in Tunisia — By Jennifer Shipp
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Missing Information in Tunisia — By Jennifer Shipp

Today, the Internet is being heavily censored. More heavily censored than usual. The presidential elections are going on and web sites like Aljazeera, and Facebook are either not loading at all, loading only partially, or loading very slowly. Certain web sites appear to have disappeared altogether. Earlier this morning, John saw an article by the New York Times about Tunisia’s instability amidst the ...
Our Time in the Orange Zone in Tunisia — By Jennifer Shipp
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Our Time in the Orange Zone in Tunisia — By Jennifer Shipp

I’m having trouble writing about our trip to Tozeur and Douz in Tunisia because I know I can’t post what I write until we get out of the Middle East. Just thinking about the possibility of Internet censorship kind of kills my desire to share our experiences. I may be paranoid about the extent to which our internet accounts are being watched, but then again, I may not. The Internet in our apartment ...
Life Still Happens at Home… — By Jennifer Shipp
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Life Still Happens at Home… — By Jennifer Shipp

One of the most difficult things about traveling is how life continues to happen at home, even while we’re away. In late January two years ago, we woke up one morning in Mexico to find that we’d been robbed in the middle of the night. Three days later, while we waited on pins and needles to have new passports issued in time before our return flight home, a friend discovered that our house was flooded. ...
The Victim, the Perpetrator, and the Safari — By Jennifer Shipp
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The Victim, the Perpetrator, and the Safari — By Jennifer Shipp

Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night, sat up on the edge of my bed, and felt… disappointed. The curtains were tapping gently against the frame of the window. There was a soft, intermittent breeze blowing in through the room. The lights of Johannesburg shimmered behind the curtain. I could see the city through the cracks in the curtain when the breeze would blow. I tried to put my finger on the ...
Egyptian Pyramids: Photo Gallery
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Egyptian Pyramids: Photo Gallery

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Hyper-Schizo-Travel Syndrome — By Jennifer Shipp
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Hyper-Schizo-Travel Syndrome — By Jennifer Shipp

We left Egypt the day that the terrorists attacked Charlie Hebdo in France. It was “Christmas Day” in this part of the world and we had no idea that the attack had happened until we saw a report on TV at our vacation rental in South Africa. We’d originally planned to stay in Egypt for a full month, but while we were in Tunisia, John and I decided that we were playing the odds and we needed to get out of the ...
The Egyptian Museum sans the Tourist Hordes — By Jennifer Shipp
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The Egyptian Museum sans the Tourist Hordes — By Jennifer Shipp

Today we visited the Egyptian Museum. I better understand now the people’s sentiments about the displays. It’s true that very few of the items in the huge warehouse-of-a-building are marked, but for me, that didn’t diminish the coolness factor of the place. In fact, the lack of descriptions left more to the imagination as we slowly walked through the huge collection of Egyptian “stuff”.

I ...
Terrifying Tunisia — By Jennifer Shipp
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Terrifying Tunisia — By Jennifer Shipp

I've had to wait to post all of our experiences about Tunisia until we left the country because I was afraid of being stopped, detained, and who-knows-what else at the airport. Only a few days ago, Al Jazeera in Egypt was shut down, and Charlie Hebdo in France bombed for saying the wrong things about the wrong people. Censorship is something we've experienced in China, but the political tenor was quite a ...
Amazing Egypt — By Jennifer Shipp
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Amazing Egypt — By Jennifer Shipp

Today is Friday, a holy day in Cairo. It's Worship Time and loud and horribly distorted Arabic sermons are ringing out across the city. I’ve situated the table on our balcony to face the pyramids. There is nothing but sand between me and them and though I’ve seen the pyramids from all directions and stared at them for hours already, I’m still not tired of looking at them.

We arrived later ...
Bruised Banana