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Blog Action Day 2012: Register Now!

I just registered for Blog Action Day October 15, 2012. Take part in a huge global discussion #BAD12

I love the theme they have chosen for this year: The Power of We 🙂

Hello Bloggers

Welcome back to Blog Action Day for 2012.

As previous participants of Blog Action Day, I am pleased to share with you three important announcements.

1. Blog Action Day will be held on October 15, 2012,
2. Our theme is “The Power of We” – you can use the #powerofwe hashtag, and
3. Registrations for Blog Action Day are now OPEN.

Why did we choose The Power of We?

We choose this theme for a few reasons.

Firstly, the popularity of the subjects Community, Equality, Transparency/Anti-Corruption and Freedom, in the theme poll we ran via Facebook and Twitter, over te last few weeks.

Secondly, we felt that Blog Action Day needed to reflect the ever growing movements of people working together for positive social change.

Whether using digital tools like blogs, social networks and mobiles, or meeting face to face in local community halls, neighbours house, andpublic streets. Greater numbers of people have been coming together to make change, either for their own communities or the world at large.

For the team at Blog Action Day, we see The Power of We as a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, and we hope you take part and register your blog for Blog Action Day.

Ideas for how you can discuss “The Power of We”

For Blog Action Day, you might profile a person or a group who inspire you, talk about your own efforts to make change, or highlight a cause that has been successful for using people power to make a difference.

There are hundreds of examples you could choose from such as; fighting for healthier meals for kids in schools, protecting people’s rights in countries far away, stopping practices in industries that hurt the environment and communities, challenging authorities to listen and act for the people.

Or, you may want to focus on historical social change movements such as the Suffragettes movement, campaigns against slavery or civil rights.

If you are active in a movement, you might even want to discuss the strategies and tips of how to organise to encourage other people to make change happen.

Getting ready for Blog Action Day

As Blog Action Day gets closer (just under seven weeks away) we will be sharing thoughts from our NGO partners, previous Blog Action Day participants and interesting individuals about our theme, and ask them to provide suggestions and materials that you can use for your blogs on October 15, 2102.
Also, over the next few weeks we will be increasing our communications with a weekly email, as well as regularly updates, content and opportunities via our website and social media channels.

The team at Blog Action Day can’t wait to see what you all blog about and we really hope that you enjoy taking part in Blog Action Day on October 12, 2012.

All the best

Karina and Jason and the rest of the Blog Action Day team

PS. Don’t forget to register for this year’s event via our website

August 29, 2012 Posted by | Blogging, Character, Charity, Communication, Community, Political Issues, Social Issues, Values | | Leave a comment

Tabak Rohoo: A Damascene Dish

Syria is heavy on our hearts, and in our helplessness, we honor our Syrian friends by trying a Damascus dish, Tabak Rohoo.

Although we did not manage to empty the cooking pot by sliding the completed dish out still in layers (a challenge for the future), this dish was so delicious that we plan to have it often. AdventureMan was amazed; he doesn’t even like lamb, but this lamb is delicious.

It is hard to imagine that this dish might be even better if made with ghee. We substituted a very good olive oil. 🙂

The recipe is from, where I find some of the best recipes ever 🙂

A Vegetable Stew – Tabakh Rohoo

“This is an Arabic vegetable stew made in layers and served with steamed rice or bulgur. My Damascene sister in law recently showed me how to make this. It is delicious. The addition of ghee or rendered butter at the end of the cooking is a traditional Damascene style of cooking; however, these days these dishes are made without the extra fat.”

20 Min
1 Hr 15 Min
1 Hr 35 Min
• 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
• 1 pound lamb meat, cut into small pieces
• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 pinch ground cardamom
• 2 onions, sliced
• 1 potato, peeled and sliced
• 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cubed
• 1 pound zucchini, thickly sliced
• 2 pounds tomatoes, cubed
• 1 chile pepper, chopped
• salt to taste
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1/4 cup water
• 6 cloves garlic
• salt to taste
• 3 tablespoons dried mint

1. Heat the ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Place the lamb meat in the pot, and cook until evenly brown. Season with allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom.

2. Place a layer of onion on top of the lamb in the pot, followed by layers of potato, eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. Do not stir. Place the chile pepper in the center of the vegetables. Season with salt. Mix the tomato paste and water, and pour over the vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour, until vegetables are tender.

3. With a mortar and pestle, crush together the garlic, salt, and mint. Mix with 2 tablespoons of liquid from the pot, and pour over ingredients in pot. (I used a mini-jar on my blender. I tried the mortor and pestle, but there was a lot of stuff and it was messy and unsuccessful. The blender did just fine, and this mixture is essential to the delicious nature of the dish – Intlxpatr)

When removing the mixture to the serving dish – a fairly open or wide bowl – tip the pot and let it slide out the side so that it stays in the layers.

August 29, 2012 Posted by | Cooking, ExPat Life, Experiment, Middle East, Recipes | 7 Comments

Hurricane Isaac Hanging Around

Hurricane Isaac – for Pensacola – has turned out to be not so much. Yes, there has been high water, due to the ceaseless winds pushing water onshore. Yes, there are some bursts of high winds. Yes there are some heavy showers.

We’ve seen worse, we’ve had worse storms. The think about Hurricane Isaac is that while there is nothing you can put your finger on, he is like that annoying guest who stays too long. He is hanging around, and we would like to get on with our lives.

Example: Our grandson’s school is still closed, and our son and his wife need to go to work today. Fortunately, AdventureMan and the Happy Toddler have a great relationship, and AdventureMan has made a plan to introduce him today to the public library, it’s treasure trove of childrens’ books, and that you can take them home – but you have to take them back. We hope the library is open today! We don’t know! It’s just annoying and inconvenient, these are minor things, not the great huge overwhelming problems that Plaquemines Parish is facing with their huge guest who insists on hanging around. Huge and slow, just the size and duration is causing expensive and life-threatening problems.

My plan for today is to put the heavy things back on the walls, mirrors I didn’t want to replace, framed art-work and hangings I didn’t want damaged if we were hit by the hurricane or tornado. Yes, there are still tornado warnings. No, I am not so worried.

At 6:30 this morning it was hot and humid. At 0900, it is still hot and humid, with occasional showers of warm rain. Aargh. Thanks be to God, no flooding in our house, no breeches in our defenses. We’re ready to move on. We’re ready for this to be over.

August 29, 2012 Posted by | Adventure, Books, Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Hurricanes, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Weather | 3 Comments