There's a reason for prayer: to acknowledge the community inherent in solitude. Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. A time to eat sweet things, to reflect upon the fullness of the past year and plan the fullness of the next. And the year is always full. Today is Talia Goldenberg's birthday. 24 years on … Continue reading Grateful
On Sunday night, 3 other ulpanists and I drove to a checkpoint near Nablus, then took a bullet-proof bus up to Mount Gerizim to watch the Samaritan's annual Passover sacrifice. The Samaritan people number around 750. They are split between two towns, around 400 in Holon (near Tel Aviv, in Israel proper) and about 350 Kiryat … Continue reading Samaritan Sacrifices
I had the worst day - until I got back to my apartment. I walked out of the elevator and before I could even get to my door, I was handed a bag of meat by my Arab neighbors. Yes, a BAG of MEAT. I stared at it, and said, "Thank you, but why?" They … Continue reading The Bag of Meat: A Story
I took the most WONDERFUL trip this weekend. Impulsive, unexpected, rewarding. I woke up on Friday morning determined to get out of Suli. It had been 2 weeks since I'd gone anywhere, and the longer I go without travelling, the more I get stuck in a complacent rut. So I went to the bus terminal, … Continue reading Halabja
You should read this article. It's about how accents are frequently mocked in mainstream, "white" America. And it's something that's been on my mind here. I work in a school where I'm one of 5 Americans. I work with Kiwis, a Canadian, some Brits, a ton of Kurds, a ton of Iraqis, and a ton … Continue reading Accents
I'm worried that living here is making me hate men. Young, old, short, tall, rich, poor, any color - I am not discriminating in my revulsion toward men. You can't understand what the men are like here. They just stare at you like you're some sweet they'd like to eat. They stare at you like … Continue reading I Live in Menistan
I was out sick from work today, but in order to not have my pay cut, I needed a doctor's note. Which means that I had to go to the hospital, with whom the school has connections. One of the school drivers, took me to the hospital. We walked right past the Asaish officers, through … Continue reading The Way Things Work
And with FRIENDS, too!!! FRIENDS!!! I feel so lucky, masha'allah. So I met another English teacher in town, Gwen, and she's just wonderful. She could be a Whittie. That's one of the best compliments I can give her. And I've recently connected with an Arabic teacher from the school, Sa'ada. She's from Lebanon, and is … Continue reading Ahmed Awa, OKHAI (FINALLY)!