Today is International Women’s Day. To celebrate, we share an updated version of our Women from Around the World slideshow.
You probably won’t see any of these women on TV or on the covers of magazines (well, maybe someday). Instead, they are the women we meet in markets, on public transport, in the shops that they run, in rural villages, on city streets. They are the everyday human landscape — mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, friends, colleagues — perhaps sometimes overlooked or taken for granted. But look into their eyes, and through life and its challenges, pride prevails.
With the slideshow below, we celebrate the collective spirit of these women and the beauty of their diversity. Continue Reading »
Do you ever question what popular news media have to say about what’s going on in other parts of the world?
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You guys are the Perception Busters.
– A comment on our Facebook page in response to our arrival in Cairo earlier this week. And a label we’re happy to embrace.
Egyptian man on the streets of Alexandria, Egypt.
If you’ve been following us on Facebook or Twitter recently, you’re probably aware that we’ve been in Egypt this past week.
Egypt? But isn’t it unsafe now? Continue Reading »
This is a story of a woman I met on a train in Iran and a letter she wrote to me — a letter I now read through tears.
My heart sank as I watched the news from Iran this morning, scenes of the British Embassy being charged by an angry mob in Tehran. It saddens me – angers me, really – that narrow groups like this who define the world’s perception of Iran and the Iranian people are in reality such a small percentage of the country’s population.
My experience tells me they are the outliers, yet circumstances conspire to convince us on the outside to see them as the norm. Continue Reading »
This is a very short story about music. In Iran.
I dont know that I’ve ever been so happy — or oddly surprised — to hear Stevie Wonder in my entire life.
I should explain. Continue Reading »
We offer the following slideshow of girls we’ve met during our around the world travels in support of The Girl Effect, an organization whose goal is to promote awareness of girls’ issues around the world and to highlight the benefits of investing in girls as a means to poverty alleviation, better public health and community development.
The more we travel and see the world, the more I realize how fortunate I am. I grew up in a family that valued me as a female. They supported my education, encouraged me to pursue whatever profession I could possibly imagine and never pressured me to get married.
This favorable circumstance and social flexibility is still a rarity in many parts of the world.
With a group of school girls at a mission school outside Srimongal, Bangladesh
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Oh, if our passports could talk! A quick look at the numbers and some stories and lessons behind my newly-fattened American passport.
This is it. After this, no more.
– An American embassy employee in Berlin hands back my passport with a third – and undoubtedly final – set of extra pages.
What do you think of when flip through your passport? Countries visited? Number of visas and passport stamps? Possibilities? Continue Reading »
My real guru to teach me the value of compassion is my mother.
– The Dalai Lama
The other night, we enjoyed a screening of the film Happy. During the film, the Dalai Lama is seen speaking on the topic of mothers and compassion.
He continues: Continue Reading »
Stay safe in this post Bin Laden world. There is sure to be some backlash; work on your Canadian accent
– A friend offers us some advice in light of recent events.
We’ve lived outside of the United States for almost 10 years, with more than four of them on this around-the-world journey. In that time, we’ve consumed our share of U.S. State Department travel warnings.
So what do those advisories mean to me? Do I pay attention to them? As an American traveling abroad, am I frightened? Continue Reading »
On occasion, we are fortunate enough to have an experience or conversation that sends chills for its human quality. Our time with Zikra Initiative and the women of Ghor al Mazra’a was one such experience.
From the moment I passed into the courtyard, Um Atallah took control and led me to a seat on the ground near her. Two other women swapped their attention between their work and us, offering encouraging smiles. These were the women of Ghor al Mazra’a near Jordan’s Dead Sea. And for a few hours, they shared a bit of their lives with us.
Continue Reading »