“The Mother of the World”, “The Paris of the East/Nile”, Masr, or its literal translation, “The Victorious”. By whatever name you call it, I will be living and studying for the next four plus months of my life in Cairo. It is the largest city in the Middle East and the Arab word. It has been a city of great importance and is home to more than 22+ million people in the metro area – making it the 15th biggest city in the world. As a self proclaimed city-person, I cannot wait to get lost in the crowded streets and sip coffees and teas in the famous coffee houses.
My home will be in a (at this point unknown) dorm on the campus of the elite and expensive American University in Cairo (AUC). At the school I will be taking 15 credits including an intensive accelerated Arabic course. Not to worry though, although I will have an opportunity to work on my Arabic, all coursework excluding language courses are conducted in English. I am told it is actually a little uncommon to hear Arabic on the campus. I guess I will be able to inform you in a few days whether this is true. Technically the campus is in New Cairo, a suburb of 2 million just a short bus ride from Cairo’s downtown. You can expect to hear more about AUC in latter post when I actually know what I’m talking about.
So I guess now would be a good time to tell you more about myself. My name is Adam Domitz. I was born on Labor Day 21 years ago and for that whole time my home has been in Lino Lakes, MN. Growing up my favorite things were playing with my sister (during the times we were actually getting along and not fighting) and doing crafts with my aunt Joan. And winning board games. My least favorite thing was probably when my hands would get dirty. I am told I would cry whenever my hands had anything on them, including dough from baking with my grandma. My taste obviously refined as I grew; this is apparent in the fact that in Junior High I was obsessed with playing Dance Dance Revolution. In ninth grade I became addicted to my violin. Every day when I got home from school I would listen to an entire symphony or concerto. Later that day you could count on me practicing on average 2 hours on my violin. During Junior High, I also had my first “experience” with the Middle East, acting as the Sultan in the musical production of Aladdin (one of my favorite Disney movies despite its orientalism). I thought throughout high school I would major in Music Education once I got to college, which led me to Concordia College. It wasn’t until my second semester I realized Music wasn’t the right career for me but I didn’t know what what was right.
During a May international tour with the Concordia Orchestra to Israel and Palestine, I had life changing conversations and experiences. I realized that my passion was to explore – to learn about new things and to try new experiences. Perhaps, partially based on this I changed my major to Global Studies and Political Science after returning from the trip and now focus those studies on the Middle East. I also started to learn Arabic due to my exposure to a language I have always seen as beautiful. This all led me to choose to study abroad in Egypt.
I will end my first entry on a note about the blog itself. To be completely honest, I have absolutely no experience doing anything like this and have no clue what I am doing. I see the whole idea of a study abroad blog as cliche at this point. Yet I ended up creating my own blog. How? When I told people that I was going to by studying abroad in Egypt, they would react with interest – and many with faces of bewilderment. Family and friends would ask that I post on Facebook to see my experience and just because they will want to know that I am still alive. Many would ask that I show them pictures when I return. In a somewhat weird experience, someone even handed me their business card once saying, “Email me some pictures, I am interested in knowing what Egypt really looks like.” Some friends even gave the me idea and encouragement for a blog. One of them is a good friend who had a blog herself (https://shutupandfrance.wordpress.com) about her experience studying abroad in France. I suggest you check it out. She also encouraged my use of a pop culture reference for the title Walk Like an Egyptian. Long story short, I found myself searching for free blog sites with no idea what I was doing.
My hope for the blog is that it acts as a sort of extension of my journal. Hopefully, I will be a little funny but who knows. I also appologize in advance as I am a horrible speller. And most of all I hope that my post wont be as long as this one. Less writing more pictures. If you even read this far congratulations. If you have any suggestions or comments feel free to leave them below. Until next time.
Oh and to answer everyone’s question, yes, I do plan to go see the pyramids. (You have no clue how many times I got this one.