• “A guy named Tarek picked me up at the airport with a sign featuring the Fulbright logo and the name, Mr. Shawn Lent. He was embarrassed by the error. I was not at all. He also didn’t like my insistence on carrying my own things. But after a few minutes getting him to laugh, he was okay with me crouching down and lifting the luggage trolley over all the curbs in the parking lot. We became a team and all was good.”

 

  • “As a community-dance practitioner, I have to find a way not to be intimidated in an environment like this. Not to shrink from their technical prowess and knowledge. Remember that I am a good teacher and have merits. I have to find a fine balance between learning the Egyptian way and challenging their thinking.”

 

  • “I was enjoying my shrimp fajitas alone at TGIFriday’s on the Nile when a brilliant, nearly 14-yr-old girl from Aleppo, Syria came over and sat with me. Confidently and out of nowhere. Bright pink hijab and a bright smile. She and I chatted for nearly an hour. We had a blast.”

 

  • “After the panel, I walked around town in that pencil skirt, getting a few comments from strangers but nothing awful. Just one man blurted, F@#king American as I passed him. Several guys served some lame cat calls, but I paid no mind. In general, they just said things like, Welcome. You are welcome here.”

 

  • “As I thanked her and went to walk deeper into the heart of the male crowd [during the storming of the U.S. Embassy Cairo], she said, They will eat you alive… Surreal how gracious and welcoming the Egyptian people can be, even to an American who shows up for a minute at the anti-American event.”

 

  • ” I was just about to de-friend all of you posting images or using rhetoric calling for a bullied attack on Libya. But I will refrain and try to stomach the hate I am hearing. Instead, I will combat it with personal truth.”

 

  • “Despite the lack of President Morsi, Cairo cleaned up. Some lingering protestors were arrested. Cats came out to pick through all the garbage. And Tahrir Square was wiped bare. Cleaner than before the revolution, a woman told me. Trucks took away the beds, tents, chairs, and full set-ups people had arranged. Then today, Sunday the 16th, Cairo went back to school.”

 

  • “Marc J, Sievers, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Cairo said that last week’s events felt manageable but also called on us to clear up this fog of fear and hostility that ways us down on both sides.”  — “The side effects of chemotherapy depend mainly on the drugs a woman receives. As with other types of treatment, side effects vary from person to person. In general, anticancer drugs affect rapidly dividing cells.”  —  ” If you haven’t been orientated to Donna’s story, I encourage to do so now. Even if you have read about her in past years, I encourage you to re-read, to get closer to her. An amazing gal.”

 

  • “So, I have access to see what Google search terms bring people to my blog. Most disturbingly, these terms include ‘sex web syrian girls’ and ‘syrian girls in cairo’… And now, I have this little peek into what may be happening here. It’s a very sad way to wake up.”

 

  • “Songs of peace were heard outside the synagogue, at the Peace Day festival, the mosques, the churches, the Cairo Opera House, in an online dialogue with young leaders, all around me… But I wonder, is it all just lip service? Peace from the neck up? I’m thinking we need to get all this cultural, racial and religious harmony in our full bodies.”

 

  • “There are plenty of other times where the friendliness is pure friendliness. Despite ‘the rage’ you might be seeing in the media.”

 

  • “Beyond just the joy of the patients, what I love about being here is that these parents at 57357 get it. Dance is so important for kids to get to know their bodies, to relate to other children, and to explore the freedom the revolution gave them, no matter what cancerous beast may be inside.”

 

Egyptian children playing in a park.

 

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