If I were a police officer on duty, in any country, I know I would often be scared for my life. I would be worried that my handgun would not be enough, that my head and chest are often exposed. I would try and make myself seem as secure as possible. I would worry for… Read More


So thanks to the Binational Fulbright Commission in Egypt, this week I am attending the 36th Annual Fulbright Conference in Washington D.C. The conference is taking place near Capitol Hill. And the government is shut down. Not a lapse of appropriations, but an actual government shutdown. Only other time that happened was 1995. And this… Read More


Last night was nice. I attended a great conversation at the Opera House cafe between a journalist/former US ambassador and a group of the Egyptian artists active in the June sit-in at the Ministry of Culture. We discussed how the artists’ occupation of the ministry evolved and how it connected to Tamarod and the National… Read More


Imagine if a year after Hitler was voted-in to power, the German people had went to the streets to demand the removal of his increasingly authoritarian, divisive and xenophobic regime. For some people, that is akin to what happened here this week in Egypt. I have a friend and senior colleague who voiced her concern… Read More


As I was sitting the “PUBLISH” button on yesterday’s blog post about the largest political demonstration in human history, General El Sisi was coming on TVs across the nation. His message: Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) have exactly 48 hours to respond to the demands of the people or else there will be military intervention.… Read More


I was afraid of June 30. Afraid that the hate and volatility would erupt. Afraid of chaos and looting. Afraid that Cairo would feel epically dangerous. I was afraid that this fear would be pervasive and women and children would stay home: the numbers of protestors would be low. Myself, I didn’t go out alone… Read More


Happy International Women’s Day! اليوم الدولي للمرأة Well, it is actually next week but it’s time to start getting revved up. This is a chalkboard from an all-male Qur’anic school (Islamic theological seminary) in Morocco. History or English class; I didn’t understand which. I was with a group of Americans and Europeans visiting the school on March… Read More


“Hello, I’m calling about the studio apartment in Zamalek. Is it still available?” “Yes, it is.” “Great.” “Are you single? Where are you from?” “Yes. Chicago. U.S.” [in a very rude tone] “There are absolutely no male guests in this apartment. Do you have a problem with that?” “Ummm…. yes, I have a problem with… Read More


There is a system. A way of life here. You can say the system works or doesn’t work. You can say that public services and security were much better before the Revolution. You can leave your trash in the heap spilling over from the sidewalk, because that’s how it works here. A man will come… Read More