Showing posts from August, 2011

Open Classroom: America, Islam & the Middle East

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Earthquake in DC: 5.9 quake and MLK Stone of Hope

Nevenka and I came to DC today. As we met an Egyptian friend in the Mayflower (Marriott) lobby, the world shook and it was obvious what it was - a major earthquake. People screamed; people rushed out of the ballroom and restaurant; we just sat there and acknowledged what it was ... I texted Jo and Grace to tell them we were fine; Nevenka called Ali and Hassan. And we continued our talk about Egypt "post-political earthquake" (i.e., post-"Revolution").

We later took a walk to the Mall and we discovered that the new Martin Luther King memorial was being prepared for its official opening by President Obama later this week. But we were allowed a "sneak peak", before the official ceremony. It's an inspiring memorial, on a beautiful spot along the Tidal Basin, with Dr. MLK looking across to Thomas Jefferson (former slave owner, but otherwise great guy!!).

If you can read the side of the monument, it states what MLK stated - and why the artist/sculpture …


While many students continue their travel in Europe and the Middle East, most of the rest of us arrived safe and sound at Logan tonight around 8:15.

Soooooooo nice to be home!

Wrap-up pictures coming soon. Meantime, off to sleep.

From Plitivice Lakes to Zagreb

After our adventures in Dubrovnik, we headed for Split. 1 night there, then off to Plitvice Lakes region. We spent 5 hours hiking in this National Park - with its "layered" lakes and countless waterfalls. From there, we headed to Zagreb (sleepy Zagreb). We had 4 meetings in 2 days. The highlight for me was our first meeting - with the Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Croatia (spelling of this Professor/Advisor's name is pending ... coming soon!). Zagreb in August is dullsville. No one is here (is anyone around otherwise?) and the streets roll up and things shut down around 9:30 pm. The upside of that is students also are bored silly, so have been hunkering down in the hotel lobby (the only place to get wireless!) doing their final papers/projects for us.