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Culture, Travel & Lifestyle

After years of chaos, Lebanon’s cosmopolitan capital is making a stylish comeback: My first travel story for the Wall Street Journal, with wonderful guidance by the steady hand of Deputy Travel Editor Sara Clemence. It’s part of a great series they do called “Concierge,” which features tips from the city’s insiders — in this case, folks like Anissa Helou and Elie Saab. Published in the Wall Street Journal, October 2011

Surfacing: Amman: Is Amman the Los Angeles of the Middle East?  Not all of it, thank goodness.  Up-and-coming Rainbow Street is a few blocks of pedestrian paradise, a place to park the car, get out and pound a stretch of pavement lined with new boutiques, galleries and cafes. Published in The New York Times, September 2011

‘Miral': Taking the Israel-Palestine Conflict Personally: An in-depth look at Julian Schnabel and Rula Jebreal’s film, Miral.  The story contrasts Schnabel’s blunt, heavy-handed telling of the story with the more subtle, intimate narratives told by people from the region. Published in TheAtlantic.com, March 2011

Across the Great Divide to a Hollywood Ending: Palestinian writer and journalist Rula Jebreal met Jewish-American artist and director Julian Schnabel in Rome.  Love, and a movie, ensued.  The story of their new movie, Miral, and their new life together.  Published in the Wall Street Journal, March 2011

The Squirmy Ethics of Breast Milk Ice Cream:  Most of the reaction to a London shop’s peddling of “Baby Gaga,” an ice cream flavor made with human milk, focused on whether it’s weird to drink cow dairy as opposed to human dairy.  I look at the way a growing market for human milk — for frozen confections, or fetishists — opens up similar questions that linger around issues like sex work, surrogacy and organ donation. Published in Salon.com, March 2010

Seriously Funny: I sit down with the comedy writer Jane Bussmann, author of “The Worst Date Ever,” a story about how she chased a sexy peacekeeper to Uganda, only to stumble on the hidden backstory of the Lord’s Resistance Army (you know, the child soldiers/sex slaves/amputations guys), published in the Wall Street Journal, March 2011.

Interpreting the New Dialogue: Q and A with the founders of a new theater company dedicated to Middle Eastern artists, exploring how theater can process the current upheaval in the region, published in the Wall Street Journal, March 2011.

Channeling the City’s Varied Voices: A profile of TONY award-winning performer Sarah Jones, who opened a series of one-woman improv shows in January 2011 at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, published in the Wall Street Journal, Jan. 2011

A Multicultural River Bend in Newark: A portrait of the Ironbound District in Newark, NJ, where newly-arrived Central American immigrants mingle with longtime Portuguese and Spanish residents, published in the Wall Street Journal,  Dec. 2010

Bringing food items on flights can raise eyebrows at security: A look at gastro-terrorism, or what edibles can and can’t be brought on board, published in the Washington Post, Jan. 2010

Yes, We Speak Cupcake: How baked goods may be advancing America’s soft-power diplomatic strategy in the Middle East, published in the New York Times, Sept. 2009

Only Connect: Upscale tourism is less about six-star hotels and VIP tours, and more about an authentic, local experience, say travel consultants.  T magazine, May 2008

Traveling Circus: With geopolitical shifts and currency fluctuations, national stereotypes about tourists are crumbling, with new ones taking their places. T magazine, March 2008

Sleeping With the Enemy: The palaces and getaways of former dictators are now destinations for the high-end traveler, T magazine, Sept. 2007

Make Falafel, Not War: A chef unites Lebanon’s divided sectarian society around food, through a vibrant weekly farmer’s market, International Herald Tribune, Aug. 2007

Going to: Istanbul: Istanbul’s newly-opened modern art museum, new hotels and a vibrant energy made it a top destination in 2005.  Published in the New York Times Travel section, March 2005

Surfacing: European Style in North Africa: An Alaine Ducasse restaurant opens in Tunis, as well as recommendations for several other elegant places to drink and dine in Tunis, published in the New York Times Travel section, Dec. 2004

A Band Reinvents that Heartthrob Look: How the Strokes and their colleagues revived the rock star crush, published in the New York Times, Aug. 2004

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