• Thoughts and Stories
  • Syria and Lebanon

    In the late 1950s, my family went to a film festival in Damascus. We were in Beirut, and I was too young to remember. Difficult to imagine, but Syria and Lebanon were progressive, open and comfortable, made up of diverse Christian communities dating back to the time of Jesus, a thriving Jewish community, Sunni and […]

  • Thoughts and Stories
  • Touring By Bicycle

    I celebrate bicycle touring. Cyclists don’t see the world—they experience it. Biking is quiet, scenic, physically active but not necessarily strenuous, non-polluting, and it can afford a stimulating social experience with friends, family, and the local people. You get a feeling of the place, integrate with people when you stop to ask for directions and […]

  • Thoughts and Stories
  • DEMOCRACY

    “DEMOCRACY” is specifically not mentioned in the US Constitution. Madison and the other writers feared that such a system would degenerate. Madison took his idea of government  such as two houses of congress from the Presbyterian Church, even though he wasn’t a religious fellow. The Greek philosophers derided democracy, likening it to mob rule. It […]

  • Thoughts and Stories
  • Local Author Marian Stanley

    I had a terrific “Local Authors with Kameel Nasr” interview with Marian Stanley. Her debut novel The Immaculate was captivating and interesting. Set right here in the Boston area, actually in a make-believe suburb called Malford, which is a combination of Malden or Medford. Marian tackles the thorny subject of the Catholic Church and power, […]

  • Thoughts and Stories
  • ALCOHOL, WATER, AND DRUGS

    JUST A THOUGHT Christians in the Middle Ages may have lived in a prolonged state of inebriation because they mixed alcohol with water to kill the bacteria in their polluted water. The Romans were famous for building a complex aqueduct system which brought pristine water from the mountains to the cities, but when their empire […]

  • The World Up Close
  • An Indian Wedding

    India-wedding-2

    When my nephew Ethan sent me a wedding announcement, I was so happy. Weddings are automatically a source of rejoicing. The couple picked late September for the celebration.

    Then I read the wedding venue: Kerala, the long thin state at the bottom of India. He and his fiancée Meghana live in the Bay Area. Meghana was born in Hyderabad but is as American as any Bay Area Millennial. So I immediately started making plans. By a stroke of luck, my girl Kathe had scheduled to take off the entire month of September. She’s a doctor and had made those plans long in advance. She was going with a girlfriend of hers to bicycle the Camino de Santiago de Compostela the early part of September, so we made plans to spend the second half of the month first at the wedding and then traveling around Kerala a bit.