Ian Lee

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Latest by Ian Lee


DNA testing reveals mystery of Tutankhamen's early death

CAIRO: A 3,000-year-old cold case is now closed. King Tut was not murdered, according to head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawass. In a press conference Wednesday, Hawass revealed that the young king died of complications resulting from a combination of an infection from a broken leg and malaria. “King Tut had severe …

Ian Lee

Conflict cones

This past year I traveled to two conflict zones, Afghanistan and Gaza. When traveling to these areas I tried to prepare myself mentally for the journey ahead. Going to Afghanistan, it was the possibility of getting kidnapped or becoming a victim of a roadside bomb. In Gaza, it was the unknown as I ventured into …

Ian Lee

Gaza's five-star destination

GAZA CITY: On the shore of Gaza City a large building lays as a casualty of the years of conflict. Bullet holes and tanks rounds are visible on the building’s exterior but it’s the interior that makes this building unique. The Gaza City Movenpick Hotel is a completed 250-room, five-star hotel with spa and swimming …

Ian Lee

Afghanistan as a vacation spot? 48 Hours in Mazar-e-Sherif

The following depiction is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced traveler. But if you land Kabul airport and wonder what you re doing there just follow these steps. First find a taxi into town, as the airport is 10 kilometers away. The taxi can be easily found and you should negotiate the …

Ian Lee

Rafah residents living on borderline economy

RAFAH: A harsh wind lashes at the tattooed wrinkled face of Selma Suleiman. Dates, olive oil and nuts lay in front of her as Gazans move across the Rafah border. She is part of the temporary economy that springs up in the desert like rainstorm vegetation every time the border opens. But the infrequency of …

Ian Lee

Night at an Afghani country fair

It could be a scene right out of a country western song, dirt roads, Ferris wheel and kids playing under the bright neon lights but this isn’t rural Wyoming but rather Mara-e-Sharif Afghanistan. When we pulled up I couldn’t believe my eyes; not only was there a Ferris wheel but also a swing ride and …

Ian Lee

A Khawaga's Fast: Week Four: Fasting in Afghanistan

As the plane door opens on the tarmac, dust fills my mouth. Parched from traveling and now from the dust, I exit the plane and enter the high Afghan capital. The purpose of my trip is two parts. The first is to visit a college friend who is getting married and two, to report my …

Ian Lee

An adventure of flavor at Torii

Once a former palace, the Marriott in Zamalek tries to live up to its royal pedigree. And the complex culinary adventure offered by Torii’s Stamina menu is nothing short of fit for a king. But the experience begins long before the food is brought to the table. As my friend and I enter the dimly …

Ian Lee

A Khawaga's Fast: Week three: Failure is not an option

Anybody who has been through an orientation about living abroad knows this graph, I first encountered it when I studied abroad in Jordan during college. It’s a line that depicts a typical emotional experience during one’s time in the foreign country. First the line inclines sharply with the excitement of living in a fresh environment. …

Ian Lee

A Khawaga's First Fast: Week two: The highs and lows of fasting

How long have you been fasting? is a question I am typically asked. Slightly confused by the question, I respond by saying, “Since the first day. For most people, they can’t believe that I’ve been fasting the entire time, which I haven’t quite figured out why. But they tell me how happy they are to …

Ian Lee

A Khawaga's First Fast: Week One

Bang. Bang. Bang. “Na’am, I say half asleep. “Sohour, says a voice behind my hotel door. I get dressed and look at my watch. It’s 2:50 am. I wipe the sleep from my eyes as I step out into the humid, Red Sea air of Dahab. It is the first meal of the first day …

Ian Lee

A healthy regimen for Ramadan

As my first Ramadan fasting approaches, one thing has been heavy on my mind. It’s not how to survive the long days without food or drink, but no, it’s from the answer I receive when I asked everyone what to expect from the challenge with the unanimous reply: I should expect to gain weight. I …

Ian Lee

Fair trade rugs are Cairo's greenest effort

In a world inundated with products from China it can be hard to find authentically original items. Even if you believe you found something genuine you are usually disappointed after finding a ‘made in China’ sticker attached underneath. My initial goal was to search for authentic Egyptian products but in the end I found a …

Ian Lee

A Night at Makan

A light illuminates the nondescript building that is Makan, or ‘Place’ in English. The small, modest sign on the side is unimpressive when compared to the experience that waits inside, one of the most entertaining and culturally engaging night spots one can while away a hot summer night in Cairo. Just a short walk from …

Ian Lee

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