Me in the Boston Globe!

“A semester in Cairo”

April 19, 2009

Being a woman in a socially conservative city in the Middle East can be a challenge, says Olinda Hassan, a Wellesley College junior from Tucson, who is spending this semester at The American University in Cairo. But while she has watched her etiquette carefully, other women have shaken her expectations. After dark, “many girls can be seen going to cafes with their friends – highly fashionable women wearing head scarves, smoking cigarettes with their girlfriends in a corner,” Hassan says. “Hookah can also be seen everywhere, especially roadside, where small cafes will put out chairs and tables while men sit and smoke for hours, watching people pass by.” Hassan, a political science major, traveled the region extensively as a child, but she says she’s still got plenty to learn.

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