First Stop: Djibouti City, Djibouti, May 22nd, 2016.
In typical fashion, I am heading somewhere where people react in one of two ways;
1) Make fun of its name or
2) question its existence.
Well, Djibouti City, Djibouti exists- I swear.
Why in the world am I heading to a country in the Horn of Africa the size of New Jersey with a population smaller than New Hampshire?
Well, there is so much to learn there. Besides the fact that many of the world’s superpowers have military and naval bases stationed in this tiny country, most of the world’s Middle East trade travels through Djibouti’s sea lanes. If the United States wants transport weaponry to Israel, it must make peace with Djibouti.
But besides its political ties, Djibouti is a French colonized country when it gained independence in 1977. I am intrigued by western colonization and its impact on people and cultures. Besides my love to practice the French language, I am ecstatic to see firsthand the impact France has made on this small country.
And lastly, my love for religions is sending me to Djibouti. I am a passionate interfaith-er and policy wonk, looking to learn all I can from Djibouti’s enigmatic population. Djibouti is a Muslim majority country and yet is quite peaceful- crazy how that works. I hope to learn and experience more about Islam and hope to have a better idea of how the human race can learn to live in unison.
Perhaps during this time I will be able to visit the saltiest lake in the world, swim with some whales, and experience a ramadan first-hand.