Living among the locals

Edward Said’s disappointment after meeting Sartre, Foucault and De Beauvoir

Edward Said’s disappointment after meeting Sartre, Foucault and De Beauvoir
Palestinian-American scholar, Edward Said (1935-2003,) is considered one of the region’s most significant literary critics, dedicating most of his work to the struggles of Palestine and the Arab world. His 1978 book, Orientalism, has become integral to post-colonial schools of thoughts. Said was fascinated by French philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Michel Foucault. Sartre was a leading Existentialist thinker, de Beauvoir’s writings on gender significantly…

The elephant riding debate

elephant riding in sri lanka
Who wouldn’t want to go on an elephant safari? Roaming the jungle on the back of this magnificent animal is every novice traveler’s dream. And even if it doesn’t cross your mind, the opportunity will be right there, waiting for you, asking you, to seize it. This is what happened to me. When I visited the Chitwan National Park in…

Integrating refugees while breaking bread

By: Worldpal* Food is a universal language that knows no grammar or words, channeling its information over all our five senses. To me, it represents love, happiness and comfort. Food connects people the way that peanut butter and jelly bring two slices of toast together. This is exactly what the German city Potsdam is going for. At an event called Buntes…

A day in Rasta Village – Shashamane, Ethiopia

Rasta Village Ethiopia
Walking around the Rastafari quarter of Shashamane, a small town in southern Ethiopia, I saw buildings adorned by the three colors that the Rasta culture had famously adopted from the Ethiopian flag. In these buildings, settlers originally from the Caribbean with dreadlocks and a genuine Jamaican accent live precisely by the Rastafari doctrine, worship in a Rastafari church, and study…

Meet the locals of Nepal

Meet the locals of Nepal
Bhakti Devkota, tour guide and former porter from Lumle Growing up, Bhakti watched the tourists trekking everyday on his way to school. He saw the tour guides chatting to the tourists and hoped that one day he will be like them. At first, he started working as a porter in 1997, but it wasn’t until a decade later that he…

My favorite cups of tea from around Asia

azerbaijan, tea, travel
UPDATE: [22 Dec 2017] Coming from Egypt, a major tea consumer, I’m a tea drinker with a passion for everything that can be labeled as tea.I know there is a lot of fuss going on out there about coffee, but we, the tea drinkers, are still the majority (unless China has switched its national drink). I was never really a coffee…

The paradoxes of tourism in Sri Lanka

sri lanka, tourism, south asia, southeast asia, travel, responsible tourism, living like the locals, live like a local
Being an essential element of tourism, the sector’s workers are the link representing Sri Lanka to the foreign visitors. Because of the key role that tourism plays in the island nation, these workers have become a representative of an era of change that dawned on the island shortly after the 2004 tsunami and exponentially grew following the end of the…

Best sunset spots in Mirissa

sunset, mirissa, tropical paradise, jungle holiday, beach holiday, tourism, travel, budget travel, backpacking
Nature takes a new shape and form in the small town of Mirissa, located near the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. Here, things that you would hardly notice elsewhere like sunsets are extremely scenic, attracting tourists and residents alike. Full moons are also beautiful here and they mark public holidays in the Sinhalese calendar. Yet, this comes only second to…
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