Monthly Archives: September 2016

Beginning Where I Began

In the 2008 edition of the Lonely Planet guidebook, the village of Majene falls near the fold of the map, but is not mentioned anywhere else in that edition. I made this observation in July of that same year, having just learned I would be spending my next nine months there. As I didn’t speak any Indonesian, I took solace in this tiny dot in a tourist …

Paying Respects In Dhofar

PAYING RESPECTS IN DHOFAR   …we had discovered a real paradise in the wilderness, which will be a rich prize for the civilized nation which is enterprising enough to appropriate it. –Theodore Bent, F.R.G.S., F.S.A. in Southern Arabia, 1900 (276) …our war with colonialism, brother, is a long one. –Dhofar Liberation Front radio broadcast, March …

Cheng Li Quoted by Nicholas Kristoff

Past Fellow and past Trustee Cheng Li was just cited by Nicholas Kristof in his New York Times column on dubious endorsements received by Donald Trump. Quote: Likewise, many Chinese leaders would like to see a Trump victory, according to Cheng Li, an expert on Chinese politics at the Brookings Institution. The Chinese leaders apparently think Trump …

Sultanate and Imamate in Oman

“Allahu akbar wa lillahi al hamd!” cried the imam, sweeping his hands up to signal our response. “Allahu akbar wa lillahi al hamd!” we bellowed. The men around me were pointing their camera phones at the imam to capture what was happening, and many were hugging one another in frenzied celebration. I was in the sabla, a community room attached …