When Stone Speaks…

How can a piece of stone say so much? It’s just a random faceless rock. Add human imagination and creativity: it cries, laughs, inspires, scares and amuses. With their magic minds and hands, sculpters make the stones speak. The process is not very glamorous; it’s hard, dirty, dangerous and takes a long time. But the … More When Stone Speaks…

Mount Sinai

We started climbing at 1 am. I was wearing 2 layers of socks and closed shoes, yet my feet were cold. I labored with every step but the thought of stopping was scary because of the cold. No moon night. The sky was shimmering with stars but I had to look at the ground to … More Mount Sinai

Cat Wisdom

We took a taxi, boat, another taxi to get there. It took us 2 hours (5 hours if you walk). There were a few Bedouin camps, some kite surfers and the beautiful light blue, clear water of the Blue Lagoon (North Eastern Red Sea). As soon as we sat down on the carpets by the … More Cat Wisdom

Dodging Hippos

“WHAT! Don’t do it! You’ll get attacked by hippos and crocodiles. Whoever offered you this trip is desperate for money. They’ll sell you anything. It’s not safe”. People started recounting dangerous encounters with wildlife (one was very recent) and the conversation deteriorated fast into fear mongering. They were obviously scared and I could feel the … More Dodging Hippos

Village Life

In 40°C (104°F), we walked, took a collective taxi (a sardine can of people), another taxi to finally arrive 3 hours later at Sichilonge; a small Zambian village of 110 people near Victoria Falls. No electricity. No tap water. No (gasp) internet and no paved roads. Wait, it gets more interesting: want to pee? Go … More Village Life

The Smoke that Thunders

Mosi-oa-tunya! (The smoke that thunders). Sacred waters where the gods live. For countless generations, the Tonga people who lived on the Zambezi river, worshipped and prayed to Nyami Nyami, the mighty God of the river. He protected them and gave them sustenance in difficult times. The river was sacred, the falls were sacred and there … More The Smoke that Thunders

Mighty Mind-Falls!

“Watch out for the elephants” she yelled from her car as she slowed down and passed me. It was dark and I was walking home to my lodge in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Up until then, I was worried about getting mugged (after my bad experience in South Africa). But now, elephants entered the picture! Instead … More Mighty Mind-Falls!

Deadly Spices!

We all learnt about it in geography class. It fascinated me for some reason. I would see, in my mind’s eye, ships sailing around it, feeling triumphant and hopeful about the rest of their trip. When I finally made it to South Africa, I had to go see the Cape of Good Hope. I wanted … More Deadly Spices!

South Africa

I didn’t expect to stay that long, but South Africa sucked me into its charm and intensity. It’s a fascinating country with probably the most diverse pool of human genes. People from all over the world came here, willingly and unwillingly, interbred, often through rape, and found a way to make this part of the … More South Africa

On the Brink…

Imagine someone killing you to get your nails and hair. How stupid is that? Nails and hair grow back and are renewable. One would think you’re more valuable alive than dead because you’d be able to provide a lot more “crop” of nails and hair. Sadly, greed, short sightedness and cruelty are abundant in humans, … More On the Brink…

Time Capsules

Time is funny! Life; experiences, journeys, places, people and things get filtered into sensations, snippets, fragments, memory capsules frozen in time. The capsules have keys. Once unlocked, they transport us back to that time. Details and contours are blurred, but the sensations, the cellular memory, the non-conscious entity are very present. The keys are typically … More Time Capsules

Touching My Roots

Alexandria, Egypt, 1970s: we grew up in the same neighborhood within walking distance from each other. Went to the same schools, sat in the same classes from kindergarten to high school, had the same friends. Went through childhood, puberty, early adulthood and first love stories together. We carpooled to school, ate, played and slept in … More Touching My Roots

Who’s Crackling?

Walking along the sea shore under the moon light, silence is only broken by strange crackling sounds. A sound like I’d never heard before. The closest I could liken it to is a flamenco dancer playing her castanets quietly. There were no people, cars, radios or electricity. Everytime I stop, the sounds stop. I know … More Who’s Crackling?

One Flight Stand!

There were thousands of them, no: millions! At first, we thought it was seaweed because of the brown color. But the texture looked different, maybe a different kind of seaweed? As we got closer, we saw little wings, millions of little wings. A few were moving. We stopped for a closer look. What started out … More One Flight Stand!

Hurts so Good!

They take no prisoners! They go for broke. Nothing is sacred. Realistically, I’m in their home: the jungle. Despite having running water and electricity, they were here first, and I’m sure they’ll be here after we’re all gone. They always find a way in. Trying to keep them out without excessive amounts of poison, is … More Hurts so Good!