Middle East

Spring in Afghanistan

Living in the combat zone.

When I think of what spring means in San Diego, baseball games and announcements of new animals from the zoo come to mind. Traffic and tourists who don't understand common-knowledge speed limit. It means more ...

Love in the Kingdom of Jordan

"Never before or since have I felt like such an honored guest."

It doesn’t seem possible, but my Jordanian friend insists that he is now married. I look carefully into Awad’s dark eyes, magnified by the thick lenses of his black framed glasses, to see if he’s ...

Olympos, Turkey

Mediterranean paradise earned.

Getting to Olympos, Turkey, our final destination, was turning out to be a real doozy. This sleeping spread-eagle business on the cold green floor of the Kharkiv, Ukraine, airport, catching a 3 a.m. flight with ...

Istanbul Spice Market

Making my way through thick crowds of people slowly walking, talking on cell phones and holding shopping bags, I found the mounds of spices in the marketplace in Istanbul, Turkey. I'd arrived to buy various ...

Israel… A Tale of Two Cities

Modern (Tel Aviv) and ancient (Jerusalem).

In no other country in the world are the two largest cities such polar opposites. Jerusalem, Israel's ancient and current capital city, is both informed and haunted by its history. Tel Aviv, on the other ...

Demre, Turkey: The Sea is Free

Island-hopping in the Turkish Mediterranean.

Before my sister, Stormy, began college at UCSD, I thought it imperative that she have an adventure. So for the summer, I flew her to Antalya, Turkey, where I had been living. For her 18th ...

Antalya, Turkey

After working in the mental health field for three years, it was time for an adventure. I purged my life of almost everything I owned, packed two old-fashioned trunks, and moved to Antalya, Turkey, with ...

Discover Dubai (and Unchecked Capitalism)

When you step foot in Dubai, you realize the country’s quite liberal compared to the rest of the Middle East. Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates and has adapted the influx of other ...

Tel Aviv: The White City

The so-called “White City” in central Tel Aviv, Israel, is home to the largest concentration of Bauhaus buildings and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The Bauhaus style (also referred to as Modern or International ...

Ancient Ephesus, Turkey

If you’re a seeker of sacred sites and find yourself in the Greek Islands, hop a ferry from Samos to Kuşadası (or fly from Samos into Adnan Menderes Airport), then grab a bus to Ephesus, ...