Monthly Archives: November 2012

Food in Cairo

Hello again class! Only a couple more weeks of blogging left. I’ve very much enjoyed reading your questions and seeing your thoughts (and drawings). Thank you for so diligently reading my posts and watching the videos, I really appreciate it.

BUT there are still two blogs left as well as our end of year party when I will visit your classroom in January! Do you have any ideas for what we should do on that day? Are there foods you would like to try (maybe this post will give you some ideas)? What would you like to see from me? Think about it and let me know. You’ve given me great questions for my interview with 6th graders in Cairo, so I’m confident you’ll have great ideas again.

Now without further ado, here is a video of the pretty, coastal city of Alexandria to help warm your day as winter settles over Portland.

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The Giza Necropolis and Ancient Egypt

Hello class! It’s been really great to look at your Egyptian hieroglyphs and graffiti and to hear your thoughts on using art as protest. The drawings look really fantastic, well done! It sounds like you guys have been doing some work on the ancient Egyptian civilization, so hopefully this blog post will be useful. Please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes!

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Hieroglyphics, Graffiti, Protest Art


Hi Seth! Last Friday, students responded to your post on Tahrir Graffiti by creating some of their own art: drawing their name in hieroglyphics and graffiti style lettering and sketching some protest art. We will put together their pieces onto a poster, but posted below are photos of their creativity in action! They also wrote about graffiti as art and the meaning of art in general. Here are some of their comments:

“I think people use graffiti in a way to express their feelings or to show what they can do. Graffiti can tell stories. The graffiti I see is artistic.” (MJ2)
“Graffiti… could be to make a point, like ‘no more war,’ or to help in an argument.” (SC6)
“Why do people make art? To show what they mean and what they feel inside them.” (KO6)
“In Cairo, people make graffiti because it’s what they think. They draw people protesting and people who died while protesting. They also draw people they don’t like, like the president.” (SM6)
“People have made different kinds of art: music, drawing, painiting, sculpting, etc. One thing they all have in common is that they are ways of expressing yourself, like the graffiti in the Middle East. Their art shows people showing their ideas about political leaders.” (FA2)
“Art lets me express myself by drawing what I feel.” (MD2)
“You can learn a lot from art. Art inspires people to do things. Art can protest against something. Art can express ideas and feelings. Art teaches you that it is possible to do things.” (ZH2)
“I think people do graffiti to state their opinion. If you can’t say something, why not write it?” (XL2)
“I think art is important because you can learn a lot of things. One thing you could learn is friendship. I’ve seen a lot of art about friends and family, especially music. Another thing art can teach you is history. Paintings could be made in or about the past. Also art teaches you to be free to express yourself. That’s why art is so important to me and others.” (MR2)
“Art can teach you a lot of things. Art can even tell stories.” (JF2)
“People make art because they want to be creative.” (JM2)
“Art is important because it helps people express their feelings. It usually has a meaning, and art is a passion to some people.” (PL6)
“Some people think that art is just to entertain themselves. But no, not just that. Art is a good thing. If you can’t read, you could look at art and sometimes you can understand it. Art can also make things prettier, and sometimes art can cheer you up.” (RG2)
“Some people make art because it is fun to do, while others make it because they are protesting something.” (DG6)
“What can we learn from art? We can learn lots of things from art. People can use art to protest. Long ago, people drew on the walls telling stories. It might say stuff that happened in those years that we forgot about. We can learn about what people ate and what they did for a living long ago. We can learn lots of things.” (DD6)

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Photo(s) of the Week

Found and incredible collection online of color photos of Egypt from the 1920s. You can look at the rest here

Here is a photo of Tucker (my roommate), me and our landlord Wagim. Wagim is a Coptic Christian and you can just barely make out the small tattoo of a Coptic cross on his wrist. The tattoo on their right wrist is a common tradition among Copts. Here is a close-up of the tattoo. We were discussing the picking of a new Coptic pope which took place on Sunday. The highlight of the event is when a young boy is picked and brought to the front of the cathedral, blind-folded, and then chooses the name of the new pope out of a glass egg.

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Alright, off to the pyramids to make next week’s video! Have a good weekend!

Sinai Peninsula, Bedouins and Eid al-Adha

Hello class! Glad you enjoyed the video of Cairo ‘rain’. It makes me homesick in a surprising way to know it was pouring rain in Portland when you watched it. I will have to adjust to the rain, but I definitely miss varied weather patterns. In Cairo, for most of the year, it is just a question of how much smog cover there will be on a given day.

As I mentioned in the rain post, last week was Eid al-Adha, a Muslim festival and national holiday in Egypt. Me and a few friends went to the Sinai Peninsula, a part of Egypt you may have noticed in my post about the St. Anthony’s monastery by the Red Sea. As usual, here is a little video to introduce both the Sinai and Eid al-Adha.

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Photo of the Week + Cairo Rain

This is the total accumulation of rain I have experienced since leaving Portland in June. Spotted on the new campus of American University in Cairo.

Last week was Eid, a Muslim and national holiday in Egypt. The university was closed, so a few friends and I went to the Sinai Peninsula. We were on the Gulf of Aqaba, which flows into the Red Sea. The gulf is small that we were close enough to watch the moon and sun rise over Saudi Arabia!