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Bed·ou·in (noun or adj.) ˈbe-də-wən, ˈbed-wən 1. Desert dweller, nomadic Arab of the desert. 2. A wanderer or rover.

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Teta, grandmother

Teta, grandmother

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It’s been a year, but I’m finally headed back to Beirut! Under my U.S. State Department funded Fulbright grant, travel to Lebanon has been banned for the duration of my fellowship. But, now I am free from the shackles that bind and free to taste the salty Mediterranean air in the land that my grandparents still call home.

I’m armed with a new camera lens and a tremendous amount of excitement to see my friends and family – forgive me for the week long hiatus while I inevitably eat too much and sleep too little. Pictures and stories to follow, insha’allah.

KEEP READING. I know, listen, I know that this kind of thing (expressing what you are grateful for on a day with the appropriate title) has become trite and banal and whatever other adjective I can throw out that means the equivalent of lame. But I do want to offer up a list of the things I am very, very thankful for. These, in no particular order:

Amman, for being difficult and hilarious

My English class, for trying really hard and making work fun

Fulbright, for the new and wonderful people I now can call my good friends

Nutella

Nescafe

Blankets

My iPhone (whatever, it’s changed my life)

Encouragement from friends back in America

Finding a Bible study here

Learning how to cook (ish)…ya3ni I’m working on this

My gym, Fitness First (habibi, you deserve an entire post)

Having a million cardigans

My landlady

My roommate

My sleepover ladiez (you know who you are)

Taxis that don’t overcharge

My crazy and beautiful family

Finally, everyone in my life that loves and appreciates me, regardless of my tendency to always be on the verge of tears or over-commit to—just, life and all its feelings. There’s a better way to word that I’m sure, bas khalas you know what I mean. You make it easy to be myself, to be open and vulnerable with people I meet and get excited about the prospect of forming new relationships because of the ones I already have. Thank you, a million times.