PARIS – I am what Parisians call a “provincial.” This derogatory term comes from the days of the monarchy when France was divided between a royal capital and provinces ruled as fiefdoms by noble families. Though the French have done away with the king, they have yet to discard the notion that Paris is the center of the universe. Some Parisians still believe it is the only city in the country worth interest. Paris[Read More…]
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PARIS – All over Facebook, people changed their profile pictures to a simple black box with broad white letters that reads “Je suis Charlie.” Joachim Roncin from the French magazine Stylist designed the image just after the terrorist attack that targeted the Parisian office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday January 7, at 11:30 am that left 12 people dead. While this very “modern” response to the tragedy – which means“I am Charlie”[Read More…]
Who wouldn’t want to live in Paris? I wanted it so badly that I jumped at the first chance the opportunity presented itself to me: a semester exchange at Sciences Po, one of the prestigious grandes ecoles. I found out that I was accepted for the study abroad program a year in advance and this allowed me ample time to bubble with anticipation and excitement until I was practically jumping up and down in my[Read More…]
PARIS – Seeing Ali Akbar selling Le Monde on the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés is startling. Not simply because he is often calling out his own headlines like, “Monica Lewinsky pregnant by Obama! She’s got twins!” or “Sarkozy converts to Islam!” But when was the last time you saw someone selling paper newspapers on foot in the street? Akbar admits, “it’s just me now.” When he began in Paris 42 years ago, he was one of[Read More…]