I Heart Cairo.

Sunday, October 11

For the Restless Academics

Two links that have proven to be indispensable for academic resources, readings, analysis, discussion, video and audio.

A.aaaarg.org particularly grabs my attention because it has a huge library of PDFs academic resources--from books, articles, interivews, author collections--that are really helpful and up to date.


Surfacing's Second Issue is Out

I don't mean for the title to sound like an advertisment. I guess its a fancier advertisment...a press release if you will.

Surfacing is an interdisciplinary journal for gender in the global South published by the Cynthia Nelson Institute for Gender and Women's Studies at the American University in Cairo.


In its second issue since inception, Surfacing surfaces the forms of conflict that manifest itself through masculinities, nation-state, the liberal and neo-liberal regimes of international governmentality—highlighting the inherently gender-biased categories they create.

Table of Contents

  • Engendering Force Migration: Victimization, Masculinity, and the Forgotten Voice

  • Obscuring the Realities of Gender-based Violence: European Policies on Iraqi Asylum Claims

  • Verbal Abuse: Anti-Trafficking Rhetoric and Violence Against Women

  • Gendered Contestations: An Analysis of Street Harassment in Cairo and its Implications for Women's Access to Public Spaces

  • Interview: Anne-Marie Goetz, Chief Advisor to UNIFEM's Peace, Governance, and Security Program

  • Review: The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights Seminar on Sexual Harassment and Egypt's Tourism Industry

  • Photo-essay: Prison is for Men: Remembering al Fara'a, Palestine

To allow for download speed, we have provided Surfacing articles here as individual PDF files http://www.aucegypt.edu/ResearchatAUC/rc/IGWS/GraduateCenter/Pages/surfacingarticles.aspx

Submissions and Correspondence

The Student Collective is eager to develop networks and assist with activities related to gender throughout the global South. Inquiries about submissions to Surfacing or correspondence regarding workshops and other activities should be sent to surfcing@aucegypt.edu. Manuscripts should be no longer than 8,000 words, written in accordance with The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. Fine art and photo submissions are encouraged.

Friday, March 13

Experiments from a God-awful Kitchen

It's been two months almost that I've been living as a grad student in NYC. So cooking your own meal is one of the things I've been coming more to grips with. Cooking has always been enjoyable for me, but I've never considered myself to "know" how to cook. (As you'll find out when you read this recipe). This really isn't to say that my kitchen is awful but to say that my experiments are based on what I have in the kitchen and my pantry at the time I have to feed myself.

So perhaps it'd be better to think of this recipe as hope to always being able to fashion a meal out of ingredients that are immediately available to you. :)

Experiment One (Well, there will be more experiments)

Linguini Pasta (one box)
Arugola (3 cloves)
Mushrooms (6 pieces)
Spring Onions (two pieces)
Whipped Cottage Cheese
Vinegar+Cayenne Pepper+Honey Mustard+Olive Oil+Salt for dressing

Simply, cook pasta. Cut up all the veggies. Make the dressing. Mix veggies with dressing. Wait for pasta to be cooked and cool it down. Mix! Wish a spoon, scoop up a big spoonful of cottage cheese and insert it in the middle of the pasta.

And because I like it spicy, I add tabasco sauce (mainly cos I do that with anything that I'm unsure of its taste...)

P.S. I'm open to suggestions for a name.

Sunday, December 28

Look out for Rania Malky @ The Daily Star

Rania Malky, "Chief Editor" at the Daily Star (an English daily that comes out in Egypt) writes weekly editorials for the newspaper. Her own articles plus the large focus of her newspaper coverage is sensitive to human rights interest stories and is followed-up on quite diligently.

Rania (no I don't know her personally, but I'm not going to say Malky says...) wrote an editorial on Islam Badr, the prosecution of his case, and the lack of real concern given to this tragedy (and yes, it is most definitely a tragedy).


Props up to reporters who are good writers and who give their profession respect it deserves.

Thursday, December 25

The Search for the Better Sheikh...

My search for the best sheikh in Cairo, after four years of almost-always (I never get out of bed when I'm out of Cairo to go to the prayers) going to Friday prayers, is now being refocused to my move to New York (yes I'm moving to NYC mid-January).

There are several reasons I go to the Friday sermons in the mosque next to our house, of which I won't really delve into. I just wanted to write a thought down concerning my search for this better Sheikh (and maybe someday soon, Sheikha):

The Thought (no drumroll, no!): Remember the Reverend Mother in Sound of Music? Well, I was just listening to the song "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria" (because who doesn't listen to it in the privacy of their own office?) and the structure of the song basically shows how understanding and empathetic and the other, young (more inexperienced) nuns are a (forive me) litte bitchy about Julie Andrews.

So I wondered: Where is that role model in a Sheikh around me?

And so continues the search for the perfect Sheikh.

Wednesday, December 17

My Dear Country

Thought these lyrics are fascinating. It's "My Dear Country" by Norah Jones, I've been entranced by the song for over a year now. Just thought I'd share it.

"My Dear Country"
'Twas Halloween and the ghosts were out,
And everywhere they'd go, they shout,
And though I covered my eyes I knew,
They'd go away.
But fear's the only thing I saw,
And three days later 'twas clear to all,
That nothing is as scary as election day.
But the day after is darker,
And darker and darker it goes,
Who knows, maybe the plans will change,
Who knows, maybe he's not deranged.
The news men know what they know, but they,
Know even less than what they say,
And I don't know who I can trust,
For they come what may.
'cause we believed in our candidate,
But even more it's the one we hate,
I needed someone I could shake,
On election day.
But the day after is darker,
And deeper and deeper we go,
Who knows, maybe it's all a dream,
Who knows if I'll wake up and scream.
I love the things that you've given me,
I cherish you my dear country,
But sometimes I don't understand,
The way we play.
I love the things that you've given me,
And most of all that I am free,
To have a song that I can sing,
On election day.

Waiting for the other shoe to fall...

I think this is funny. It's from the "Letters to the Editor" in Int'l Herald Tribune's December 17th issue.

Throwing Shoes at Bush
Regarding the article "Shoe insult to Bush resounds in Arab World": As suprprising as the fact that an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at President Bush was his ability to duck them. If Ronald Reagan was the "teflon" president and Bill Clinton was "Slick Willy", Bush's reflexes entitle him to the epithet Charles Dickens gave to a shady character: the Artful Dodger

Eliot Silberberg, Milan

Tuesday, December 2

If you can't stand the cheese, move over...

I find myself struggling from day to day to determine if I'm content with the way my life's going. I say "content" cos I don't necessarily think I have to be happy or satisfied but alert and decisive about where my life is going.

And below is the conclusion I get from these daily convoluted thought struggles...

I still have faith in the good around me. Friends, family, random guys at the military check-up with me who make smirk, ideas I steal and show off as my own (yes, who doesn't do that?), and Cairo.

And I say this after I went to the military check-up this morning (I'm still in the process of being determined whether I get in or not) and was told that my appointment isn't today, it tomorrow morning at 7 am.

Solution: go on to work and be early for once, have the whole office to yourself, put the songs that make you happy in the morning (today its Michael Buble although he's not one of my regulars), and have a good cup of mint tea.

Monday, December 1

Oscar Buzz: What's the Buzz Mean?

Feel like when we talk about Oscar Buzz its usually the gossip, reviews, general brouhaha that occurs around the Oscar. But there are at least two others kinds of Buzz I can think of honesty:

1. Buzz--did you know that the general consumption of alchohol and drugs at even pre-during-and-post the Oscars is estimated to be close to the GDP of Somalia? No, I made that up, but chances are it might be something comparable right? So that's one type of buzz--the inebriation the characterizes much of the event. Self-suffering (self-tortured is just not in anymore) actors, incapacitated producers, and their entourage(s).

2. Buzz--I don't know if this meaning previously exists, but really it should be added. Its the buzz that us "normal" folk can help in making. So here's my suggestion and hopefully I'll follow it through. Create your own Oscar Buzz.

Start with this link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/30/movies/awardsseason/30carr.html. The Buzz is already catching on fire in the NYTimes. Everytime you see the phrase "generating Oscar Buzz," record the movie that's generating it and pull up BitComet or whatever other faithful Torrent Downloader you have and download the movies.

Start Compiling a List of Movies and keep a little pretty file for yourself on the articles that are relevant concerning them. Right before the Oscars are being announced, all participants in this imaginary working group (yes, it's a working group--this is a serious endeavor) will make their own predictions for the nominations that the Oscar committee will be made. And the one(s) closest to the nominations of the actual Oscars will be paid anywhere between 50-100 Egyptians pounds (20 US$) by every single participant of the working group. Now, if only this imaginary working group had some money to spare, it would make it worthwhile. Or should we go ahead anyway?

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