A pink taxi

A pink taxi

July 11, 2011

The Scavenger Hunt

My first assignment at the Middle Eastern Studies program at Harvard University was a scavenger hunt.

They gave each one of us the task to find a large list of obscure documents, books, articles and images. The library system at Harvard is the second largest in the world after the Library of Congress.

Since Middle Eastern Studies is interdisciplinary, the cruel, malicious professors scattered the hunt to the farthest flung libraries,  including the Harvard Medical School on the other side of the Charles River! I had to check the library hours of the School of Architecture and ask permission to check the Reserves at the Law School. Then, I had to xerox each document as a proof of having found it and gather them all in a dossier for this  malicious professor!

At present, I am building a similar dossier, one document at a time. The list is shorter than my Harvard research training, but I have to go from one bureaucratic building to another, waiting in line, speaking to officials, gathering information, following guidelines. I am glad that  my academic experience  has served me well and I feel prepared for the challenge!


  1. Good luck on today's interview! Thinking of you!

  2. Talk about Ottoman bureaucracy .In a similar adventure of collecting documents that has taken me over 10 years,I passed through a maze of inefficiency and stupidity.I was required to show my collection of expired passports of the 40 years.I also had to show proof of my parents' death certificates( they would have been 116 and 105 respectively).I had to assure them that my daughters will not be included though they lived in the same place as their male siblings.Even the names of my boys and their children had significance in their future indicating their religious and regional coloring.
    Going through such grueling experiences,make you lift up your arms and so no thank you!