Heather in Cairo

Heather is a senior majoring in history and medieval studies in Dedman College, with a minor in art history in Meadows School of the Arts, and a recipient of the Gilman International Scholarship to Egypt. In Fall 2009, she will continue her studies in Arabic and Egyptology in her second semester at the American University in Cairo. Learn more about the SMU-in-Cairo program.

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Children of the sun

Egypt is said to be the land of the sun, and I believe it. Much like the ancient past, mankind is still drawn to the sun and the sea. My holiday to the North Coast revolved around sun, sand and sea.

The nights were spent eating delicious fateer, drinking hot tea and rambling for hours with my Palestinian girlfriends. I felt so ignorant about many situations discussed, especially anything related to Palestine.

Through my conversations, I am slowly learning much about the Middle East as a region. Whereas many Americans view the Middle East as a collective whole, it is actually an extremely diverse region. Although many of the countries share some commonalities, each country has its own distinctions. Some countries in the region share more commonalities than others.

I am learning that Egypt is unique to itself. Some people joke that it is the “America” of the Middle East. Egypt’s Arabic dialect is unique to itself, however most people in the surrounding countries are familiar with it due to Egypt’s prominent roll in the entertainment industry.

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