Thursday, June 9, 2011


The CASA program officially kicked off earlier this week, and it’s already the weekend. The workweek in Egypt runs from Sunday to Thursday, and T.G.I.T.!

Sunday and Monday consisted of orientation, which included a completely useless security and health presentation that focused primarily on fire safety and how we shouldn’t swim in the Nile – and contained almost no mention of what to do in case of protests or riots or whatnot. Of course, there are never any protests or disturbances or revolutions or whatever in Egypt – unheard of! – so, mish mushkila (no problem).

We also paid a visit to AUC Fantasyland, otherwise known as the university’s American-style new campus out in the desert. We swam in an Olympic-sized pool, read signs with perfect English scrawled upon them, and saw the offspring of the upper crust of Egyptian society wear their Abercrombie and as they enjoyed the luxurious trappings available at any nice American college. It takes an hour or two to get there, depending on traffic, and the bus costs about $3.50 each way, so I don’t think I’ll be going often to New Cairo, the suburb that plays home to the campus. That’s not why I’m here anyway. (For more, check out my friend Mike’s great post on the topic.)

This summer, all the Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) students are enrolled in two classes: Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian colloquial, both with a focus on Egyptian culture and society. And we have TONS of homework every day. Just like in Jordan, I feel like I’m at the bottom of the class in terms of previous knowledge. Amman turned out alright, though, so I’m confident this will work out, too. Also: We have "club day" on Sunday instead of classes, and I'm in the journalism club, of course.

Lots of exciting stuff going on this weekend. Look for more posts, and check out my photos on Facebook!

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