14 May, 2010

One Down, Two to Go

Well, one paper down, one presentation and paper to go. That and of course finals. That's all that's really left for me this semester and in a way I can't wait to be done with it all. I'm very torn about my feelings on Cairo at the moment, and daily they fluctuate between reasonable and unbearable. I'm just keeping my eye on the prize...home. 

These last few weeks have been extremely hard on me, there is no doubt about it. I don't think I've really left my apartment much since this last weekend beyond going to school. 

Last Tuesday was my last day of work,which was quite nice. And then last Wednesday the big event was going to the Children's Museum at the Egyptian Museum with Dr. Nicole. There were Egyptian monuments made of Legos! And it was wonderfully exciting! I think I enjoyed that so much more than the actual museum itself. Although, we did go into the main hall so that Will could give his Tut presentation.

Last Thursday I went to the American Research Center in Cairo to do some research on my Egyptology paper. The people there weren't very nice and it made me not really want to work there...except that I had to as there really isn't a place to do research in Egypt like there is in the US. When I got there the people answered the door and gave me a look like I was some kind of invader. They asked where I was from and when I explained, they told me I could there for the day, but next time I needed a note. But, if I'm not mistaken...I'm an American citizen and this is an American funded center...I was told I wouldn't need a note. Oh well, I don't have to go back there ever again. 

Friday I pretty much locked myself in my room and wrote a good 1,000 words on my paper, and I attempted to do the same on Saturday, only to fail. I did get a lot done, like my Anubis project(seen below), but did not finish my paper like I had planned on. I also never made it out to City Stars to get my camera fixed. 

The Anubis Chest from Becky Mezzanotte on Vimeo.

Sunday was a field trip with Dr. Magda down to the Egyptian Museum. Will and I did the math and we figured out that we have been to the museum seven times each. That's more than I go to the Smithsonian's in DC and I've lived there for two years. We were pretty much explaining to Dr. Magda what things were and how we knew what they were and such. It was a very different kind of tour. After the tour she took us out for ful and tamiya at a really deceiving looking restaurant. At first glance it looked like a normal side street shop, but once you got inside it was like a full restaurant. And the food was excellent as well. Sunday also marked out last outside lecture of the semester, which consisted of Egyptian politics, something that is becoming extremely popular at the moment. 

Monday was another awesome day. Following all of my classes, which were pretty standard, my IR class met down at the League of Arab States. A building we often see passing through downtown, but have never been inside. I have to say, it was gorgeous inside and I learned so much from the Ambassador who spoke to us. Normally, we talk to people who know their stuff, but have their own agenda in what they want to tell us. Not this guy. He started off by telling us that we didn't really know what we were talking about as we didn't really know what the Arab League did and had not seen the recent news concerning the league. After this little wake-up call, he proceeded to tell us what the Arab League does and his position in the league. 

So, the Arab League sort of functions like a mini-UN within the Arab world. It consists of 22 countries all of which speak Arabic and are considered "Arab" (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Sudan, Comoros, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Jordan, Palestine, Mauritania, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Djibouti, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, and Lebanon are the 22 members). The main purpose it to "put out the fires" that are started everyday in the Middle East and once that is taken care of to focus on networking projects to try and develop the Middle East into something along the lines of the European Union. The Ambassador's job at the Arab League is to basically deal with the "fires" started. 

After explaining all of this to us in detail, he then took our questions. Which he answered in a really straight forward, no jokes manner. It was really refreshing and he knew exactly what he was talking about. So, that was a lot of fun. Also, we got to take a tour of the building, which was really impressive and looked almost like a mini-UN. AND there was a garden! I ran my feet through the grass and life was good. 

Tuesday brought about a day of work for me. I left the house maybe once to go to pizza hut for some food and that was about it. I did manage, however, to finish my Egyptology paper, which relieved some stress from me. It made me feel a bit better about everything. 

Wednesday brought classes and the end to a week, leaving only three days left. I turned in my paper and spent that evening watching DeathNote with Moose and Salah. It was so enjoyable. I also had a meeting with our program manager during the day and I pretty much broke down due to all the stress. I need to go home. Oh yeah! And I helped plan some budget stuff for Rudes. Good times.

Yesterday was a trip to Coptic Cairo in the morning. There were some pretty cool churches, but it was so hot that I could have done without the trip. Especially as I have so much work that needs to be finished by Monday. That just means that this weekend is going to be a very crazy, but oh well. It was enjoyable and I got to see some of the old walls of Babylon, and the church where the Holy Family supposedly hid...however, logically and historically it doesn't make any sense, so I'm unsure if I believe it. 

Later in the evening we went to see Carmen at the Cairo Opera House. It was good, but not the best. I did get to get all dressed up to see it though. I don't want to really get into it as it just makes me mad. So, I'm just gonna not say anything. If you want to know, just ask. 

And that leads to today. Well, I've been finishing up my proposal for Rudes next semester and then doing my powerpoint and hieroglyphs homework so that tomorrow can be solely focused on my IR paper. It's going to be another long weekend. I promise I'll update once things calm down and they won't be so packed with things. More to come!

Countdown: 14 days left in Cairo

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