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Study Abroad in Egypt

Gus: A New Pharaoh?

From demonstrations in Tahrir square a couple of weeks ago on the anniversary of the death of protesters in Egypt’s January Revolution to the recent violence that happened outside the Presidential Palace in Heliopolis, Egypt and Cairo have been in a tense state for a number of different reasons.  I have seen the tension on the news every day, when I go downtown, and in Arabic where my professor discusses politics at the beginning of every class just because that’s all she’s been thinking about since Morsi’s new constitutional declaration. […]

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Gus: Protests in Tahrir Square

Protests have been happening steadily for the past several days around the Tahrir Square area of downtown Cairo.  Protests started as demonstrations memorializing those who lost their lives in the Egyptian Revolution, and have escalated as Morsi, Egypt’s president, has increasingly come under fire.  The protest last night was one of the biggest, and some have even told me as big as those in January during the Revolution. I will preface this post by saying these protests are not mine to take part in; the political issues Egypt is facing […]

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Gus: A Black and White Desert

If I were home for Thanksgiving, I would spending time with family, eating tons of food, and just enjoying some time off from school and work.  But, since there isn’t “Thanksgiving” in Egypt (even though I had the day off from school), some friends and I decided that a trip was in order–so we spent Thanksgiving in one of Egypt’s national parks and most beautiful places: the Black and White desert. The trip couldn’t have been easier to set up–all I had to do was call a hotel, tell them […]

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Gus: قلعة صلاح الدين : The Citadel of Salah Al-Din

Perched high up on a hill overlooking Cairo, the Citadel of Salah Al-Din was a great place to visit not only for the magnificent Mosque of Mohammed Ali, but also for its stunning view! The Citadel also has a lot of history: it was initially fortified by Salah Al-Din in the 12th century to protect it against the Crusaders.  It remained an important part of Cairo’s history and in the 19th Century Mohammed Ali built a massive mosque there in memory of his son who died. The Mosque and Citadel […]

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Gus: Zamalek: الزمالك

Now that I am well past my half-way point in Cairo, I figured it was about time I devoted a blog post to my adopted region of Cairo, Zamalek.  As I have said in previous posts, Zamalek is an island in the middle of the Nile, which makes it both very unique and hard to get lost on, which is great for me!  It is also an interesting district because it contains a high concentration of embassies, schools, and foreigners—this makes it somewhat more comfortable for Americans (which can be […]

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Gus: Ancient Temple Ruins

The Egyptology class I’m taking at AUC organizes several field trips to ancient sites, and this weekend I got to visit Bubastis and Tanis in the Nile Delta.  This was my first time going to a major archaeological site outside Alexandria and Cairo, and has made me really excited to visit all the temples of Upper Egypt when I go down to Luxor and Aswan this December! The Nile Delta stretches from just north of the Cairo area to the Mediterranean Sea.  It held immense significance in ancient Egypt as […]

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Gus: The Most Relaxing Place on Earth

For my Eid vacation (October 25-29) I traveled to Dahab, a city in Sinai right on the Red Sea.  This trip is something I will always remember from my time in Egypt; it was a perfect blend of new experiences, relaxation, beautiful scenery, and some amazing people–this city is going down as one of my favorite places in the world, and the best place I’ve visited in Egypt so far. The trip to Dahab is definitely a chore: a 8 hour drive through the desert that can easily turn into […]

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Gus: Egyptian Museum

After visiting the Egyptian Museum for the second time, I am still overwhelmed by the thousands of pieces in the collection and also by the severe lack of organization and difficulty of finding some hidden gems that are scattered among the many rooms, corners, and ancient display cases.  I will definitely be returning for another visit before I leave Egypt, and inshah Allah I will finally feel like I have covered everything this museum has to offer. This museum is unlike any I have ever visited.  The building is essentially […]

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Gus: Alexandria

  I had been anticipating my trip to Alexandria since before I even got to Egypt, and last weekend I finally got to visit the city of Cleopatra, Caesar, and Alexander the Great.  The summary of my experience: Alexandria is a beautiful city that has a lot of history, is very different from Cairo, and definitely requires more than a weekend to explore! The trip from Cairo to Alexandria was about 3-4 hours by bus, but the trip is really easy to take by train as well (that’s the way […]

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Gus: Weekend in the Red Sea

Last weekend I traveled to Ain Sokhna, an area of Egypt along the Red Sea south of Suez, known for its resorts, beaches, and diving opportunities.  I stayed in a resort called the Dome Marina Swiss Inn, right on the Red Sea. Getting to Ain Sokhna was by far the most interesting (and the most difficult!) part of the trip.  Through a complicated chain of events I was not able to travel with the group of people going from my university (they took university buses), so I and five other […]

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Gus: Student protests

These past couple of weeks my experience at AUC has been extremely affected by numerous student protests which have shut down the campus several times and have prevented me from having any classes since last Wednesday.  Students are protesting tuition increases, administrator salaries, and other grievances.  Protestors claim the university has not listened to their concerns and has not been pragmatic enough in their compromises.  The university claims the demands of protestors are unreasonable and that it has taken several steps to ensure cooperation between students and the university administration. […]

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Gus: Saqqara–Djoser’s Step Pyramid

I went to the ancient site of Saqqara last week with my Egyptian friend, Nour, to see the Step Pyramid, and it was awesome!  Check out the pictures below! Saqqara is located about an hour drive from Cairo (20 miles) in the area of Egypt’s ancient capital, Memphis.  It is a site that has numerous examples of monumental architecture, including three pyramids and a myriad of tombs.  Last week I went to see the famous Step Pyramid built by the pharaoh Djoser in the 27th century BCE. The drive to […]

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Gus: Wait, there are protests going on?

After everything that has happened in the Middle East the last couple of days, I feel that writing a post on the riots, protests, and violence is unavoidable. First, I want to say that I am safe, that I have never felt unsafe during my time here, and that I will keep everyone back home updated in case the situation becomes more dangerous. Second, if you are not aware of what is currently going on in Libya, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern countries, jump over to the BBC, NPR, or […]

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Gus: Yalla!

I finished my first week of classes at AUC yesterday, and I’m excited for the rest of semester! Arabic takes up a lot of my schedule–I have it at least 3 hours every day, and some days up to 4, but my hope is to become proficient in at least spoken colloquial Arabic by the time the semester is done.  I have already learned about half of the Arabic alphabet and can carry on a basic conversation in Arabic, which is cool for a week of classes.  My time learning […]

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Gus: Egyptian Cuisine

I just finished a delicious shawarma sandwich for lunch and thought this would be an awesome time to talk about the Egyptian food I have experienced thus far! The first thing I’ve learned about Egyptian cuisine is that, well, not much of it is really Egyptian.  Most of the Middle Eastern food I’ve enjoyed comes from the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, etc.) and has been adopted in Egypt.  Cairo specifically has a lot of food from all over the world, and Zamalek (the island district of Cairo where I live) seems […]

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