A Year of Blogging

May 20th, 2012

Thank you to all the new followers and readers of my blog. I appreciate your support and encouraging comments. The past year has flown by—70 posts, so much to blog about.

Who knew?

Meanwhile, here is a review of some of my favorite posts from the past year, in case you missed one.

Cultural Posts

I started this blog with the post Sharing my Zeal, which explained my original goals. So, I’m wondering … have I brought down barriers between Arabs and non-Arabs? Well, my eldest son tells me I should simply work on bringing down barriers between myself and my Arab in-laws. Ha Ha Ha. Teenagers are so funny.

My most popular cross-cultural posts were the three-part series I wrote about Raising Arabic-Speaking Children. These posts generated a lot of questions and comments from other parents—many more successful with biligualism than we have been.

Another noteworthy post was Our Desert Dog. I was hesitant to blog about my pet, but my writers group encouraged me to go ahead with it. It indeed struck a chord, as some of the comments from readers were posts by themselves.

For those of you who are writers, you might appreciate my piece Writing about another Culture. I offer tips on how to avoid cultural stereotypes and clichés in your writing.

Food Posts

I started out the blog thinking I might include “a few recipes.” Well, I’ve gradually discovered that I enjoy developing Arab recipes and taking photos of food. It has thrilled me to learn that people actually prepare my dishes. Not only that—three other bloggers have blogged about testing my recipes—with positive results. Wow. That made me happy.

I guess my favorite food posts are the Ma’amoul recipes—Arab pastry secrets revealed! Also, I like my Grilled Halloumi Salad post. After all, I eat that salad nearly every day.

Look forward to more recipes coming up—especially during Ramadan. I’m now working on printable recipes. Stay tuned.

Book Reviews

I’ve stumbled a bit with my book reviews. However, now I think I figured it out: keep them short and sweet. Focus on new books that people want to know more about.

My most popular book review was a review of five books: Memoirs by Western Women Married into Arab Culture. I received lots of positive feedback on that. I also enjoyed writing a review of my favorite Palestinian memoir: In Search of Fatima. I love this book.

Travel Stories

The travel story of the year that I am most proud of is about our family trip to Mecca: My Umrah. I also liked my post Journey to Jerusalem, a story that will always stay with me.

Thank you again for reading. It’s been a fun year, and I look forward to another 70 posts, which I hope will not disappoint.

Question: What kind of posts would you like to see in the upcoming year?

  1. zvezdana
    May 21st, 2012 at 09:42 | #1

    Hi Holly,
    Great post, chuckled at your son’s suggestion but…he might be right. I love the recipes, book reviews and especially your great photos of Dubai and the food. I personally would love to see more posts about how your marriage has impacted your lifestyle, the challenges or whatever else come with being an American convert …stories, tips on Palestinian culture and lifestyle.
    I find Palestine fascinating and you being married to one and mother to 3 lovley half Palestinian children must have much to share. That’s just me…you know your novel has a lot of the points I am talking about here. Maybe incorporate those ideas into the blog??
    In any case love it so far, you did a fab job blogging and made so much progress. Am as green as the Hulk at your beautiful layout and design:))
    Keep writing and taking photos my friend!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      May 21st, 2012 at 22:37 | #2

      Thank you, Zvezdana, for your suggestions and words of support. I am planning to include more posts about cross-cultural issues. As you know, the more interesting the post, the more difficult to write! Thanks again for this comment & all your other comments …. And thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. May 21st, 2012 at 20:59 | #3

    Hi Holly!

    I have enjoyed your blog SO MUCH over the past few months since stumbling upon it. I think you’re doing a beautiful job of sharing experiences and knowledge about another culture to us, your readers. I’m really looking forward to the Ramadan recipes! Do you think you could explain Ramadan a bit and describe how the atmosphere changes? Like do restaurants serve special dishes or open earlier or stay open later?

    And just for the record, My Iranian in-laws LOVE the date Ma’amoul. I made them again for a Persian new year party with maybe 15 people and only made maybe 20… it got to the point that the guests were cutting the last few in half (AND QUARTERS!) because everyone still wanted more. 🙂

    Thank you so much for blogging and for sharing. I truly enjoy your blog.

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      May 21st, 2012 at 22:41 | #4

      Hi Molly! Thank you so much for the lovely & awesome comment. It really means a lot. I’m planning to do a series of posts during Ramadan. As you know, people have so many questions about that time of year. Of course, I’m enjoying your blog, too. Just saw your post about the airport security. 🙂 So glad the ma’amoul turned out!

  3. May 22nd, 2012 at 08:34 | #5

    Congratulations on your blog anniversary! It is a marvelous body of work you have here, and we are all tickled to get to enjoy it with you.

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      May 22nd, 2012 at 08:42 | #6

      Ah gee, thank you Natalie. You are the best. Thank you for reading!

  4. Lainey
    May 23rd, 2012 at 16:47 | #7

    Congrats on a year of blogging.
    Your posts are interesting, well written and feature awesome photography.
    It is many times easy to start a blog and difficult to keep the enthusiasm to continue it.
    Congrats to you on both.
    Miss you, friend.

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      May 23rd, 2012 at 18:51 | #8

      Hi Lainey, Thanks for stopping by & for the kind words. Miss you, too… but ready for another of your visits anytime! 🙂

  5. Linda A
    May 23rd, 2012 at 23:26 | #9

    You know we all love your posts!! HUGS to you, dear woa friend!!!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      May 24th, 2012 at 06:44 | #10

      Dear Linda, I really apprecite your reading & your enthusiasm. It means a lot!! I hope we will meet in person eventually. Maybe a big ‘ole WOA meet-up in Madaba!! 🙂 Thanks again for reading.

  6. Lena Elawadi
    May 27th, 2012 at 22:39 | #11

    Hi Holly,

    I stumbled upon your blog looking for recipes to cook for my Palestinian husband, and I’m so glad I found you! It’s nice to see another American in the same shoes as me. I’ve only been married to my husband for 3 years however, and the cross cultural issues is a huge thing for me right now as I’m trying to adjust and be respectful of my in laws and the culture in general! I’m not sure how you felt, but it’s been a steep learning curve for me. I’d love to see more posts about these sorts of things, leaning towards social customs. Also, keep the recipes coming 🙂


    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      May 28th, 2012 at 19:59 | #12

      Hi Lena, So glad you found my site. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment & telling me about yourself. Yes, it’s a steep and *long* learning curve. I’m still learning! 😉 I’ve got more recipes coming soon in the coming weeks & even more during Ramadan. Meanwhile, I’ll be brainstorming some cross-cultural posts. Thanks again for stopping by.

  7. ItsmeADP
    June 9th, 2012 at 03:10 | #13

    Mabrouk Holly!!! You have done a fantastic job! I’ve stuck with you since I found you on Pinterest and continue to enjoy every post! Oh, and of course had to share your site with my husband. He enjoyed seeing pictures of back home and probably enjoyed more that YOU were helping me to understand more of his culture. Less work for him, haha! I look forward to the upcoming posts during Ramadan. InshAllah, one day I will be able to have that personal experience overseas. ((Maybe even run into you during our stay ;)! )). Many blessings with this new year of blogging. I look forward to reading your cross-cultural posts and new recipes!!

    • Holly S. Warah
      Holly S. Warah
      June 9th, 2012 at 17:54 | #14

      Hi Angelica,
      So great to hear from you & read your encouraging words. I’m glad you find the posts useful. And BTW, I would love to run into you in Dubai or wherever! Have great summer and stay tuned. Bye for now & Salaam, Holly

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