In search of an Iftar

Last night I wanted to celebrate Iftar. It was the first night of Ramadan in Washington, D.C. (though the second in Virginia, where I sleep), and I’d never had the privilege of being in a Muslim-majority nation during that holy month of food and family, daytime fasting and nighttime feasting. With a number of Muslim coworkers and […]

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A letter to a 16-year-old girl going to live in Qatar

A friend from Qatar asked for my help with an assignment she got: enable a 16-year-old girl who’s moving to Doha, Qatar with her family to gain some cultural competency. She reached out to me because while she knew what it was like to grow up in Qatar, I had experience coming there as an adult […]

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We are America and we do not hate Muslims

A friend posted this on Facebook. It’s a blog of images of Americans saying something which we should not have to say, but which today‘s ignorant coverage reminded me more than ever we must say: We are America and we do not hate Muslims. I joined in evincing solidarity by posting making this image my profile […]

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Hey guys: I’m in Newsweek

I got interviewed last summer by a reporter working on an article for Newsweek and the article just came out. I’m not ok with everything in the article (and I did not say anything ominously) but it’s nice to be considered a valuable source of information on living in the Middle East. Enjoy! Inspirational Quote: “If you […]

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Americans get more indirect the politer we are; Arabs do it differently.

While I was in Lebanon, I had dinner in Saida with two impressive women. Over snacks and crepes, we talked about a whole wide range of topics, but I finally brought up a question I’d been struggling with in nearly a week of speaking Arabic every day. How can I be polite in Arabic? At […]

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