Living in a place not your home can get difficult. No matter the place. No matter how many times strangers on the street say “Welcome to Egypt,” you can feel like the odd man out. Love the challenges. But it’s no walk in the park when even a walk in the park is an adventure.… Read More


That moment when you’re in Arabic class learning the names for different meats, and you’re vegetarian. And one of your Muslim Egyptian friends is back at your place creating the design of a Christmas tree on the wall with a strand of lights. And you keep thinking of your mother with pneumonia and of the… Read More


When I first walked in to the Academy of the Arts, High Institute of Ballet, I had some reservations about the facilities and was honestly intimidated by the prestigious reputation and name. I have never been known for my technical prowess, but I am a passionate and strong dancer. Still at my age of 34.… Read More


Christianity: 2.1 billion Islam: 1.5 billion Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion Hinduism: 900 million Chinese traditional religion: 394 million Buddhism: 376 million Primal-indigenous: 300 million African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million Sikhism: 23 million Juche: 19 million Spiritism: 15 million Judaism: 14 million These are the twelve major religions/faith categories on this spinning ball in the sky.… Read More


When I wrote about the demonstrations in Cairo back in September…Thanksgiving seemed so far away. So did the violence. These were mostly strangers to me. And I was a stranger among them. At that time, I walked into a bit of tear gas, but I also walked into great conversations and important steps toward cultural… Read More


If you read one of my first blog posts on here, in response to Mr. Akin’s comments, you know I am fairly open with my experiences. You also know that I came to Cairo with a defense shield around my heart, and my body. Well, a bit of Culture Shock recently. Not so much shock,… Read More


Page 43 of Cairo: The Practical Guide by The American University in Cairo Press “Women’s Lib[eration] has not had quite the same impact in Egypt as it has in some Western countries. This produces some charmingly chivalrous behavior towards women on the part of men–opening doors, carrying packages, etc.–but can also cause the poor things… Read More


In the Dean’s office at the High Institute of Ballet today. I am there to get acquainted with this academy where I have been placed to lecture. My proposal, which won me this Fulbright, was for a project I titled “Artist as Catalyst.” But I soon realize no one is familiar with my proposal or… Read More


“on the rocks” : served neat, on ice “on the rocks” : in difficulties, with high potential to fail   The Fulbright staff have tasked me to reflect on what I know and feel about Egypt before I go. I know that Cairo (al-Qahira) is 6,150 miles and 7 time zones from Chicago. 83.6 million… Read More


As published in The Saginaw News: 31 July 2012 SAGINAW, MI— Stores are already beginning to roll out their back-to-school advertising and students, but Shawn Lent’s back-to-school shopping list this year includes a suitcase instead of a backpack. The Thomas Township native, who works with an arts integration program implementing arts programs in public middle… Read More