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Al Azhar: Cairo’s Central Park (photo essay)

January 24, 2012


Citadel from Al Azhar Park

There is nothing better than enjoying some greenery in the middle of a city’s chaos, right? Even more so in Cairo, which according to many accounts, is one of the most polluted cities in the world. This fact, however, did not deter me from living in this fascinating city for a year. And my favorite […]

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Exotic sights in the Middle East (photo essay)

January 20, 2012


exotic beach in the Middle East

Exotic sights in the Middle East are at every turn when you come from the West. For this reason, to celebrate this week’s FriFotos theme “Exotic,” I wanted to present you a photo essay, including some of the exotic sights you can find in the Middle East. These were captured as I lived and traveled […]

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Ras Shitan, Egypt: Beach Thursday photo essay

January 19, 2012


Ras Shitan coast

I love the Red Sea, particularly the Sinai. There is something about this historic peninsula that eludes peace whenever I visit. And while Dahab is my favorite place in the region (and the world), this week’s Beach Thursday photo essay is about one of Sinai’s hidden gems: Ras Shitan. I was invited to spend a […]

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Merry Coptic Christmas! Traditions in the Christian Middle East

January 7, 2012


Coptic Christmas mass

Merry Coptic Christmas! On January 7th, Christian minorities around the Middle East (most part of the Coptic Church) celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Why on this day, you may ask?Well, this Orthodox Church actually used to celebrate Christmas on December 25th as well, but this all changed when the Gregorian calendar was introduced in […]

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Mosques in the Middle East: Seductive Holiness

November 21, 2011


mosques in the middle east, hagia sophia

Mosques in the Middle East never cease to fascinate me. While I am a Christian myself, there is always certain aura about any religious site that gets me down to the bone. The energy is almost inappropriately seductive. Their architecture is simply a feast to the eyes. While cathedrals have their own charm, mosques in […]

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Photo essay: The colorful Medinet Habu temple

November 8, 2011


colorful Medinet Habu

I’ve been obsessed with Ancient Egypt since elementary school. In fact, Arabic studies was my excuse to go live in Egypt for a year and finally wander through the myriad of Pharaonic temples I’ve dreamed about for more than two decades. Granted, I fell in love with the language later on, but that’s not the […]

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Photo guess: Can you name this Egyptian temple?

November 7, 2011

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Ready to play photo guess again, in anticipation of tomorow’s Travel Tuesday feature!? Guess, which Egyptian temple am I looking at? Were you right? Click here for the answer!

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Halloween in the Middle East: Haram AND tradition?

October 31, 2011


Happy Eid! - Halloween in the Middle East

Halloween in the Middle East: Haram or tradition? Indeed, partaking in celebrations of pagan origins, such as Halloween, is HARAM (forbidden) in Islam. As Prophet Muhammad (puh) warned to his followers: “Whoever imitates a nation is one of them!” (Abu Da’oud) Thus, all Muslims are expected to condemn pagan and non-Sunna traditions such as Halloween, Christmas and […]

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Travel to the best beaches in the Middle East & Africa (photo essay)

October 13, 2011


It is Beach Thursday and this week I will feature some of the best beaches in the Middle East and Africa. There is no debate that some of the clearest, most azure waters in the world are found in the coasts of the Red Sea, Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean. While this is a “Travel […]

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Dashur: The oldest pyramids in Egypt..and the world?

October 10, 2011


Dashur Bent Pyramid

Thought the first and only pyramids in Egypt were those in Giza? Think again! In Dashur, located about 40 km south of Cairo, lie several pyramids, two of which are among the oldest not only in Egypt, but the world. In fact, in Dashur lies the first smooth-sided pyramid in the world! To me, Dashur […]

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