A Festival Is Only What You Make It

An Atlas Cedar -- my favorite conifer!

I know this comes 2 weeks late, but that is the intention! Because this is not a post about the recently past Christmas, but about the many Christmases I celebrated as a child, many years ago, and how much I miss them as I watch the Christmases of today. (more…)

Finding Myself Outside The Known

This for me has been one of the biggest questions in establishing a personal identity: which part of me is me, and which part is simply a product of family, societal and cultural conditioning?

And for me the most important part of recognizing an individual and independent identity has been in the discovery of those things that I had not been exposed to by others — my parents, the society, culture and country I was born into.  (more…)


For years, the U.S. government has been critical of China and Iran for their state run control of the Internet.   However now, the US Congress is contemplating a law that would give the U.S. government the power to censor India’s Internet. (more…)

Giving Thanks for Taking by Giving

An American friend today emailed me some of his favorite ‘Thanksgiving’ anecdotes.  And I in turn sent him one of mine.  And then I thought maybe I should share it on my blog too — it might resonate with others as it has with me.  

This happened when I was living in Washington D.C.  This is one city, that during the holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving etc. becomes a ghost town.  Everyone clears out.  I had neighbors, women who retired from the State Department, and had lived three-fourths of their lives in D.C., who would say “I’m going home for Thanksgiving,” and then leave for New York State, or Ohio or wherever it was that they were born and raised.

In the end there would only be a motley handful of us, foreigners from various countries, left behind (more…)

My Six-Yard Green Scarf For Afghan Women

A feminist friend, who I told about the Afghan women’s Green Scarf movement, said, “I don’t support the veil!”  And I suddenly realized that probably she’s not the only one with the wrong idea about what this is all about.

To support this movement all one needs to do is: 1) Put on a green scarf (Doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman, or how you want to wear it) 2) Take a picture of yourself wearing it  3) Upload it on this site  to show your solidarity with the Afghan women.

And to clarify: it does not ask for people to wear a veil!  It says ‘A scarf.’  It just needs to be green.  And you can wear it however you want.  My green scarf (in the picture to your left) is 6 yards long, (more…)

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