Scheherazade, the regal consort of Shahryar, preserved her life on the first night of her marriage by telling fascinating tales to her sister, Dinazade. The king, eavesdropping, became entranced by these tales Scheherazade told and in the process sparing her life for days unlike former consorts executed the morning following their wedding nights. These stories comprise the 1001 Nights, and, yes the King fell in love Scheherazade, produced three sons and became a kinder and wiser ruler. And, the influence of these stories are present in many Arab societies if only you, as a social expat, know where to look. [Read more...]
When I arrive in a new country, I include something in my new living space to make it familiar to me. This action presents me with the opportunity to put part of myself into a foreign context to anchor my sensibilities.
The first lesson I learned, after living in many countries, is that as an expat I cannot insert myself into the new surroundings simply by observing, questioning and exploring all their facets. It’s a series of trial and error that sometimes hurts, but always makes your stronger if you’ve the grit to stick it out. However, the one problem: I kept losing a sense of myself, leading me to became overwhelmed by the people, surroundings, sights, sounds and, in some cases, the food. That does not mean that I wanted to return to all-American staples of hamburgers, turkey and macaroni and cheese, it signified that I no longer held the aspect of myself that grounded me into something that I singularly identified with closely and personally. [Read more...]