Last week, 16 years after graduating, I went back to my old dance studio. The building is different and the technique has been turned up, but the environment was just the same. The culture, the 1986 trophies, my picture on the wall, the notice about competition fees and Cecchetti ballet exams, it all brought me… Read More


She drives her car. I sit beside her. She walks into the building and immediately sits down on the bench in the entranceway. Out of breath. Woozy. She leads the way to the elevator and pushes the button for the 4th floor. A man with a bald head like hers and a cheeky smile wishes… Read More


25 Egyptian teenagers with different cancers at different stages, 35 siblings, volunteers, nurses, oncologists, social workers, and one dance educator from Chicago spend 3 days in a remote complex on a fruit farm in Wadi Natrun, about 2 hours northwest of Cairo. This is a place where you can see the stars at night. 4 people… Read More


As alumni fellows of the UN Alliance of Civilizations International Fellowship program, me and my colleagues have recently made an official declaration that was delivered to the Heads of States and Governments during the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations. I’m proud to have signed this declaration advocating dialogue of the #TrueMuslimWesternMajority, but understand my… Read More


Orientation 1: Welcome to Cairo All day, I was attending the official Fulbright In-Country Orientation. The Fulbright program between Egypt and the United States was launched in 1949; it is the largest and oldest program in the Arab World. Marc J, Sievers, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy Cairo told us that this year here has… Read More


Today is my last meeting at Children’s Memorial/Lurie Hospital. I have been asked to prepare a little speech. Today I am not here to tell Donna’s story. She was a girl who lived a bright but cruelly short life. And she changed my life to its core. I could never do her story justice, and… Read More