Different mustn’t mean threatening

Regarding the recent letter from Linda Dorsey (“Experience belies fear of Muslims,” Jully 20), I, too, had a positive experience in Muslim countries, traveling in Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey where I lived for nine years, 1969-1978. I felt safer there than in Los Angeles. I taught school for the Department of Defense a few miles from the Syrian border. I went to Syria on three-day weekends, and visited Roman ruins, crusader castles.  On a cross country trip, my headlights blew out. I stopped in a village but was…

Student recreates Spencer Creek flooding with 2D simulation

The goal is to define warning areas and predict water levels for future evacuation and response plans If you knew a flood was coming — and you could predict the water level and damages — your evacuation and response would be dramatically improved. Such a tool might have helped the Dundas community back in April, when a month’s worth of rain fell in a single day. The flooding at Spencer Creek caused millions of dollars in damage and transformed streets into gushing rapids and mudslides. Using 2D simulation, an engineering…

IncreFederal program brings North African, Middle Eastern students to Virginia Techdible West County home – inspired by a lifetime of travel – is like no other

 Teenage girls from seven different countries in North Africa and the Middle East are spending time in Blacksburg this month. Twenty-eight high school-age girls are in the middle of a three-week program at Virginia Tech. They’re learning about computer science and other technology topics. This is a part of an exchange program the U.S. State Department runs along with Legacy International. It’s called TechGirls and it trains girls in the STEM fields, science, technology, engineering and math. Nour Belaiech is from Tunisia. She says she’s considering going to Virginia Tech after…

Artist celebrates Paris in Arabic calligraphy

An award-winning Franco-Tunisian artist has told Anadolu Agency that using Arabic language and culture in his work has helped him “reconnect” with his French identity. Thirty-five-year-old eL Seed — born to Tunisian parents in Paris — is the joint winner of the 2017 UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture. Blending Arabic and French themes in paintings, prints and sculptures, he aims, through his “contemporary approach… to bring people, cultures and generations together”. The artist spoke to Anadolu Agency this week at a new exhibition about his love for the French capital, where the…

Holy Sith! The new Star Wars Hotel gives guests their own storyline

You’ll actually get to feature in a Star Wars adventure. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away one of the world’s greatest cinematic sagas was created by George Lucas. Well, Star Wars: A New Hope was actually filmed in Tunisia, England, California and other locations, but who’s judging? Like many of you, as soon as we saw that glorious opening shot of Darth Vader’s Star Destroyer pursuing Princess Leia’s ship, we were absolutely hooked. Aside from the ground breaking special effects, memorable characters and brilliant films ( cough,…

Hoosier archaeologist found the long lost ‘Star Wars’ sets. He wants your help to tell its story.

Archaeologist David West Reynolds took his ‘Star Wars’ fandom to the next level by mapping out the filming locations of the original ‘Star Wars’ movie and setting out on an expedition to find themMadeleine Winer/Courier-Journal/USA TODAY Network  David West Reynolds, a New Albany native, has visited a galaxy far, far away and wants to share it with you. That galaxy is the Sahara Desert of Tunisia, where he was the first to find the original — supposedly lost — “Star Wars” filming locations using a combination of his fanboy status and…

Brits are returning to Tunisia on cheap holidays despite Foreign Office advice to avoid the country

A state of emergency operates in the country due to the high risk of terror attacks, but UK holidaymakers are ignoring the risks and getting cheap flights from France and Germany – where travel bans are not in place. Flights to the capital Tunis are also still running from Heathrow for essential travel and rooms in four and five-star hotels can be booked online for as little as £35-a-night. Holidaymakers who have made the trip are leaving glowing reviews of their Tunisian hotels on TripAdvisor. A traveller from Gainsborough in…

‘TechGirls’ from Middle East and North Africa head to US

Twenty-eight teenage girls from predominantly Muslim countries have been chosen to participate in the US State Department’s TechGirls 2017 exchange program. The girls, aged between 15 and 17, from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia, will take part in a 22 day summer exchange program in Washington DC and Virginia between July 12 and August 3. Previously the program had also included girls from Libya and Yemen, however this year they are not on the list of participating countries. TechGirls is an initiative of the US Department…

Luxembourgers and Arabs find their way to ‘Babylon’

As the number of residents in Luxembourg hailing from Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Tunisia or Morocco increases, so does the demand for shops selling produce from those regions too. Luxembourg has recently seen an increase in shops catering to Arabic tastes, as well as restaurants, shisha cafés, and even small markets selling traditional Arabic consumer goods. I paid a visit to one such shop, “Babylon Mini Market” on route d’Esch in Luxembourg City, to find out from the owner, Wisam, where the idea of a mini market came…

Djerba: Tunisia’s most harmonious multicultural island

Muslims and Jews celebrate the holiday of Lag B’Omer side by side on the Tunisian island that prizes peaceful coexistence above all else Tucked in the dark brown benches of the Ghriba Synagogue, people sip honey pepper Nemiroff vodka and Jim Beam whisky and nosh on nuts and dried fruit. Before long, the synagogue starts to smell like the aftermath of a lively party, all booze and sweat. A live band plays rousing Arabic music, sung with enthusiasm by a Jewish man in a yarmulke. With Israel recently moving to withdraw Arabic…