Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Has Sprung

Thanks be to Ellen, the weather has changed for the better, and hopefully she sees fit to keep it that way. I’ll even take the humidity of Rabat over the weekend (it’s on the Atlantic coast) to get the warmth. F lxr (finally)!

So I’m sitting on the bus in the Rabat station, waiting for it to fill before it leaves. It’s the 12:30 bus. Last time I came to the station at 11:00 and they let me sit in the jump seat as it left since it was already full. That just means that schedules are flexible, transits leave when full, and you can usually count on having to wait, perhaps hours. I’ll get a bit written here while waiting, and we’ll see what time we actually leave. (we left right at 12:30 and pulled into REK at 6:10)

I went by the PC office yesterday to get on the internet and pick up mail. I received the newest edition of Saudi Aramco World. This bi-monthly publication is distributed by the oil company Saudi Aramco to increase cross cultural understanding. The goal of the magazine is “to broaden knowledge of the cultures, history and geography of the Arab and Muslim worlds and their connections with the West”. Each edition contains fascinating articles on each of these topics, along with Suggestions for Reading, Listening, a global Events Listing and Classroom Guide for teachers to facilitate discussion of the articles with their classes. This publication is circulated free of charge to a limited subscription list, Peace Corps Volunteers serving in the North Africa/Middle East region being on that list. I am hoping that once I finish my service I will be able to continue the subscription, as I find the articles well written, diverse and very informative. It reminds me of a small Arabic version of the Smithsonian Magazine-nothing you have to read, but always interesting articles that broaden your horizons....

Here’s a sampling of the articles in the March/April edition: Risotto’s Roots (rice being a crop that Arabs brought to the northern Mediterranean), Sons of Winds (story documenting the dhow-traditional merchant ship of the Arabian Peninsula), The Living Desert (of Eastern Saudi Arabia), Shodo “Arabi” (Japanese calligraphers who write in Arabic), and The Life of Omar ibn Said (Muslim African slave brough to the new world who wrote an autobiography in Arabic, the original pages which reside in Fayetteville, North Carolina). Check out www.saudiaramcoworld.com for more articles.

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