The New Kurdistan: One Family’s Role

What would make a successful Iraqi geologist and his physicist wife pull up roots from the city they’ve grown up in, learn a new language, and become humanitarians and educators in a foreign culture — within their own country? Today we’re speaking with Youssif Matti, an Aramaic Iraqi, who has been living and working in […]

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Bikers of a Different Stripe

In the fall of last year we began an occasional series on American subcultures. We all know that it is unwise to paint American culture with too broad a brush. And that was proven over and over again as we talked to people from just about as diverse backgrounds as you can get. From the […]

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The (Lost) Land of Civility

I was going through the archives of my first blog (back in the Blogspot days) and came across this post. I’m taking the liberty to repost it because, as is often the case, things that were written years ago can sometimes have just as much if not more relevance in the moment. I’ll let you […]

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Friends from Faraway Places

Welcome to the first episode of Season 2 of the World to the Wise podcast. I hope you’ve had a chance to catch up on Season 1 during our break, because we have a whole set of new and fascinating people and stories for you in Season 2. We’re also excited to tell you about […]

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What You Can’t Know About Your Country Until You Leave It

My wife and I took a brief road trip last weekend. I like road trips except for one thing: I get so sleepy behind the wheel. Enter the audio book. This time we chose a book that had been mentioned by a good friend. Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight takes place in Southern Rhodesia […]

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Stereotypical Stereotypes

I was at a symposium last night on Russian-American relations moving from the Obama years into the Trump era. While most of Dr. Mark Katz‘s remarks and the questions asked of him centered on Trump and Putin’s relationship and speculation about what that might look like moving forward, one question was asked that got me thinking […]

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How to Turn a Vacation into a Pilgrimage

What comes to mind when you hear the word “pilgrimage”? Trekking your way over rugged terrain to reach a shrine? Traveling thousands of miles to meet up with thousands of other pilgrims at a particular time of year? Perhaps. But what if any time you stepped out of your zone of familiarity could become a spiritual experience? […]

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Announcing the 2017 World to the Wise Cultural Tour

My wife, Becky, and I started a company around 2010 called World to the Wise. The mission statement of the organization is to promote and foster cultural curiosity by exposing people to other cultures and perspectives. This includes not only telling compelling stories, but taking people to other places! Summer of 2010 saw our first World […]

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Cultivating Curiosity

We are all born curious. Show me a baby who isn’t drawn to shiny objects or who doesn’t believe everything is intended to be put in the mouth. Then the baby becomes a toddler and all of a sudden the entire house has to be childproofed. Everything at eye level is fair game to be […]

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Born Into Exile

Christmas with the family this year was one of the best we’ve ever had. As the patriarch of a gathering of thirteen people, I was filled with joy and gratitude to watch the love flow between my sons, their wives and girlfriend, and their offspring. It probably helped that our Christmas dinner was actually a […]

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