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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Learning Egyptology in Egypt

ft1.jpgCost of tuition, plane ticket, bus pass, rent: A lot
Attending class on site with the world’s most famous Egyptologists: Priceless
(Shukran (thanks) Mom, Dad, Mimi, and Papa)

First week of school involved early mornings, late nights and lots of nes cafe. My colloquial Arabic class is completely taught in Arabic. The professor will not even speak English in her office hours. It is frustrating, but I know by the end of the semester I will be thanking her. The best feeling is when you catch yourself thinking in a foreign language.

ft6.jpg My Egyptology classes are amazing! One of the classes covers Egypt from the time of Alexander the Great to the Copts, and the other class is a seminar focusing on gender. I look forward to the many field trips that I will be taking with these classes.

I am working with one of my professors on my distinction paper for SMU. I will benefit from his expertise!

ft3-1.jpg The class on gender is very interesting because we are dealing with the common people who made up ancient Egypt rather than the royalty. Like seminars back home, I will be working on a paper and giving an oral presentation at the end of the semester. Unlike researching at home, I have the opportunity to visit the actual sites here!

We already took our first trip out in the field to the Fayyum, which is about 2 hours southwest of Cairo. We visited a village site and a temple dedicated to Sobek. We also took a restroom break at a hotel that Churchill stayed at during WWII, which I thought was really cool.

As Ramadan Kareem approaches its final days, I am doing my last-minute preparations for the Eid break. So until I am back from my Anthony Bourdain-style trip: Masalaama.

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