Now is the time (finally!!), the time when we pick up our lives and move it half way around the world again. We are Cairo bound, with four suitcases, a cello, a yoga mat, and more handbags than one girl should admit to carrying.
I've been living in the Middle East for the larger part of 10 years now, and overall I love it. Normally, I'd be tearing at the door to be on the plane and on my way. But this trip, for the first time ever, I'm actually a little sad to leave America. We have a home here now, and friends, family to have lunch with, yoga friends to see, and weddings to miss, and suddenly I find it very hard to leave.
I've always said I wanted to do this moving around gig while I'm young, before there are school-age kids to worry about and all that, but I guess the truth is that I'm rounding the edge of that curve. I'm no longer the 21 year old who hitchhiked from Beirut, and the idea of a home is more appealing than it used to be. But I know we will hit the ground in Cairo and I'll hear the sound of the call to prayer and eat some fuul and be happy as a clam.
As usual, at least half the things I wanted to do before we left didn't get done, most importantly the redesign of this blog. I imagine that we won't have internet right away in Cairo, so there may be a bit of silence on this end. In the meantime, here are some things I am reading:
A lovely piece about the shortcomings of starred reviews.
Elissa's writing always makes me want to live in a cozy farmhouse which I imagine is full of good smells and creaky floors and fireplaces, especially this piece.
Did you see this article about trahana, which is the cousin to Middle Eastern kishik? I definitely want to try her homemade version, and then maybe bust out some mana'eesh bi kishik.
Things that make me dream about having a garden again, and this article which made me excited that in a few short months I can order my annual copy of the Pushcart Press's yearly anthology.
This green soup!
Many years ago I had the privilege of taking a graduate class in comparative Israeli-Palestinian literature with the esteemed Lebanese writer Elias Khoury. (This experience in itself was a riot, he only ever referred to the Israelis as "the cousins," peppered every sentence with at least three expressions of "yannni," and assigned Arabic texts not translated into English or available for print in America.) Nonetheless, the class has a big impact on me, and though I general shy away (run away) from any Israeli-Palestinian politics, I have been enjoying the New Yorker's dialogues between two writers from said backgrounds. See also, Kashua on moving to Chicago.
I have an on-again off-again relationship with Zadie Smith, but this piece was great: Find Your Beach.
Long live the bookstore!!!
Thanksgiving Ideas! The cornbread dressing recipe is also up on the site now.