Category Archives: tourism


  I have just spent a couple of days in Dubai (my first time there) and thought I’d post some pictures and impressions on this vibrant city.   When I saw one of the malls with an aquarium housing hundreds of fishes, SHARKS, huge stingrays, all seemingly in harmony (I was told they are fed very […]

Empowering Syrian women

Kamal Mouzawak is an internationally known Lebanese food personality. I’ve been many times to his organic farmer’s market, Souk el-Tayeb, the first of its kind in the region (inhaling their fresh zaatar flatbread baked on a saj oven, the best in town). I have savored traditional rural dishes at his eponymous Tawlet restaurant, both in […]

Foraging wild zaatar

I followed this man, Salah. Zaatar is having a growth spurt this time of year and I happily accepted an offer from Salah, gentleman-farmer (originally from Egypt), to show me where and how to forage wild zaatar; there are several varieties of zaatar and this one is elongated and  called dukka; folks like to eat […]

Yerba mate ceremony

  This past Sunday, I was invited to drink mate  at a lovely sheikha‘s house in the Chouf mountains. Mate is a green herb popular and traditional in Argentina and other parts of South America;  the Druze community in Lebanon has imported yerba maté  into their villages in the  Chouf mountains;  it has become an […]

Erbil, Kurdistan

  I am spending a few days in Erbil (Kurdistan, Iraq) and  here are some snapshots of this fascinating city (and region). This is a quick view of the citadel. This impressive structure contains what used to be around 500 homes  and is presumed to be at least 6,000 years old.  The images below show […]