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Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 16:23:25 +0000
From: Jon Lea & Bob Hetzel <jonfbobh@brainy1.ie-eg.com>
Subject: Kulli sanaw enti tayib

Happy New Year or "Kulli sanaw enti tayib" as we say in Egypt.

We are currently celebrating Ramadan and it is a wonderful tradition. All Muslims (that are healthy and able) fast from sunrise to sunset for thirty days. They do this in order to become more aware of the blessings from Allah in their life. By fasting, they have a better understanding of what it is like to be poor and have very little or nothing at all. They break the fast each evening with prayers and a feast that is shared with all. We are going to the Khan a Khalili to participate in an if-tar (feast following the fast). Once again, we have found our Muslim friends to be very open and sharing of their beliefs and traditions.

Life has been very busy around here. Just when I thought there were no job prospectives in sight, I got a call from an organization called Amideast. It is an international, non-profit agency that is commited to supporting peace through educational exchanges. They needed a regional coordinator of advising and gratefully, they appreciated the talents and skills I have developed over the years in this area.

I started work last week on a part-time basis. Currently we are working on arranging for a Bi-regional International Advising Conference to be held in Cairo from March 5-8. I am taking care of some of the last minute details to help get the conference set up. After the conference I will be responsible for facilitating communication between the advising centers throughout the Mid-East and North Africa. I will write a quarterly newsletter to help keep everyone informed and will visit each site once a year.

My computer skills have come in very handy. Most of the communication will be done over the internet. Amideast is encouraging all advisors to use the CD-ROM advising programs to help students decide about U.S. colleges and majors. Since there is a program with all U.S. college catalogues on file, technology is making it easier and more efficient to maintain a career center. Right now, we are working out the bugs of using technology at distant sites and training all users.

I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year.

Ma Salaama, Jon Lea

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