This blog was originally designed to keep me sane as I began learning Arabic. It morphed into a blog of musings about Arabic, the Middle East, and the Islamic World, as well as book reviews about those topics. Then, the blog became a place to keep my family and friends updated on my adventures while I was living abroad. During May and June of 2012, I had a 6-week long internship in Cairo, Egypt through a international student organization called AIESEC. I taught English at the Awladi Orphanage in Cairo, home to several hundred children. I lived in an apartment in Nasr City before moving to Maadi (each is a distinct area of Cairo). I experienced President Mursi's election, camped in the western desert, rode camels by the pyramids, and had countless other experiences. I have since moved past this blog, on towards new endeavors, but if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! Enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day 20, part II (ramblings)

I feel like living in Egypt long-term would be possible for me. I enjoy the adventure that everyday brings, trying to figure out new things
I am very seriously beginning to consider life as a Foreign Service Officer for the State Department, at least while I am young. It would be an awesome job to have. They move you around every couple of years, and you work your way up to being a diplomat.
I could hopefully specialize in South America, Europe, and the Middle East.
I would love that. Eventually, I think I'd like to get a steady job in washington, working on foreign policy. However, living here has shown me that I can adjust to a totally different way of life, and I think I’d really like to live abroad for a couple of years while I’m young.
Meeting the other young women who have been here a year to study abroad or work really inspires me. There are so many people who love the same things that I love and who are here to learn more about them. I definitely plan on going on another AIESEC internship next summer to somewhere totally different. Annelinde was in China last summer, and she decided to come here this summer for something totally different. I am almost positive that I’ll go somewhere in South America, because I want to practice my Spanish!
I have been carrying my Egyptian Arabic phrasebook around in my purse, and I pull it out as a quick reference everyday. Today, we had to explain to a waiter that Shubhi is a vegetarian, and, yesterday, Victor and I were trying to figure out how to say “straight ahead” to a taxi driver. I pull it out at work all the time, looking for the right word when talking to the kids.
Learning Egyptian Arabic is so so much more useful than learning Modern Standard Arabic. My new roommate studied abroad in Cairo for the 2010-2011 school year. She lived here 6 months, learning Egyptian (after a year of learning MSA in college). Then, because of the revolution, she moved to Jordan for the remaining 3 months. She said that they understood the Egyptian perfectly, so she didn’t have to learn the new dialect to communicate with them. However, speaking MSA (what I learned in school) sounds a bit ridiculous. I’m glad I took a year of it, because my pronunciation and reading skills are good, but most of my vocabulary is not that useful here. I do not plan on continuing to learn MSA at U of I. I’ll probably do some self-studying to maintain what I’m learning of Egyptian Arabic. 


  1. I can see you doing exactly what you've said in this post. I think it is really wonderful that you have an interest and enthusiasm for other cultures and a really open mind!
    If you do South America, you might want to check into Peru or Argentina- and then I might need to come visit you :)

    1. I am planning to either do a summer internship in South America or a full semester of study abroad! I hadn't thought of Argentina, but Buenos Aires looks amazing! I'll definitely keep you posted :)