NYU Gallatin sophomore studying abroad in Abu Dhabi. Seeking to continuously move beyond my ever-expanding comfort zone. California suburbs -> New York City -> The Middle East

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If You Were Spending a Semester on a Desert Island…

In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 14. Tips, Abu Dhabi by Raven2 Comments

You’ve poured over the NYU Global Study Planner site, you’ve tracked down the sites that offer your required courses, and you’ve carefully mapped out your next few semesters. You’ve been practically hit over the head with promotions of the “global campus experience,” being a “citizen of the world,” and the NYU-sanctioned messaging of diversity across the GNU. Your Instagram and …

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In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 11. Travails, Abu Dhabi by Raven2 Comments

My decision to come to Abu Dhabi for the spring semester concerned my family. They heard Arab Emirates and thought of “Middle East.” They heard Middle East and thought “dangerous.” It made me upset, a strange combination of frustrated that they had these preconceptions, angry that they would judge and label an entire region, torn because even though I knew …

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Global Access: Debunking Dangerous Travel Ideals

In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 7. Travel 2.0, Abu Dhabi by Raven1 Comment

In most of my experience reading about writers’ responses to travel in the Information Age, I have been really very struck by the way that many writers seemed to condemn an internet-influenced travel plan. Of course, it is a very romantic idea to imagine a travel experience where you “get lost in the exploration,” “dive into the unknown,” and allow …

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Combating Misconceptions and Maintaining Critique

In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 5. Politics, Abu Dhabi by Raven1 Comment

The Emirati Government is quite unlike what I may have experienced at any other point in my life. There is a ruling family built upon traditional tribalism. There is censorship certainly. The country operates under shar’ia law in addition to official civic codes. There is much more regulation and oversight than many Western countries. However, all of this means that …

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In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 4. The Soul of a Place, Abu Dhabi by Raven2 Comments

Last week, the university held a music festival called Barzakh here on campus. With several artists brought together from all over the world, this festival was a celebration of all things New York University Abu Dhabi, and further Abu Dhabi itself. Students and faculty and professors alike coming alive to thundering beats in one dark space. One band: an eight-piece …

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Marhabaan: Welcome to the World

In The Art of Travel Spring 2017, 1. Anticipation, Abu Dhabi by Raven1 Comment

I grew up in a suburb in Northern California. A “nice neighborhood,” a “good place to raise kids.” In other words, I am incredibly privileged, sheltered, and have led a blessedly average life. Essentially, despite my diverse public high school and my exciting after-school activities, I have always lived in a bubble. So at eighteen, I picked up and moved …