Travel Log Part 5

My intermediate Arabic program has ended, thankfully. There were many Arabic programs to choose from for this summer. The one here at AUB had the most contact hours (over 180) in a short period of time (6 weeks). I thought that these specifications were a good thing because with only 6 weeks of course work, I’d have plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the summer. As it turns out, we didn’t have time to breathe these past 6 weeks. It was intense, fast paced, and overwhelming so I’m glad to now have some breathing room.

So what now? I leave Lebanon in 10 days for Jordan and from there to Egypt and back to California for a week and then back to school in Boston. It’ll be nice to be back home after so long but I just wish I could spend a little more time in California. The summers are never long enough, right?

As for my remaining days in Lebanon, I hope to conduct some research, spend some time in the south of the country, and play hours of cards with my AUB friends. I never played poker in the US but I’ve become an avid player while here, isn’t that funny?

I also hope to go to the Nahr al Bared Palestinian refugee camp, the one that was bombed out by the worthless Lebanese army. Basically, the Lebanese army exists for one thing: Not to defend itself from international aggression, i.e. it stood by as Israel ruthlessly bombed Lebanon two years ago (actually, it didn’t just stand by, one Lebanese general was photographed serving tea to Israeli military personel); and not to prevent civil strife as it remained neutral during factional fighting a few months ago; but the Lebanese army exists for one reason and one reason only: to fight the Palestinians. Again, here it is important to thank Israel for creating the world’s largest refugee population, the Palestinians.

As for the news, I think it’s hilarious that Bush criticized China on its human rights record. That’s like doodoo telling vomit it stinks. I mean, the grossest human rights violation of this century thus far has got to be the invasion of Iraq, no doubt. John Edwards is a tool. And although I know little about Arabic poetry, I knew of Mahmoud Darwish and his work and I was saddened to read about his passing. The Palestinian Revolution is at a huge loss with his death. And I’m not at all surprised with the war in Georgia as resurgent Russia has been itching to flex its muscle (how’s that for analysis? haha)

As for entertainment news, I saw “The Dark Knight” for the 2nd time last night and I think it is such an entertaining and brilliantly written story. Cheers to Chris Nolan, the director and co-writer, Bale, Caine, and of course, Heath Ledger, who definitely and expectedly stole the show. What did you guys think of the movie? Here is the trailer for the new Terminator film due out summer of 2009 and also starring Bale. It’s delicious.

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