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The Rising Sands in Oman

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A wall of sand fills the windscreen, rising higher than my neck can crane and blurring into the heat-hazed horizon on either side. I swallow the grit sticking in my throat and give a pathetic cough. I don’t want to do this. I’ve said it several times but no one seems to be listening. My […]

Wishing upon a star in Iran

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‘Where will you be at the end of your trip?’ ‘If everything goes as planned, I’ll be watching the sun set over glorious Palangan.’ These were my thoughts two days before heading to Iran. I had shared them with one of my closest friends. I knew that I had a long way to go and […]

2014 Israel – Gaza Conflict: Twitter Sentiment Analysis by MasterMineDS

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Digital War [Publisher's Note: This article arrived yesterday August 5, 2014, but is being published on August 6, 2014] Today at 8AM a cease fire has been declared in operation Protective Edge. The public discussion over the operation, however, will stay with us for a long time. Public opinion is one of the key influence factors on countries and […]

Soothing Saudi Arabia

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Soothing Saudi Arabia I was only nine months old when the plane touched down. Cradled in the arms of my mother, welcoming myself to arguably the most conservative country in the world. A place where women cannot leave their house without Burqas*, shops have to close five times during the day for prayer, and unrelated […]

A Dhow Day on the Sea of Oman

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There is something about being on the open road that connotes freedom for me. It’s the same liberating feeling that I get when I go bike riding along the shore- that indescribable sensation of sailing through the air effortlessly, that feeling of having the weight of the world lifted off my back, that feeling of […]

Seeking Freedom to Find Freedom

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In 2012, I decided to move to Israel. Initially, I went to volunteer with the Ethiopian Israeli community and along the way, I had the opportunity to travel to Greece, Budapest, Petra, Germany, and throughout the entire state of Israel. My time in Israel was challenging. I did not know the language. I did not […]

Inner Freedom In Israel

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There is something about landing down for the first time in Israel that is breathtaking. Many would argue there is nothing particularly stunning or original about the Tel Aviv airport. But you can feel the weight of the history of the land engulfing you, feeding you, squeezing you when you touch down. I’ve had people […]

Hitchhiking in Israel

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The names and places in this story have been changed. I’ve experienced several Aha moments, as Oprah likes to refer to them over the course of my now fifty-nine years. Some small, some large, most occurring when least expected and all to some degree having a life defining affect. One memory in particular surfaced recently […]

Breathing in and Breathing Out in Israel

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Breath in, breath out. Breath in, breath out. I could breathe for hours, when I stand here. I could sit in this beautiful place, just relaxing. I could let myself to be swept away by the moment, as long as I was here. I could sit here just focusing on now. When I look out […]

The Sisters at Petra, Jordan

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When I first meet the American sisters, I wonder why they would ever move here. Everyone in this tiny Jordanian village belongs to the same Bedouin tribe. Everyone except them. My friend and I sit cross-legged in a shadowy room, our knees flirting with the edge of the crackling fire. Eight others perch around us […]