Five Pillars to Hold Myself Up: What do Muslims Believe?

What are the basic teachings of Islam, and what does it mean to be a Muslim? Continue reading “Five Pillars to Hold Myself Up: What do Muslims Believe?”

Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam

Who was Muhammad, and how did the Arab world of the seventh century shape his teachings? Continue reading “Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam”

November 22, 2016: Haram in Qatar, or How I Learned Not to Cast the First Stone

According to The Qatar Tribune, Qatari customs officials destroyed some 31,000 bottles of wine seized after routine inspections of incoming shipping containers in the nation’s port. Continue reading “November 22, 2016: Haram in Qatar, or How I Learned Not to Cast the First Stone”

November 21, 2016: The Foreign Service Explains the Day

One of the best aspects of this fellowship is the access it grants to the US embassy in each country that we visit.  Outside of a tragic terrorist attack in Libya, most Americans probably haven’t given much thought to the fine, knowledgable folks who represent US interests in hundreds of countries around the world. Continue reading “November 21, 2016: The Foreign Service Explains the Day”

November 20, 2016: Living History in the UAE

If you look around Openendedsocialstudies.org, you’ll find that I love history. Continue reading “November 20, 2016: Living History in the UAE”

November 17 and 18, 2016: The Burj, the Palm, and the Dubai Brand

I haven’t been able to write much since I arrived in Dubai.  This place is a sensual onslaught of glamour – colored lights and stunning views, rich food and richer cars, hot sun and cool AC, full burka and lots of leg.  I’ve been overwhelmed. Continue reading “November 17 and 18, 2016: The Burj, the Palm, and the Dubai Brand”

November 16, 2016: Opening Eyes in Dubai

After bidding Bahrain a fond adieu, our TEACH Fellowship delegation proceded to the global crossroads of the region – Dubai, the richest of the United Arab Emirates.  On first blush, the city itself is sprawling and urban and at the remove of the airport gives no sense of the opulance and glamor with which it has branded itself.  Though it definitely seems prosperous.   Continue reading “November 16, 2016: Opening Eyes in Dubai”