First Impressions of Amman from a Jordan Sceptic

I have a confession. Although I love the Middle East, I was never very interested in visiting the country of Jordan. Lacking the ancient history of Israel and Egypt and the uber-wealthy cachet of the Persian Gulf, I didn’t understand its appeal. The past few years, though, I’ve spent so much time in so many […]

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Merry Coptic Christmas from Egypt!

If you’re the type who is sorry to see Christmas end each year, you can come to Egypt and celebrate the holiday twice. Christians in Egypt, called Copts, make up about ten percent of the country’s population and, like Christians in some other countries such as Russia, they are orthodox. I learned shortly after arriving […]

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My Pre-Blog Travels: Part I – Muscat, Oman

I began to travel years before I had a blog, and in retrospect I wish I could have shared those early, formative journeys online. I’ve recently found that looking at my old travel photos re-kindles not just memories but, at least somewhat, feelings. My digital photos only date back to the mid 2000’s, but there […]

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Merry Christmas from the Middle East

Muslim countries aren’t exactly full of Christmas joy at this time of year. Yet for the second year in a row I, an avid lover of all things Christmassy, find myself living in such a country on Christmas. Last year it was Sharjah, UAE, an ultra-conservative Islamic emirate on the Persian Gulf. This year it’s […]

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The Amazing Koshary and Rice Pudding of Dahab, Egypt

When I was just passing through Dahab, Egypt for the first time last June I didn’t have time to discover of one the most popular local dishes. This is probably because this meal is not commonly served at the scores of restaurants where travelers head along its main street. Once I settled into the heart […]

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Why I Felt Comfortable Spending Two Nights Inside a Military Zone in Cairo

Note: The area in Cairo that is the subject of this post was an anomaly, as it was directly in the center of the recent protests. The rest of Cairo was its normal wonderfully chaotically calm self. After months of media reports on the Egyptian Revolution and its aftermath, it may seem as if violent […]

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Observations From Traveling Overland Through Egypt

Last week I traveled overland from the very bottom of Egypt to almost its very top and back again when I took a cross-country private van trip from Dahab to Cairo, courtesy of my favorite tour company in the world, King Safari Dahab and then a bus trip back to Dahab. When I climbed in […]

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Four Hours in Tahrir Square, Cairo

I had no intention of going into Tahrir Square yesterday. I’d been through the area once before when I visited the Egyptian Museum in October of 2009 during my first trip to Cairo. Back then, long before the January 2011 revolution during which thousands of people were injured and hundreds killed, I hadn’t even realized […]

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How to Get Rid of Flies in Egypt

Can eating a delicious meal at a lovely seaside outdoor restaurant be totally spoiled by a dozen flies landing on your plate? I can only guess the answer is yes. Thankfully I am not positive because when I and the aforementioned flies were dining on a delicious meal after I snorkeled in the Blue Hole […]

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Is Egypt Safe? Yes.

People are calling off vacations and airlines are canceling flights because there is rioting in Cairo, once again. Reminiscent of the revolution which began on January 25th of this year, the media is in Tahrir Square, filming thousands of angry people and reporting on injuries and deaths. With the country’s first election in over 30 […]

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Egypt’s Blue Hole – Great for Diving, and Just Sightseeing

The Blue Hole isn’t the most enticing of place names, yet this is the title given to the most popular diving spot in the Sinai and probably all of Egypt. What it lacks in poetry it makes up for in accuracy. This is indeed a deep ocean hole that is the most gorgeous hue of […]

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Caution: Going to Church in Egypt

It’s easy to travel through and live in the Middle East and be witness to none of the tensions that have brewed in the region for centuries. Egypt has been experiencing a lot of highly publicized strife since the government fell ten months ago yet is still filled with friendly people and a peaceful atmosphere. […]

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