Travel Update

The time now is 1:26:34 am. I am sooo tried. But the packing must continue. Hiho to the land of clothes.

The time now is 7:07:14 am. I am at Gate T07 at the one and only Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. I am jamming to Michael Jackson, Allah yarhamu, and his catchy song – PYT (Pretty Young Thing). I am current deciding on if I should purchase an overly expensive scone or hold out until lunch. I need to decide soon because my flight to DC leaves at 8:20am and boarding should start in 20 min.

I must say my luggage is really trying my nerves. It was a serious struggle to get everything in ONE suitcase and ONE carry-on. I decided on bringing a bit tote bag with me as my “allotted purse”. Two words – bad idea. The weight is soo concentrated on those two skinny straps, it is nearly impossible to carry them without any sort of damage to your shoulder blades. So I am going to transfer everything in my tote bag to a backpack in hopes that the weight will be more evenly distributed on my shoulders and back.

In addition to my carry-on bags being a zillion pounds, my checked bag weighed in at a whopping 55lbs. Not bad since I packed my life as I know it in that thing. The allotted weight is 50lbs. I didn’t get charged over because the guy at Delta’s check in counter was convinced that my mom was going to tip him. When we first pulled up to the kiosk, he asked if we wanted “priority check-in” or “regular”. I looked at him, and asked what the difference between them was. He sketchly mentioned that the “priority” option involved quicker check in time plus the payment of an additional tip. Hmmm. Okay. After my bags weighed in 55lb, my mom and I looked at each other to see if there was a possibility I would be charged a $75 overage fee….Lo and behold, the check-in attendant did not say anything. So neither did we. When we wiped the sweat from our foreheads, and bidding one another adieu, a voice called to us, “don’t forget about me now”…

Ohh, gotta go boarding has started!

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محمد عساف

Yes, my next blog entry is entitled Muhammad Assaf. The most beloved contestant on this season’s Arab Idol. His voice is a powerhouse which still can melt you down like butter on a hot cast iron skillet. I am rooting for him, that is for sure. I am not sure how to vote for him from America. (People vote in- just as they do for American Idol) But since I only have 3 more days in the states, I can’t wait to get to vote for him once I get a SIM card from one of the Arab countries I shall be visiting.

He is a native Gazan. Though I will not be in Gaza, I will send glad tidings from Jerusalem when I visit in about two weeks time inshaAllah.

Good Luck Muhammad…You will definitely meet me when you do your famous tour of the Arab Nations.

Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-a3zagLXIY

à tout à l’heure,

Nicole

Travel Update

I received an email Tuesday with a pre-depature packet, which was a whopping 28 pages of pure excitement and joy. I have printed out all that I will be needing for my year abroad, insurance paperwork, confirmation of payments, etc.

I leave Palestine June 13 for Brussels. Then from Brussels, I will be in Morocco!! <3. I land in Casablanca but I will be living in Rabat, a 1.5 hour ride away. Classes start June 17. Three days to explore Morocco  until hitting those Arabic textbooks.

I only have 3 more days in Atlanta. I still have a TON of shopping to do. Getting ready to go out with my mommy to shop for everything from skirts and blouses to Clorox Wipes and my contact lenses.

Edit @ 10:06pm- I just came back from shopping. It was loonggg guys. Usually, I love shopping. I am a certainly enjoying myself with my mom going from many different stores all over town, but there is still SO much to buy! So much to pack. I have a master packing/shopping list that just keeps getting longer by the day. I need to savor my last days in Atlanta more!

Travel Update!

Great news! Our visas to Saudi Arabia have gone through! YAY, five solid years of multiple re-entry. All I have to do is make sure Israeli officials do not stamp my passport….easier said than done. Only 13 more days until I am in DC and 15 more days until I am out of the country!

I know it has been some time…

Hello Friends,

I know it has been wayy longer than I had anticipated in terms of posting. My valid reason for my absence – finals (which are now over)- has become illegitimate by my pending laziness…But I deserve to be a little lazy after that whirlwind of a semester. But Alhamdulillah – all praises are due to God.

Travel Update: My flights have been booked!! I received my flight to DC via email last night aH. I will be off to DC on May 28th, and soon after that out of the country and into the Gulf. I am super stoked!! I had to take my computer to PeachMac on Sunday because my trackpad went insane. I am glad it was fixable (because a broken trackpad can make someone want to slam their beloved computer against the wall), and the fix time did not cut close to my departure time.

I am currently reading Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea in preparation to my visit to KSA iA. I will soon write a review of the book. Though I am maybe a third of the way through, it is slowly growing on me. At first, I thought it was an immature chick-based petty drama novel (like those of Lisi Harrison and her series called “The Clique”), but I am starting to think it is waayy more than that. Alsanea somewhat reminds me of Jane Austen. But that has yet to be fully determined until I complete the novel and do more research on her, her writing styles, and her intent.

Stay Tuned All,

Nicole

Finals Hiatus

As the title asserts, its finals week. I am writing paper after paper, and I am in dire need of an Arabic booster. Since I am not able to flesh out all of my thoughts here. I will just give you a couple of snippets of things that are currently running through my mind:

Boston Bombings

Tamerlan and Dzohkhar Tsarnaev

Guantanamo Detainee’s Hunger Strike

StormCoudsGathering (youtube channel)

Arabic Final Exam

CISPA