Thursday, April 26, 2012

I have some catching up to do...

So, first of all, I should mention why this blog is called "A Year in the 'Mother of the World.'" This is because of a nickname given to Egypt by its people, "Umm ad-Dunya," which means "mother of the world". I think that this is a very appropriate nickname, given Egypt's fascinating and incredible history.
A few months back, I had the fortune to see my Egyptian friend Fatma, who was the first Egyptian I've ever met, the person who first exposed me to Arabic, and one of the people who got me interested in doing an exchange year. It was fabulous to reconnect with her, catch up, and to talk about my upcoming exchange. I can't wait to see her in Egypt!
Also, I figured that I should actually say something about where I am with regards to applying and stuff like that. So, essentially, earlier this school year I applied to the National Security Language Initiative for Youth, or NSLI-Y (a language-learning scholarship), and Youth Exchange and Study, or YES (a scholarship for studying in countries with significant Muslim populations). Sadly, I didn't get either of them. However, I think it's just as well, because both of those scholarships have canceled their programs to Egypt next year! That's probably why I didn't get it, because I put Egypt as my first choice for both, obviously...
But, I did get $3,000 in another scholarship: the Global Leaders, which is a scholarship for American students going abroad to either Egypt, India, Russia, China, and a few other countries. And I got $200 in the AFS Family Awards scholarship, since I hosted an Italian student and my mother was an AFSer. So, that's definitely a start. :)
Well, that's all for now. Ma' assalema,
This is a picture from the going-away party for the 2008-2009 Washtenaw AFSers: From right to left:Me, Ina(Indonesia), my sister Carson, Emanuele(our Italian brother) is behind her, Ana(Bolivia),and FATMA(EGYPT) :D
PS:Although it's not totally relevant, since I'm talking so much about going abroad, I felt obligated to say something about my trip to Italy! Well, as I might have mentioned, my mom is Italian, and I speak the language. I also visit family there often. My last trip was from March 30 to April 9 of this year. My sister and I went by ourselves for the first time. I had a lot of fun! :D Most of the trip was spent in the small towns called Viadana and Dosolo where our family lives, but we also traveled a bit, to Parma, a nearby lakeside spa resort, and Pisa. I had an amazing time, and reconnected with my relatives, classmates, and friends. And practiced my Italian, of course. Good times :) That's all for now ^_^
The beach in Viareggio, a town in Tuscany
In Viadana
PISA! (note the Leaning Tower in the background xD)

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