Presentation: Nations in the Book of Ezekiel

During my last week flight from Frankfurt to Chicago, I watched the movie Where do we go now? by Nadine Labaki on the plane. [You may see the official trailer in the following link:

It narrates how two groups of people, Christians and Muslims live together, side by side, in an anonymous village in a warring country. (more…)

Presentation: The ‘Ethnic’ History of Israel in Ezekiel 20

‘The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.’

— Henry David Thoreau

Believe it or not, I love going to academic conferences! There’s no doubt about that, even though at the end of each conference I am pretty much exhausted and need days to recover…

My new hobby: Here are the name tags that I have collected from some of the conferences that I have attended in the past two years~

Let me give you three reasons and convince you that academic conferences can be fun:

1. Usually those academic conferences are located in attractive locations for me to tour around during the break (it partly explains my exhaustion thereafter ;p)

2. Still, the most important reason for me to go to an academic conference is to listen to different read papers. It is a great source to gain new insights. For me, it is more interesting to hear than to read a paper.

When I listen to a paper, I like to imagine that I have the ability near to that of Lisbeth Salander (if you have read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Ok, maybe not that extreme…). Looking at the physical appearance of the presenter, I try to guess the personality of the presenter. With a little bit of imagination (+ some previous research on the person’s online CV), it can give me a clue of the paper’s starting point … (more…)

Announcement: Lydia’s Newsletter

* This blog article is dedicated especially to my dearest family and all my friends who care about me and pray for me constantly. Thank you all so much for your love and kindness~~~
Before July 2009, if you asked me when I would like to visit Europe, I would definitely say during my honeymoon in a distant future…
Before July 2009, if you asked me which university is my dream university to complete a PhD, I would definitely say Harvard, Cambridge or Oxford….
All these were my dreams and goals before that time. However, as Proverbs 16: 9 says: “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”. To cut a long story short, now (20-04-2010), I am standing on the soil of a small town in Germany, planning to complete my PhD here. (more…)

Egypt: A Wonderful Encounter in Luxor

One year has passed since my trip in Egypt (January 2009). I still vividly remember my encounter with this hospitable youth in Luxor. The story I am going to tell is about how I overcame my suspicion and built trust with a stranger.

1st Encounter

That morning I was occupied with the visits to the Valley of the Kings and the Funerary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Then I took a colorful local boat to the east bank where the magnificent Temples of Luxor and Karnak were located. [Note: For more about my tour in Egypt, feel free to read “An Adventure in the Land of the Pharaohs.”]After the bustling morning, I returned to my hotel. Restless, I decided to explore the Mummification Museum and the Luxor Museum situated in the downtown area. Two Egyptian drivers promised to take me to the Mummification Museum in exchange for a small fee. Happily, I jumped on their pony-drawn cart. And off we went! Well, in the middle of the journey, they informed me that they would change the rate and I had to pay more. Of course, I refused to accept this decision and threatened to jump off the cart. I was so ready to jump off the running cart that they were frightened and decided not to change the rate. Hastily, they dropped me off in the middle of nowhere and told me that the Mummification Museum was nearby. I gave them the amount of money that had been agreed upon. They disappeared in the blink of an eye.

The cart drivers who kind of lied to me...

The cart drivers who lied to me… 😦

No tourists or museums were in sight. Filled with anger and fear, I stood in the middle of the unfamiliar square, flipped through my Lonely Planet, and tried to find my way out. (more…)

Turkey: Wandering in Istanbul and Beyond

My 2008 journey into Turkey was the first time I went backpacking. Some of the most captivating moments in Istanbul and beyond include:

  • Walking around Istanbul in the rain. It was worth getting soaked in the rain so as to get a close-up look at the magnificent Blue Mosque, the opulent Topkapi Palace, the venerable Aya Sofya, and the ancient Basilica Cistern!!!

    IMG_0310 The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1619. It is an exemplar of the Ottoman architecture (more…)

Israel: The History of Jerusalem in the Tower of David

ֹLocated at the entrance of the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, the Tower of David contains a highly recommended museum. Deploying a variety of illustrations, the museum narrates the transformation of Jerusalem from the Canaanite period (around 3200 BCE) to the time of the establishment of of the State of Israel (1948). What I have written below is cited and modified from the official website of the Tower of David Museum and from the explanatory placards during my visit of the museum in September 2008. All photos (unless otherwise stated) were taken by me.

IMG_0222

According to the official website of the Tower of David Museum, the citadel has no connection to King David, and the modern name is a result of misinterpretations that can be traced back to the Byzantine period.

1. Canaanite Period (3200 BCE)

On the basis of one Egyptian Curse on Jerusalem (19th century BCE) and several clay tablets discovered from the Egyptian royal archive of Tel Al Amarna (14th century BCE), the earliest available names of Jerusalem seem to be Rusalimum and Urusalim, a Canaanite region under the patronage of the Egyptian pharaohs. (more…)