Sunday, January 30, 2011

Well, not that fast ...

With the 7-hour time difference and all of my sleepless nights, I have no idea how long my sister has been waiting to get out of Cairo but she's still at the airport and somewhere in that crowd of people you see above. The really fun part of this whole revolution business is that she was interviewed by The New York Times today and appears both in print and audio on their Web site.

Here's an excerpt:

CAIRO -- Andrea Bosch had been waiting for hours at Cairo International Airport for a flight to whisk her and her young daughters away from the maelstrom that Egypt's capital had become.

The planes were ready, but few crews could be assembled to fly them.

"They said it was a combination of people who couldn't or wouldn't come in today," Ms. Bosch, 45, an administrator of an education project of the United States Agency for International Development, said Sunday. "I don't know what it means, but that's what they said. I can imagine people are home trying to take care of their families."

and then further down:

Ms. Bosch was booked on Egypt Air with her daughters Maya, 12, and Asia, 8, and a Yorkshire terrier, Chauncey, to join her husband in Turin, Italy. Although some "random planes" were flying, she said, some passengers had been waiting for 48 hours without a flight.

and here's the best part:

"People are just wandering back and forth, and they're running out of food," she said. "People are serving pizza, but the lines are really long."

"We're kind of grumpy," she said, adding that most passengers were relieved to be off streets where the crackle of automatic gunfire was heard throughout the night.

For the complete article and audio, go here. And just for the record, Andi is 47, not 45, and it's Chonsy rather than Chauncey. I don't want it to sound like we live on Park Avenue or something. If we had that kind of money, we would have hired a private jet to whisk them away like movie stars.

Exit in a Hurry

Egypt is in chaos. The neighborhoods are being looted and gun fire is reported in Maadi. The curfew has been moved from 6pm to 4pm and tomorrow it will start at 3pm. Markets no longer have any food on their shelves. Al-Jazeera is being shut down. Americans are being advised to leave. My sister and nieces are at the airport and hopefully on their way to Italy within the next few hours.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt's Day of Anger

I've spent the entire day in front of the TV and online watching Operation Egypt updates on Facebook. My sister and family are fine but staying close to home and inside during curfew. The most amazing moment was when protestors stopped rioting and lined up during the day's final prayer call. In case you've been misled by Fox News, this is not a fight between the religious extreme and the government. It's an expression of anger against government corruption, election fraud, police brutality, and poverty. Tonight Mubarak promised a new government in the morning but that's not likely to make a difference to those who want a greater change in leadership.

Photos from The New York Times.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Yummi Cookbook

The Yummi Cookbook is now available on Amazon! The author, Nathalie Thandiwe, is an Adams Morgan friend of mine who now lives in the NYC area. Jason and I collaborated with her on the cover design and interior layout. She's a holistic chef, a trained herbalist, a radio show host, and an awesome mom. Recipes include clever titles like Jamaican Me Crazy Red Beans and Rice. To find out more, click on the link.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Egypt's Cats

My friend Ahmad has just returned from a visit to Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine. I've written before about Egypt's feline population. These cats are wild, but not feral. It's not unusual for cats to enter restaurants and wait for scraps. They will eat anything. I was sitting at a similar restaurant and ordered a nicoise salad. After giving my attending cat all of my tuna, I gave her my green beans and lettuce. The mama cat ate it all. This is the life that Moo and Cheezecake escaped. If you'd like to adopt an Egyptian kitty, please let me know.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Eat Pray Love (2006)

Well, done with #1.

In quick summary, Eat Pray Love is the travelogue memoir of an American woman who in her mid-30s decides it's time to face her emotional baggage. Having gone from one man to the next, and from her husband to a failed relationship, Liz Gilbert takes a year of travel and learns how to live alone. In Italy, she recovers health and overcomes depression; in India, she quiets her mind and let's go of control; and finally in Indonesia, she returns to society a stronger and more balanced person.

Highly readable and humorous in parts, this book has been a huge success, translated into more than 30 languages and made into a big screen movie with Julia Roberts. Perhaps learning to live alone is an unrecognized rite of passage for single women in America and abroad. But, as many have complained, and I tend to agree, Gilbert's account comes across selfish and annoying. I never really cared about her journey, even while reading her story, in spite of my having learned to live alone in my 30s as well. I am sure others out there feel differently and would love to hear another perspective. What did you think about Eat Pray Love, the book? And if you read the book and then saw the movie, what did you think about the film interpretation?

Click on the link to find out more about this book.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolution #1: Read More.

I resolve to read more in 2011.

This year, I will blog about at least 12 books. That's not such a great number when you consider some people make their year's purpose the goal to read 150 books or more, but one a month is all I'm willing to commit to finishing.