Posts Tagged With: Middle East

Mid East Trip Part Tinaen (Two in Arabic)

Tomorrow morning, my family and I embark on our second Middle East trip in the past 3 years.


I am getting anxious, excited, nervous…all kinds of feelings right now. I can’t wait to see my family, see more of the place my family and ancestors are from, and just experience more new things.


My Arabic speaking skills are poor, so that will suck…and it’ll be hot. Buuuttt I’ll be fine. I’ll make it through and probably love every moment – well mostly.

It’s an odd time for my family though. I won’t get into details because it’s rather private, but I really hope this trip turns out for the better.


Well – I’m all packed, sandwiches have been made (my mom is anti-buy airport food, with good reason), showers have been taken and I need to sleep! I’ll post as much as I can while I’m in Amman, Ramallah, and where ever we go – but it won’t be too consistent.

Wish me safe travels and see you all on the other side!

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The Summers of Trips

In my last post, I mentioned that I will be heading to the Middle East this summer. I figured it was time to give a few details/background info on the trip!

In 2010, my family and I went to the Middle East for a relative’s wedding. It was my first time ever in the Middle East, especially the place where my family grew up– Ramallah, Palestine. It was truly a trip of a lifetime! We went all around Ramallah,  Sea of Galilee, Nazareth (where we had the best shwarma), the old city Jerusalem, Petra, and Amman Jordan.

Qubbat As-Sakhrah aka Dome of the Rock Mosque

The experience is something I will never forget and keep safe in my heart. So much happened and so many things were seen–good and bad. It made me proud to be Palestinian and see where my family grew up. And then to relate it to all the events that have happened in the West Bank, Israel, and Jordan was so interesting.

We are going back again for numerous family parties/gatherings and I am just as excited! We were going to try and visit different places, like Turkey or Egypt, but we decided to go back to Ramallah since other relative got engaged. Pack as many parties in while EVERYONE is here.

Did I mention that these are basically family reunions too? Yeah, aunts, uncles, cousins that I haven’t seen in awhile are coming too! And we are all soooo excited! I honestly cannot wait! I’m trying to work on speaking Arabic more (I’m so bad at it though. At least I’m trying, right?), getting all my outfits and clothes ready. Ah!! Just can’t wait!

The Beautiful Sea of Galilee

I truly hope I am able to post here a few times on the trip. Imma be busy with the family–aka no private/alone time, so we’ll see what I can do. But a relative owns a nice cafe in Ramallah that has wifi, so maybe it’ll be quick posts from my phone, with some pics…well LOTS of pics.

Speaking of pics, My guy and I did Bay to Breakers this past weekend. If you don’t know, Bay to Breakers is a 12k from the Embarcadero in SF to Ocean Beach on the end of Golden Gate Park. There are costumes, serious runners, naked people, and so much energy! It was the longest run I’ve ever done and the most fun!

I’m so glad I got to take part something as amazing as this and was able to run at least 5 miles of the 7 (it’s a 12k). Let’s hope I can improve even more on my next run!

Here is a pick of people on the famous Hayes Street Hill and a random waterfall in Golden Gate park.

Wait, a waterfall in San Francisco?

So many people on Hayes Street Hill on Bay to Breakers

Categories: Life, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Sad Day Today…

Music is a powerful thing.  It influences people to be themselves, to rebel, to stand out. And the Beastie Boys were the epitome  of all that and more.

Hearing that Adam “MCA” Yauch had passed away was really hard. I honestly did not want to believe it. Him and the two other Beastie Boys seemed immortal to me.  They made songs that helped Hip Hop enter a whole different level of music and did it on their own terms.

I know that I wasn’t necessarily the generation of Beastie Boys.  I grew up with them as a kid, not fully understanding the lyrics, but enjoying the music none the less. As I grew older, the group was already at a maturity level that helped me better understand the world we live in and see the positive affects people can have on the world. MCA was one of those guys I loved hearing, not just rap, but speak.  He truly had a way with words and honestly believed in peace and love.

Being a Palestinian American woman, I found him inspiring.   He helped me see the Middle East.  Younger, I was very confused about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I had a family who was very biased toward Palestine and had every right to be–they were one of the families that fled Palestine to avoid anymore endearment of the conflict.  I guess I always saw Israel, Palestine, and the whole Middle East as violent.  And 9/11 didn’t help.

I wasn’t bullied or judged as much as I know many other Arabs and Muslims were in America, but I did have some stupid questions asked to me– and some questions I wasn’t sure how to answer.  Do you hate Jews? Are you going to bomb us now? Why don’t you wear the hijab?

I am Catholic. A Palestinian American Catholic woman.  Not uncommon among the Arab world, but stereotyped as “unheard of”.  But when I was young, I thought I was uncommon and I thought my life had to deal with hate and violence. So I ignored anything that had to do with the conflict to keep myself feeling positive and being kind.

MCA was one of those people who helped me see the Middle East as not just a violent place full of hate, but a place that needs peaceful help. He didn’t fully help me, but he opened my eyes to something I was very unsure of at the time.

Today, I am more aware, more acceptable of it, and have more hope.  Many people who write about MCA will mainly talk about his music, his life, and his accomplishments. Many will talk about the affect he had on them.   His affect on me was to not only love Hip Hop, but to find peace in a place that seemed so violent.

Rambling is something I do best and have clearly done it well here. I am sad about Adam “MCA” Yauch passing away.  A great man has left us, but his life will live on through his music and his words.

And now here’s some SABOTAGE!


*Note: I’m not trying to cause conflict with this post. The subject matter I have mentioned is a sensitive one, but I was only using it to show my love and appreciation for a man who has recently passed. I don’t expect to get many comments about the issue, but if there are people who do want to comment, please understand where I am coming from before any comments are made. This is a personal blog about my life and the things I love affecting it. It’s innocent–nothing more, nothing less.*

Categories: Music | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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