Our next book club selection is Palace Walk, the first novel in Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz’s “Cairo Trilogy”! We will probably discuss it in late April/early May. That may sound like a long way off, but don’t hesitate to get started on the book! Below is a brief description.
This extraordinary novel provides a close look into Cairo society at the end of World War I. Mahfouz’s vehicle for this examination is the family of al-Sayyid Ahmad, a middle-class merchant who runs his family strictly according to the Qur’an and directs his own behavior according to his desires. Consequently, while his wife and two daughters remain cloistered at home, and his three sons live in fear of his harsh will, al-Sayyid Ahmad nightly explores the pleasures of Cairo. Written by the first Arabic writer to win the Nobel Prize, Palace Walk begins Mahfouz’s highly acclaimed “Cairo Trilogy,” which follows Egypt’s development from 1917 to nationalism and Nasser in the 1950s.
Also a professional translator and editor, Sarah joined the staff of Academic Arrangements Abroad in 2008. She became a manager at the firm before opting to lead tours.
“I’m always excited to explore new destinations, which is one of the reasons this job is so worthwhile,” she says. Originally from Oklahoma City, Sarah frequently directs tours in Cuba and has visited more than 50 countries.
Hometown: Oklahoma City
City I would recommend: I love Barcelona. It has it all – art, architecture, good food and great weather!
City I would drop everything to see: Any city in Egypt! I’ve never been and have wanted to go since I got a hieroglyphics set when I was 8.
Tour you were on recently: A Cuba trip with MIT alumni. It was a terrific, very enthusiastic group and a great itinerary. The week flew by!
Something that surprises people: I grew up playing poker at family gatherings, so I’m a bit of a card shark.
Three things I can’t travel without: I received a grid-it as a Christmas present and use it to keep all my jewelry and cords together. I also love my Tumi suitcase, which has a tracker on it in case it ever gets lost. And I never leave home without my iPad to entertain me on all the long flights.
Number of trips: I’m not sure how many trips I’ve been on, but I’ve been to more than 50 countries, and counting.
We’ve already received a number of submissions for our Focus on Travel photo contest. Images entered so far range from Borobudur at sunrise to Stockholm at dusk. There are also stunning shots of London, Havana, Egypt, Bolivia and other destinations near and far.
If you have a great travel photograph, there’s still time to enter it in the contest. The winner will receive a new iPad mini. Prizes for the runners-up include a NiteCore Tiny Monster flashlight, a micro luggage scale and more.
You can also vote on the submitted images, which are featured in a gallery that can be accessed through the photo contest tab. The most popular image will receive a People’s Choice Award and a special prize.
To enter or vote, please go to our Facebook page and click on the Focus On Travel Photo Contest icon below our name. It will take you to a new page where you can enter the contest or vote on selected entries (or both!).
Be sure to submit your entry before May 1, 2013.
If you’re one of those people who ignore the rabblerousing of New Year’s Eve or is usually disappointed by how the evening turns out, boy are we going to make you jealous.
How about dancing the night away at the sumptuous Tsar’s Ball in Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg? Or for something more low key, raise a toast in the Galapagos, anchored off the birder’s paradise of Tower Island. You could also welcome the new year in newly democratic Cairo or watch fireworks burst over the Grand Canal in Venice.
So whether you are enticed by the magic of Russia in winter, the stunning natural world of the Galapagos, the elegance of six nights at the Danieli or the historic wonders of Egypt and Jordan, one thing is for sure: You will not be disappointed.