Category Archives: Middle East

‘Holy Trinity,’ Bcharre, Lebanon—One of the World’s Largest Wooden Sculptures (Trippy Travel Photo 32)

Trippy Travel Photo 32

This photo is of ‘The Holy Trinity’—aka, La Martine Cedar—one of the world’s largest wooden sculpture (39 meters), found in Bcharre, Lebanon. The sculptor, Rudy Rahme, carved these figures out of dead cedar tress in the Cedars of Lebanon, often referred to as the Cedars of God. Look closely and you’ll see the face of Jesus…

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6 Cities I (Probably) Won’t Be Returning To


Over the years, I’ve visited many cities–large, medium-sized and small. I’m not even sure how many.  Although I don’t love large ones (with a few exceptions), I do like them. Generally, however, I prefer the smaller ones. Looking ahead, I’m thinking about where else I’d like to travel. Most of my trips require a stop…

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Two Boys, Arm in Arm, in Aleppo, Syria—Before the War (Photo of the Day)

Two boys in Aleppo--friends or brothers--enjoying a peaceful moment together

I came across this photo a few days ago and was transported back in time to Aleppo, Syria, in 2010–when I had the opportunity to travel there. Before the war. When life was peaceful. These boys and the looks on their faces caught my eye, leading me to share the photo. When/Where I Met the…

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Trippy Travel Photo #23: Nearly-Nude Woman Fresco—Qasr Amra Desert Castle, Jordan


This photo is of a fresco of a nearly-nude woman painted on the wall inside Qasr Castle–aka, Qusayr Amra–in Jordan. The castle was built somewhere between 711 and 715 AD by Umayad Caliph Walid I. I had the opportunity to see this when I went on a tour of Jordan’s Eastern desert castles. Those who…

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Random Travel Moment #6: Meeting the Exorcist Asst. Director in Amman, Jordan

Exorcist Assistant Director

The Assistant Director of the Exorcist? In Amman, Jordan? Pretty random and yeah, just a bit bizarre. What the heck would…um…possess someone to claim that identity? And why did he choose to speak to me and my 12-year-old Circassian-Jordanian friend Shamel? And was he really who he said he was? Read on to find out……

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Peacetime Reflections: a Photo Journey Through the Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, Syria

Umayyad Mosque--Damascus, Syria

I took these photos of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria, two years ago and am happy that I can share them with you now. I feel fortunate to have visited a mosque that’s so important in terms of history and religion. It was built around 700 AD and, according to many sources, is in…

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Remembering Syria: What It Was Like Before the War

Street Scene, Aleppo

Syria, a country I was fortunate to travel to in 2010, has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m sad about what’s going on there…worried about the people I met and their loved ones, as well as the general population. Like everyone else, I’m wondering when the hellish civil war is finally going to…

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‘Walking Walls’: A Photographic Exploration of Modern Political Boundaries

Jerusalem Separation Wall

(This guest post/photo essay is by Kate Trenerry, who has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East to explore and document modern political borders. She has two bachelor’s degrees–one in History and another in Cinema & Media Studies–both from Carleton College. For a complete bio, including links to Kate’s blog, see the end of…

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Muslim Woman Resting on Bench (Photo of the Day)

Muslim woman resting near Spice Bazaar

Taking a break from shopping is always a good idea. This Muslim woman, whose photo I took near the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, obviously thought so. I suspect she was happy to be enjoying a moment of peace while outside and away from the chaos of the bustling market. She caught my attention because of…

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The Treasury—Petra, Jordan (Photo of the Day)

Petra Treasury Photo

Today’s photo is of the ancient/lost city of Petra—specifically, the Treasury, aka, Al Khazhneh. Even if you haven’t been to see it in Jordan, chances are you recognized the unique rust/peach-colored sandstone structure pretty quickly. It’s appeared in quite a few Hollywood movies and is famous for its use in the film Indiana Jones and the…

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