Do You Shampoo? Curry? You Can Thank Sake Dean Mahomed – On Influential Muslims

I’m endlessly fascinated by the storied history and culture of food. If you think about it food, with all those various customs, colloquial nuances, simple and complex, erotic and understated, is truly our greatest and most intimate experience with the world around us.

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On the Road Less Traveled : A Personal Essay on the Path of Most Resistance and the Adventure That is Life.

Don’t be victimized by the culture of fear. Our planet is waiting to be explored, to reveal it’s secrets to you, to me, to any who dare ask, it will expose you to the raw truths of life. To the quarks of distant cultures and alien tongues. To disgusting foods and delicious cuisines, to dangerous and countless blessings.

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Interview with Maria Rochelle

Get to know Nicholas over this discussion on travel, literature, writing, life, love and losing oneself in the beautiful madness of modern life.

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On Arabic Sweets and the Middle East: Kunafa

All of these things are true… I had been in Jordan for several weeks and my love affair with Arabian sweets had reached a lofty peak. In fact, I would begin and end each day with a platter of pastries, smothered in honeys and syrups that would flood through heaps of pistachios on my plate. Then it happened… I…

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El Violin: Valencia ( A Love Poem to the Spanish City of Oranges

Bohemian nights in Valencia where the gypsies shred violins into the coming dark
“Rhythmic swells reverberate trough my lungs. The back streets of Valencia.

Back street Europe.

Romani enclaves and gypsy parts of town.

We’ll sit here in the Plaça de la Virgen with our stiff sangria, smartly bashful in red-faced delerium.

For it is Spring and the blossoms have begun to sing. 

A nod to blanco nerium”

A poem to the City of Oranges. An Open Love Letter to the City of Valencia, Spain.

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Sketching Sights: Istanbul, City on the Edge (Art. Travel. Writing. Islam. Architecture)

The Bosphorus splits Istanbul in two parts. A rift in the madness of Europe and Asia, drifting between bodies of fresh and salt water cooling the heated passion of a most ancient urban jungle. The hot, hot, heat of human movement generates organized chaos as this great strait, this rift, cushions the blow, keeping this…

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From the Rooftops of Granada — an excerpt from my manuscript for ‘The Outsider.’ A Confessional Memoir/Novel on Identity, Love, Travel and Revolution in the Arab Spring.

I mean, it’s not cheating if nothing happens. Oh, but emotions run deep. Which begs the question: What’s worse, an emotional or a physical affair?

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Sketching Sights: Burma

Before the world can truly reveal itself you must take a period of meditation. A time of reflection. To pre-game, to set a cosmic course of action by stating your intentions and making them manifest. This is the driving force behind Sketching Sights. To become one with the elements of each and every environment that strikes me. […]

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NaNoWriMo : Into the Wild

Earlier this year, I set a goal to finish a solid draft of my memoir and to achieve this mission i’m going into the wild, er, offline… A MONTHLONG period away from social media, the internet, ethernet and all those nets, in an archaic approach to finish this labor of love that i’m damn excited…

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Sketching Sights: Burma on My Mind

Before the world can truly reveal itself you must take a period of meditation. A time of reflection. To pre-game, to set a cosmic course of action by stating your intentions and making them manifest. This is the driving force behind Sketching Sights. To become one with the elements of each and every environment that strikes me.…

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Rally For A Two-State Solution

Last weekend I took part in a polarizing protest. And, I want you to know, dear reader, before proceeding, that I hold no anti-muslim nor anti-semitic sentiments. My opinion is neither religious (for some they sure have made it out to be) nor ethnic (for some they sure have made it out to be). I’ll let my…

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Tbex and The Great Travel Writers Campaign

Calling all philanthropists, all investors. This year brings my first opportunity to attend the travel writers conference, Tbex, in Cancun, Mexico and i’m looking for a little support in the financial arena. Now, I know that sounds like a load of drunken debauchery in the midst of Maya ruins but there is just so much more…

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Sketching Sights: Galata Tower (Istanbul, Turkey)

Like a great minaret, the Galata Tower represents so much more than meets the eye. Built in 1348 as the re-imagining of an earlier structure the tower has gone from hosting inmates, as a prison, to holding great secrets as an observatory for the astrologer Takıyeddin Efendi. What’s more, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi the 17th century aviator… if you…

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Islamic Art: An Exhibit

It’s safe to say that the visual arts have always been an extremely inspirational medium to me. This is especially true when it comes to Islamic Art. The heavy use of geometrical forms and the rhythm of mingling patterns that move in harmony with passages from the Quran. Traditionally, many schools of Islamic thought have…

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Sketching Sights: Essaouira, Morocco

Whitewashed seaside facade under a beating Moroccan sun.

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My First Guest Post: Uncovering the Shores of Aqaba

I’ve met some great people through this blog, twitter and other social media outlets. One person in particular stands out as someone whom I feel especially lucky to have met, the talented creator behind For The Intolerants, JoAnna. JoAnna and I have a lot of similar interests, as do many travel bloggers; exploring exotic lands,…

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Hookah of the Magic Bowl

For several months the hookah served as an icebreaker as I worked my way around the Middle East. Embracing the culture, I learned to appreciate the traditions and social norms attached to this symbol of community. While the beginnings of this exotic device are unclear, several sources from the 16th century mention a “water pipe”…

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Sketching Sights: Hagia Sophia

Istanbul, Turkey Stay tuned for next weeks post on my visit to the Hagia Sophia. A little history, modern romanticism, photos… all that good stuff. Yallah, bye!

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Sketching Sights: The Acropolis (Athens, Greece)

Here’s a quick sketch of the Parthenon from the rooftop of my hostel. Though the site had been occupied for millenniums it wasn’t until 447 BC that the Acropolis really hit the map. At the height of Athens’ “Golden Age” Pericles began a project in the name of Athina.  His building program went underway and 2,500 years later…

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The Essence of Mexico in Kansas City.

After several months of eyeballing the various billboards and signage around KC, Jaclyn and I paid a visit to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. On display are some of the richest and most iconic portraits, still life and mixed media pieces to come out of Mexico since it’s founding. Amassed by Natasha & Jacques Gelman (expats…

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