I have signed up to participate in the third annual Egyptian-American Dialogue on “Critical Issues Facing the U.S. and the Arab World.” It will feature 20 Egyptian students in D.C. for an month-long exchange program and around 2o TWC students varying in majors and where they are from. I am more than a little nervous on this dialogue. The three main issues we are discussing will be 1. the Arab-Israeli conflict, 2. the foreign policy challenges for the Obama Administration in the Mideast and 3. Correcting negative stereotypes Americans and Arabs have about each other. I guess I am most nervous in the fact that I am not the most coherent person in the world, I mean that is why I chose writing as my profession. I am also horrible at talking in front of groups that I do not know. However, both of these reasons are why I chose to be in this program, other than the fact that I find it an interesting topic. One of my goals for this semester with the TWC and the internship is to brush up on my public speaking and knowledge of world events and history, which I have slacked on in recent years. A mandatory briefing on the Middle East was held today for over two hours for all of us TWC students participating. I have two of my roommates participating as well. It was a long meeting as we covered as much as possible on the history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and more. However, one good thing did come from this, well I did learn a lot as well, but I now know of one topic now that I can speak out about-the correcting negative stereotypes Americans and Arabs have about each other. I have Arkansas State to thank for that! I now have until 4 p.m. Thursday to brush up on my Middle East knowledge and to prepare. The dialogue is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the TWC with dinner following to allow all the students to mingle.
It was my first weekend in Washington, D.C., and all TWC interns were free to do whatever they like. I chose to spend the time getting to know my roommates. Our fourth roommate, and the girl I would be sharing a room with, finally came back to the apartment after spending the week with her mother and grandmother. Her name is Ever, as in forever and ever (that is how she described her name to us). She is from Mexico and pretty nice. Anyways, Saturday started off with a nice and free pancake breakfast followed by a free Georgetown Walking Tour. I got to visit The Old Stone House, home to the historical Adams’ family, the Potamic River, the steps featured in The Exercist and also Georgetown University. The group consisted of a variety of TWC interns and it was fun getting to know everyone. Here’s some pictures from it.
Sunday was the best part of the weekend. Sheila’s friend Johnny is stationed here in D.C. with the Army and offered to take us on a tour. We obviously were not going to to say no to an offer like that, especially since he had a car. It was a laid back day while we toured D.C., looking at the White House, the memorials and fed the birds and squirrels at a refreshment stand near the Lincoln Memorial. Johnny teased us, especially Ever, by picking us up with Starbucks in hand and we could not find a Starbucks anywhere for us girls to get one until near the end of the tour. We finally ended up at Johnny’s coworker’s girlfriend’s apartment for the Superbowl. We missed the kick-off due to the Puppy Bowl. It was annoying, but the puppies were so cute! Here’s some photos of Sunday.
Tomorrow is the big day- I attend my first day at the office. I will be in meetings all day, so I am nervous. It will be a different environment from the newspapers I have worked at and school. I did a test run to my work bright and early today. Ugh. It took me two hours to get there. So I will be up pretty darn early if anyone needs a wake up call within the next four months. Well-wish me luck!