It’s been over a month since I last composed a post, and that itself should in no way signal that things have been slowing down here in Meknes. On the contrary, my slow posting is a sign of just how busy our schedule is and how mobile we’ve been over the last month. In mid-August, […]

It’s safe to say that I normally do not like children… but Moroccan children might be the exception, because they impress me to a degree that few American children can. Granted, I have a weakness for anyone who can speak a good number of languages, but the fluidity with which Moroccan children (and really — […]

As most of you are probably aware, we are currently in the first few days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The significance of this month derives from the belief that the Quran was delivered to the Prophet Mohammad during this month. Although there are several aspects to the observance of Ramadan, fasting is […]

… (That means “Very Good” in Moroccan Arabic or Darija  ) We’ve finally completed our ‘evacuation’ from Egypt to Meknes, Morocco. As I’ve previously written, many programs in Egypt were relocated to other sites in the Middle East, or back to the United States. Many other students from our program spent last summer in Morocco, […]

My last post was titled “Ahlan wa Sahlan” which means “Welcome” in Arabic, and unfortunately circumstances necessitate my second post to be titled “Good bye, Egypt.” Yesterday (Tuesday) morning, our resident director read us a letter from the administration in Washington informing us that after much deliberation, they have taken the decision to relocate our […]

It’s been a complete week in Alexandria, and it’s time that I start posting to the blog. The past week has been extremely hectic as we tried balancing adjusting to our surroundings, a week full of classes and orientation sessions — and evenings filled with homework. Now that most of us are familiar with our […]

Written Winter 2013,  for HIST 303 —The Ottoman Post-Classical Age, at the University of Michigan. I. Introduction: In the long-spanning history of the Ottoman enterprise, never had a Sultan made the pilgrimage to Mecca – the hajj. This tradition of ignoring one of the basic Five Pillars of Islam is particularly fascinating in light of […]


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