Saturday, September 22, 2012


Hi MAGIS friends! : ]

I’ve really enjoyed reading the blog postings and love all the pictures- especially of the baby turtle in Chris’s posting.

So…. Lebanon.

Lebanon is both beautiful and chaotic.

Chaos: The electricity cuts. Internet is out for the entire days at a time. People drive when it’s a red light and stop at green lights (anticipating people who drive through red lights). There are bats and stray cats. Motorcyclists speed through the city streets. Cafes sit on the beach shore. 

the Shouf region

Beauty: Beirut is pretty; you can see miles of shoreline while on the beach. There’s an ancient grotto in Jeita where you can take boat rides through a very foggy cave. The south (Tyre, Saida) has many gorgeous cities along the coast (and a Hizbollah museum). A cedar forest is only an hour away. They sell delicious cedar honey at a small stand at the entrance of the park.


I started out doing an Arabic intensive at the American University of Beirut. It was very, very intensive! We had class for around 8 hours on weekdays with 3-6 hours of homework per day. We had to write essays every weekend. The end of the program in August was especially difficult for me because I was fasting for Ramadan. Students from the program were all very cool though, and I’m happy to say that we had some great times around the city! : )

AUB campus

Once the program finished, I headed to Qatar for 3 weeks to spend the end of Ramadan and Eid with my family. I am not particularly fond of Qatar as a country, but I enjoyed hanging out with my family (especially my 10 year-old cousin). 

Now, I’m back in Beirut. I just started interning with the UN Relief and Works Agency. The field office in Lebanon focuses on Palestinian refugees here. It covers everything from health to education and legal aid. UNRWA also works with local NGOs.

Ruins of apartment buildings from the 2007 Fatah il-Islam- Lebanese Armed Forces conflict in Nahr el-Bared refugee camp. 27,000 refugees were displaced during the conflict.
Nahr el-Bared refugee camp

It’s a challenging work environment at the UN, but I’m loving it so far.

I hope everyone is having a fun and safe time. I miss you all!