Thursday, January 27, 2011

Let's go to Malawi?

This young man makes me want to visit his village in Malawi just to see how he built a windmill to power his family compound jut by reading about one in a book. Such inspiration.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

La Vie En Rose

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose

When you kiss me heaven sighs
And tho I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose

When you press me to your heart
I'm in a world apart
A world where roses bloom

And when you speak...angels sing from above
Everyday words turn into love songs

Give your heart and soul to me
And life will always be
La vie en rose

Such simple words, such beautiful meanings, such a good song. Soundtrack of another favorite movie, Jeux D'enfants (English title: Love me if you dare).

Let's call the whole thing off...

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Can you really go wrong?
Yes it has nothing to do with traveling, but it does have something to do with miscommunication... which happens a lot.
Plus I just really like this song :) And it reminds me of one of my favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally.

Day of Anger

January 25, 2011.
The Day of Anger, as it was called.

If you've been paying attention to global news, you might have realized what's happening in the Middle East. The people have had enough. Enough corruption, enough unemployment, enough poverty, enough is enough. And this is how Egypt has responded. This is a picture of Tahrir (which means Liberation) Square in downtown Cairo on the night of Jan 25th. Over 30,000 protesters gathered here, with tens of thousands more in different cities across the country. A day that might change Egypt forever. We can only wait and see.

The Middle East, my beloved Middle East, has had enough, and things will never be the same again - I hope.

(Note: I didn't take this picture, but I sure am proud of it.)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Today I Learned...

Family > travel plans.
Sometimes a change to the itinerary can be a good thing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today I Learned...

That the power of imagination is unrivaled by anything in this world.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Qatar: Top moments

Qatar really grew on me.

Moment 1:
The perfect skyline of downtown Doha, the capital city, that you can see from loads of places. I love the contrast of the old dhow boat against the all the modern buildings. Another meshing of old and new that I love so much.

Moment 2:
Sunset at Souq Waqif, the old bazaar area, in Doha. Enjoyed this day with new friends and old friends. My favorite place in Qatar hands down. Interesting fact: what is today known as Souq Waqif is actually a recent reconstruction of the entire place. This same place used to have the main bazaar of the city, which was taken down to make room for the new city. However, in an effort to restore places of important heritage, Qatar has rebuilt the Souq once more. So it's old... but new.

Moment 3:
(It's blurry, I know, but it was night time so the shutter was open for ages cuz I hate using flash and the only source of light were those little spotlights that you cant see but can only see the light emanating from them in the top of the picture. Point is: I still love it :)
Exploring new places with new friends that I feel like I've known forever! This was at the beach at the new Cultural Village, an area full of art centers, open air theaters, restaurants, coffee houses, music festivals, photography and art galleries, AND a beach. Yup.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bahrain: Top moments

Moment 1:
Visiting the breathtaking Al-Fatih Mosque in Manama. Such serenity. A beautiful portal to an information center on Islam.

Moment 2:
Iqra'. Read. The first word to be revealed to the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from God. Bahrain has an amazing way of capturing real culture, arts, history, and tradition. I wish other countries would take a hint on how to preserve greatness.

Moment 3:
Me + sunset + the gulf = love.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kuwait: Top moments

Moment 1:
Great food + great company = great night! Having chocolate fondue at Chocolate Bar while catching up with friends I've known since elementary school. Eating out in Kuwait is an intensely amazing culture, and I took full advantage of it!

Moment 2:
Shopping at Souq Mubarkia, the old trade area in Kuwait. Probably my favorite place in Kuwait. Also the best place to have chai haleeb (milky steeped red tea with herbs) and qeymar (cream) - honey fatayer (large round layers and layers of soft puff dough, oven baked), which tastes as heavenly as it sounds.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Andddd I'm back

Just got back to Egypt from my trip through the Gulf region. I did Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar for about a week each. In the next couple of days I'll be posting up the top moments from each country, as well as my take on each one.

Stay tuned! :)


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today I Learned...

That, for me, being in a place more familiar is usually more stressful than being somewhere new. I guess you can call traveling my personal therapy.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Qatari proverb

Well...I'm not sure if it's a proverb or not. But apparently calling someone a bee is a good thing.

It is said that someone is a bee when that someone is optimistic and sees the good in everything. Even when a flower is covered in insects and all sorts of nasty things, a bee still manages to see the sweet honey at the heart of the flower. Like a bee, this person sees the good at the heart of all matters.

Be like a bee :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Island Girl

Sunset of my last day in Bahrain, Jan 2nd 2011. What a great way to end a great trip. Can't ever forget this day.