I’m Here

May 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi!

I haven’t had the chance to blog from my trip as I’d hoped to, and I’m too tired to do much now, but I’ve been taking good mental notes each day and hope to compile some observations here when I get the chance.

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Observation, first of many

May 24, 2010 at 5:46 am (Uncategorized)

I’m on my iPhone, with its little keypad, reflecting briefly on my first day with IFPB before catching some very needed sleep.

As we were wrapping up our training session this afternoon, I found myself thinking about how it is literally easier to get into Iran and North Korea than it is to get into Israel. Fortress Israel, should I say?

I am sorry to leave you hanging from such a cliff as that one, but there is too much to explain, so I will continue tomorrow. I should add that my observations here will be heavy on editorializing, probably because I feel so strongly about the distance between truth and illusion on the subject (from my perspective), but I pledge that every fact I claim as such will be as close to truth as I can find.

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Getting Started

May 23, 2010 at 10:59 pm (Uncategorized)

Normally I try to think of relatively interesting titles for these posts, but I expect that there will be an overwhelming amount of information and experiences to process, and words will probably fall onto the page here without a lot of thought.

On the other hand, chaos and disorder seem to characterize the region (either that or strict military discipline), so maybe rushed, haphazard blogging is best.

Either way, I’m tired and looking forward to an early bedtime tonight, before our training session and schlep to the airport tomorrow.

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The Kindness of Strangers

May 23, 2010 at 7:55 pm (Uncategorized)

No strangers here at the home of our lovely IFPB hosts in Arlington, VA. More to come. I am using the WordPress iPhone app for the first time.

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A Very Semitic Summer

May 22, 2010 at 7:32 am (Uncategorized)

Shalom and Salaam!

Tomorrow I leave for Jerusalem (via a two-day training with IFPB in DC), followed by nine weeks of Arabic study and then Georgetown’s Arab Studies program in the fall. Who knows what August will bring–hopefully rest and relaxation with friends and family, researching fellowships and other opportunities, learning about the department at Georgetown of which I am now a part, exercise…

A rollicking good time. A lot of change at once is hard to take, though. I don’t feel ready to say good-bye to people here even though I’m heading toward very exciting opportunities.

I’m at the Peet’s that has been my standard coffee and wifi hangout for a couple of years now, since it opened (Castro Street location in Mountain View). I’m “psychologically” packed, with most of my things near or on my suitcase, at least! I spent today running around on last-minute errands, like buying a sun hat (even though I feel ridiculous in hats!), calling ATT to find out how not to incur outrageous roaming charges, getting a haircut, etc.

I feel that within 24 hours I’ve transitioned from MIIS student to IFPB delegate, Middlebury Arabic student, and newcomer to Georgetown. I hate to be leaving my parents now. They’ve done so much for me and they’re getting older now…

The next several days will be a bit hectic, involving lots of airports and airplanes, being in unfamiliar surroundings with different currency, different foods, different cultural norms…but I know I’ll love it once we’re actually settled in Jerusalem.

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O Jerusalem

May 21, 2010 at 4:19 am (Uncategorized)

Hello!

I’ve barely finished a semester at MIIS and am preparing to leave for a two-week trip to the Middle East on Saturday followed by a Kathryn Davis Fellowship to study Arabic through Middlebury College for nine weeks. I hope this blog will be a space for my observations of everything from my fellow delegates to the sights and sounds and impressions of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

All I know at this point is that it will be an adventure. Many of our delegates (there are 26 of us plus two co-leaders!) have introduced themselves via our email list, and we’re a diverse and fascinating bunch, each with our own views–however similar or dissimilar–of the region and the ongoing conflict.

I’m currently trying to configure my iPhone so I don’t incur tons of charges overseas!

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