The initial spark of interest that led me to book a trip to the Middle East is the 14th World Congress of Comparative Education Societies. As a member of the Comparative & International Education Society (CIES) in the United States, I am extremely attracted to this gathering of societies from all over the world. The Congress was established in 1970 and takes place every three years.
This year’s theme is “Bordering, Re-Bordering and New Possibilities for Change in Education and Society”.
Of course, it’s not every year I get to go to Istanbul, and I am PSYCHED. For starters, graduate students are invited to stay at Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, on the European side of the Bosphorous Strait in Istanbul.
After speaking to several Turkish friends (and hearing Istanbul compared to New York City), I am ready to be a tourist. My to-do list is constantly growing, but these are a few things I hope to see:
– Hagia Sophia – once a cathedral, then a mosque, now a museum
– The Blue Mosque – a tremendous historic mosque
– Topkapi Palace– official residence of the Ottoman Sultans for 400+ years
– Cruise the Bosphorus Strait
– Bargain in the Grand Bazaar
– Sweat it out in a Hamam / Turkish Bath
…. I suppose I’ll attend a few conference presentations as well 🙂