Weekends in the West Bank: Hebron

Hebron (El-Khalil) I arrived on a bus from Jerusalem to Hebron in the middle of the night, with no idea where I was going exactly. Palestinians are incredibly friendly people, so when I couldn’t find my Airbnb, a random guy brought me into his house. There, his two children were eating dessert, a sugary noodle…

Horseback Riding and Camping in the Judaean Desert

One weekend, Khadija and I met my friend Mohammed in Bethlehem and drove out to the Judean desert. Near the Mar Saba monastery, we met Abu and two other friendly Bedouin men, Feris and Mohammed (not to be confused with my friend Mohammed). We mounted our horses and rode out into the Judaean wilderness. Yalla!

Tel Aviv, “The Nonstop City”

When most people think of Israel, they don’t think of beach parties, street art, or electric bicycles. That’s because they haven’t been to Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is a modern, largely-secular, LGBT+ friendly city with a large vegan population located along Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. It’s always sunny in Tel Aviv, making it a great, nearby…

Plovdiv, Europe’s 2019 Capital of Culture

Bulgaria’s second largest city, Plovdiv, is set to be 2019’s European Capital of Culture. The EU’s ‘Capital of Culture’ program picks a city each year to host traditional and pan-European events, and in turn, helps to revitalize the city and increase tourism. Plodiv’s major attraction is its sprawling old town, which consists mainly of traditional…

Exploring Northern Jordan: Amman, Madaba, and Jerash

Known to the ancient Greeks as ‘Philadelphia’, Amman, Jordan’s capital, is full of ancient ruins, and authentic markets. I spent a month in Amman, studying Arabic, last January, and ventured down from Jordan University into the Wasat Balad (Amman’s old town center) every chance I got. Below are some of my favorite spots, as well…

A Weekend in Wadi Rum and Petra

Deep in the deserts of southern Jordan, lie two incredible sights: the mysterious ancient city of Petra, and the boundless Wadi Rum. You could spend one day and one night in each place and see the highlights, or, you could spend days exploring each and every crevice. Petra, known as the “Red Rock” or “Rose…

Visiting the Druze Village of Horfish

This weekend, our program visited the Druze Village of Horfish, in the rolling hills of the upper Galilee region of Israel. Here, we met Sheikh Kasem, and learned about the Druze faith. The Druze are one of many interesting minorities in Israel and they kindly welcomed us with open arms and black coffee.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in a Nutshell

Today in Hebron, a city in the Israeli-Occupied West Bank territory of Palestine, I was at a small corner store buying hummus for lunch, when IDF soldiers and Palestinians began to clash on Shariya Al-Shuhada. But before I tell you that story, I have to tell you this story. (You may want to pull up…

A Month in Egypt: 15 Travel Tips

I spent most of my winter break traveling around Egypt, and these are some of the most important lessons I learned. If you plan on visiting Egypt, this will help; I wish I’d known all this before I went!

Aswan, the Ancient Gateway into Africa

Aswan, the largest city in Upper Egypt, is a Nile-front paradise, where felucca sailboats gracefully navigate the river and its many islands. Aswan was regarded in the ancient times as the gateway into African trade routes, and today maintains its unique mix of Arab and Nubian culture. Across the water, West Aswan and Elephantine island are brimming…

Days in the Desert: Egypt’s Siwa Oasis

Don’t let the 12-hour overnight bus-ride from Cairo be a deterrent: Siwa, an oasis town in the Sahara desert near the Libyan border, is an enchanting place with dozens of natural hot and cold springs and ancient ruins.