Walking like an Egyptian
Deleted book chapter about my reporting trip to Egypt
In December 2007, I completed my third international reporting trip for America Abroad. I decided to cut the draft chapter about that trip from my book as it was not a particularly dangerous or alien destination and didn’t add enough to the narrative of my efforts to travel to the most extreme places in the world. That said, the trip introduced a critical element of my story: my need to find a tribe. I worked that meditation into a different chapter.
While I was hoping to up the danger score from my Sudan trip, my next assignment would be a step backwards. For our next program, we decided to explore U.S. public diplomacy. Since 9/11 and then the invasion of Iraq, the United States had been frantically trying to woo the Muslim world. The Bush administration launched radio and TV networks as well as a host of messaging campaigns designed to make people in countries like Syria, Iraq, and Indonesia like America.