She Did it!


I am breaking my hiatus to mark the moment: Hillary Clinton is accepting her party’s nomination for presidential candidacy.

My emotions are not as strong as they were eight years ago, when Barack Obama accepted his nomination. But, I am relieved and happy and pleased for her: As a woman, as a fellow Wellesley alum (Go Blue!) and as an American. It’s about darn time. To be honest, regardless of your views on her politics or “trustworthiness” she’s smart, she’s capable, and she’s had to work twice as hard to get to this point in her career. This election is making me reflect more on my feelings redarding racism vs. sexism. Being at least a double minority gives me the dubious honor of sifting through what he purported causes for discrimination against me might be.

But I’ve grown up in a family and community where women hold up half the sky. And so, I have never questioned that women are just as good (and better) than any man. Perhaps in time that will be something to post more about.


I don’t post political stuff (or anything anymore for that matter )… but stuff is in the oven, it’s just gonna take a little bit to get those buns perfectly golden brown before dropping some new entries.

Suffice it so say, so many changes are afoot. I am saying Alhamdullilah, for me, for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Here’s to one heck of a presidential election season.



طلع مبارك…. ألف مبروك للمصريين


Viva la revolucion!

The Pharaoh has finally let the people go!

Long live the spirit of the Egyptian Revolution!

A new era has begun!

I guess my next question is much the same for many … who’s next?  will the revolution continue to spread?

My bet is probably Yemen, although many of my classmates think it will be Jordan.  eh, I think the situation in Yemen is a lot more dire, people are more poor, more angry, perhaps… but, really, who knows?

I need to look up how Africans (ahem, sub-saharan Africans) are following the news, are they gonna go on and get inspired too? It seems 2011 is going to be a very interesting year.

Right now, it feels like anything is possible, kind of like the extreme happiness I felt when America finally elected its first black President.  It’s the sensation that whatever you might think or lean political or ideologically you have to be proud of the fact that people had their voice heard.  And in particular, the youth saw what can happen when they aren’t dissaffected.  I’m inpsired… to what, I don’t know… but vamos a ver.

Studying Arabic just got a whole lot more interesting 🙂 …  I’m happy to be in a milieu that forces me to digest this information in its natural habitat.  Of course, I’ve got my eye on Syria, and I won’t lie, whatever happens in the next few will certainly affect the choices I make with regards to Damascus living.  I’m thinking of perhaps living as close to the American embassy as possible (if only I were joking).

But Syria was never as bad as Egypt, so we’ll see.  At this point I think that  “never say never” when talking about the future is about we can do.

On Mubarak Must Go! or Mubarak must go?— Egypt-less Arabic Study Abroad Options


Yes, but for what?

So, in light of what is going in Egypt I am thinking about another, issue.

If there is a regime change, what will be the fate of all the study abroad and language programs in this Arabic education hot-spot?

Off the top of my head I know that there is a Middlebury College and Arabic Flagship programs in the University of Alexandria, the ALI, CASA and ILI in Cairo and a slew of other international programs.

Egypt, up until now has been a bastion of relative peace and stability.  Unfortunately the opportunity to study Arabic in the Arab world feels like it is slowly diminishing…  sigh.  I don’t lament this for selfish reasons.

But rather I am thinking of the larger implications as Egypt is “Kind of a big deal”.

Case in point, about half of the students in my program have studied in Egypt.  Want to know why?  simply check out University websites like the University of Michigan  for a  list of study abroad programs:

Surprise, surprise. There are significantly more Egypt programs than there are anything else.

The reality is there just aren’t many alternatives…

My beloved Morocco is scoffed at by many who (with good reason and without good reason depending on how you look at it) just don’t want to deal with the Moroccan dialect.

Yemen, although IMHO one of the best places to learn Arabic is a hot mess (I am happy that I got to study there when I did).

Tunisia (which was never a real big Arabic language learning destination, is wobbly right now anyway.

Lebanon is always tip toeing around one political upheaval or another.

Saudi Arabia is just way too conservative.

Sudan is off limits — for most Americans anyway and Libya tooo for that matter.

Algeria— well, although the situation is stable there, the blot of its long, drawn-out civil war plus its North African dialect makes it not a contender.

So who is left?

Qatar/The Gulf region(minus SA of course)— good luck finding people who speak Arabic!  if full language immersion is what you’re looking for, then the Gulf is definitely not it.

Iraq- Are you serious?

Of course there are other places like  Somalia, Djibouti, Mauritania and Niger… but let’s be real, I find it hard to believe that any of these places will take Egypt’s place. Sigh.

The way I see it the only viable options are now,

Syria— Awesome, great programs, great Arabic and tentatively unscathed.

Jordan-— They’ve go some really good programs, but perhaps not nearly enough to hand the demand.

Oman — over looked, but stable possibility as far less oil-infused Gulf Arab state.

Israel* — I think the caveats go without saying.

But I don’t know if these places can handle the overflow.

At any rate, it looks like change is coming… so here’s to being along for the ride.


The Egyptians mean business

Well this is it for me and Egypt… I am tired of all the ME heads referencing it on Facebook and blogs and the newspapers… my two cents have been shared.

He Did it!


A tornado hit my area yesterday knocking out our electricity for 24 hours, os I couldn’t mark the moment on my blog:

He did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Obama ’08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s official!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I am satisfied!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And at the same time, I can not be 100% satisfied, because as proud/happy as I am to have lived to say the day when a black person can actually be a viable candidate for president, the more I hear “historical, this” and “historical that” in reference him clinching the nomination, I’m wondering how that will affect the way people look at black folk and their status in society as a whole.

Will it be the Oprah effect? i.e. “Well Oprah is a successful, educated black woman and that proves that racism etc. doesn’t exist anymore.”

I’m not naive, Obama is not some messiah on earth, and minority/women leaders who make it into the head of state/top position in their respective nations aren’t necessarily the greatest boost to the minority groups they represent: Benazir Bhutto, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir etc.

maybe I am being selfish, but it’s time to figure out what clinching this nomination means to me 🙂

I’m trying to make sense of this stuff in my head… ;-/