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Sunday
Nov022008

Why I like the Middle East

RIYADH (Reuters) - First it was camels. Now Saudi Arabia has held its first "beautiful goat" pageant.

It's stumbling across little articles that are one of the great pleasures of traveling abroad.

Saturday
Nov012008

Institute finished

Survivors of the two-day NESA Librarians Institure, Amman, Jordan, Oct 31-Nov1.

 

I am sort of sad to have my work with the NESA librarians done. This was a wonderful, thoughtful and very interesting group with which to work. As always, I wonder who learned more - them or me. Thanks to any who may be reading this.

Where does the man who sells the authentic Arabian coffee in the hotel lobby go on break?

Why the Starbucks just down the hall, of course. (I am not making this up.)

How to make your travel pictures more interesting:

 

Thursday
Oct302008

Daniel Pink and the ancients

Daniel Pink's "right brain skills" from A Whole New Mind are offered up as critical to success in the 21st Century. I couldn't agree more.

But I find it interesting that these aren't exactly revolutionary new human attributes and abilities, as I've been thinking about touring Jordan...

DESIGN


Wall carving in the 7th century castle of Adjun in northern Jordan.


STORY


Petroglyphs, Wadi Rum, southern Jordan.


SYMPHONY


Tomb carved into rock, Petra.


EMPATHY


Roman theater, Amman. (We are meant to empathize with characters from plays, yes?)


PLAY


Roman hippodrome (race track), Jerash.


MEANING


Temple of Aphrodite, Jerash.

Have these skills not been vital to successful people of all ages in successful civilizations? Perhaps it was just something we'd lost sight of in the Industrial Age?

Oh, I overheard a tour guide arguing some bit of historic speculation with a British tourist at one of the sites. She said she was offend by his premise. His defense:

But I heard this on the Discovery Channel!

 

Small, and shrinking world. I want to see it before there are McDonalds, Starbucks and KFCs on every corner of every country and tour guides learn all they know from cable television.

Sigh...