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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On the Revolutionary Power of Diverse Thought: Elif Shafak

“So from populist demagogues, we will learn the indispensability of democracy. And from isolationists, we will learn the need for global solidarity. And from tribalists, we will learn the beauty of cosmopolitanism and the beauty of diversity.”

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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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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: 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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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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From Greece to Istanbul

We had gotten lost so many times on the island of Crete that we decided to wake up and leave extra early for the airport, “just in case”. Our superior traveling skills got us there on time and although we were sad to leave our oasis behind at the cottage of Eleonas, we were decidedly…

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8765.81 days later…

Foolproof calculation suggests that I’m in fact 24 years old. 8765.81 days to be exact! Birthday celebrations always bring to mind the activities of birthdays past and the miles in between, many of which were spent among family back in Texas or as most recently over brunch with loved ones. A year ago however you…

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