I often debate how much I should reveal of myself. Here, especially. In the states, what I say is dependent upon my comfort. Here, it's also dependent upon my safety. So where do I draw the line? Because here's the thing: I'm on very shaky ground here. I need friends, and I can't afford to … Continue reading Freedom of Speech?
Electricity off. Electricity on... Electricity off. This afternoon's count is 12. Since it's winter, people are using their heaters, which strains the system. And when it rains the internet slow way down. When there's a thunderstorm the internet goes out altogether. Appreciate what you've got. And have a good number of candles and books on hand.
When I meet Kurds and Iraqis in public, there are three questions I am invariably asked. Same order, same wording, same rapidity.1) Are you married?2) Where's your father?3) Where's your brother?And the answers - no, America, America - never make anyone happy. After the third question they always give up and sigh.Once I lied, but … Continue reading The Trifecta
Just finished a Thanksgiving at my flat with Arab, Lebanese, Palestinian, Kurdish, American, and Norwegian guests. So much food! And so many different types - people brought what they knew how to cook, which included brinj (Kurdish), hummus (Lebanese), baniya (Palestinian), and Budweiser (American). In order to be culturally ok with everyone, I only invited … Continue reading Thanksgiving
Honestly, who cares about the destination. The journeys are usually much more fabulous. So. Picking up where I left off a while ago: After Kirkuk, we drove on to Arbil. I wanted to see the Arbil citadel, which is supposedly the oldest continually inhabited structure on earth (supposedly), but when we got there it unfortunately … Continue reading EID CONTINUED: The Journey to Dar Mar Matta (St. Matthew’s Monastery)
Yep. I've been working in Kurdistan for 3 whole months. That's like, a quarter of a year. Or a third of a school year. And the best part? This means there's only 1 month until winter vacation... Do I have my priorities straight? Who cares, I'm getting the job done AND having fun.
A scorpion wants to cross a river, and sees a turtle nearby. The scorpion crawls over, and asks the turtle to ferry him across the river on his back. The turtle asks the scorpion, "How will I know that you won't sting me once I've taken you across the river?" The scorpion says, "If you … Continue reading A Story From My Palestinian Friend…
(which means GOBAMA in Arabic) OBAMA WON! OBAMA WON! And I found out a way (with crucial help from my mom) to vote! My absentee ballot didn't arrive - because this is KURDISTAN and who here give a rat's fart about the mail - and so I tried to print it out and fax it … Continue reading YALLA, OBAMA!
Last Friday, I embarked on my adventure. I had been planning on somehow going alone, by bus and taxi. But this was not to be. I found someone with a car who wanted to road-trip as much as I did. Sam, the head of catering for the school, was my travel buddy this past week. … Continue reading Day 1: Kirkuk
...from EVERYWHERE. Here is what the itinerary turned out to be: Day 1 (Friday): Suli, Chamchamal, Kirkuk, Arbil Day 2 (Saturday): Arbil, almost Mosul, Dar Mar Matta (St. Matthew's Monastery) Day 3 (Sunday): Mar Matta Day 4 (Monday): Mar Matta, Shekhan, Lalish, Al Qosh Day 5 (Tuesday): Al Qosh, Dohok Day 6 (Wednesday): Dohok, Amediya … Continue reading I’m BACK…