Have You Checked the Children?

We can find the cause of American extremism only if we realize the calls for it are coming from inside the house.

Looking Backward, Looking Forward

What kinds of memorials do we make?

Say What?

Maybe the key to understanding is assuming you don't.

S Is for Stranger

Teaching English and looking for common language with Eritrean refugees. This is a picture of my Saturday morning this week. Because it’s not what you know but whom you know, I suddenly find myself teaching English to refugees. I have no qualifications, no experience, no expertise, but I do have a friend who has all those things. … Continue reading S Is for Stranger

The Places We Meet

I find myself, at the moment, more of a foreign girl at home than I’ve been in plenty of places where I couldn’t speak a word of the language. My country is baffling me. In the wake of yet more police shootings of black men, peaceful protests were being staged in Dallas--a city where reports … Continue reading The Places We Meet

A World of Stories

A few months after I arrived in Saudi Arabia, I found myself at dinner with a group of teachers. You know, school teachers. Ladies that taught English at Saudi girls’ schools. Old maid school teachers. You got that picture squarely in mind? Good. Now flush it. Whatever scars you still carry from that time you … Continue reading A World of Stories

A Little Help, Here, Please

It’s Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., a holiday begun to commemorate those who died while serving in the armed forces. It now involves military tributes, graveside services...and barbecues. Summer has begun! Memorial Day weekend is when swimming pools open, summer programs begin, the school year ends, and the upper crust don their summer whites. On every Memorial … Continue reading A Little Help, Here, Please

Let Them Eat Candy

I've just unpacked my Malteasers dress from the Princess Souk, so I'm super-pumped to be back in the U.S. for Halloween. I have a cauldron full of candy. I have real pumpkins. And last weekend I made a batch of pumpkin spice donut holes, which were SPECTACULAR (recipe here*), as testified to by the way … Continue reading Let Them Eat Candy

The Faith and The Hope

This is my favorite keepsake from Saudi Arabia. Okay, I'm pretty pumped with this, too: The gift that keeps on giving. But the necklace is still number one. To my eye, Arabic is an exquisite written language, and it's been used decoratively for centuries. When I told the jeweler what I wanted, he suggested a … Continue reading The Faith and The Hope

Dear Saudi Arabia, Please Help Me Understand

Why won't you let any refugees in? Please, help me. I want to understand. I want to think better of you than what I see. I sit in front of the television, crying. "This is Europe's defining moment," I hear a television announcer say. I shake my head. "Why?" I say. "Why is it just … Continue reading Dear Saudi Arabia, Please Help Me Understand