In Petra: A Bedouin Girl Leans In

She had a winning smile. As an 11-year-old who had years to go before growing into her adult teeth, she could hardly help that. But, at least in the beginning, she also had a winning sales strategy. “A gift for you,” she said as she trotted alongside me on the dusty path through Petra. She [Read More...]

Stuff Melkites Like

Like “fundie” and “papist,” the label “Melkite” began as an insult. Deriving from the Arabic and Syriac words for “royal” or “imperial,” it was coined by Syriac and Armenian dissenters to poke fun at those Christians who accepted the dictates of the government-approved Council of Chalcedon. Its meaning boiled down to “those who kiss the [Read More...]

My Shemagh and Me

A couple of days ago, I became the owner of a shemagh. A shemagh is the Jordanian version of the kefiyeh, or cloth headdress worn by Arab men. I would say the proud owner, but I have a sense of having come by it in a less than strictly honorable way. If I couldn’t have [Read More...]


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