"The day we landed in Tehran, the heat was blistering, but relief was as close as the luxurious green trees in the gardens of the Middle East Pension on Avenue Pahlavi, where we were to stay for orientation before leaving for the eastern city of Meshed. Massive flowering bushes shaded the pathways throughout the garden—long, sinuously curved brick pathways, laid out in intricate decorative patterns."



"Our new post was Baghdad, where we arrived on April 5, 1954. We spent the first two weeks at the famed Zia Hotel, perched on a high point next to the Tigris River, which had recently flooded, drenching the entire city in mud."


"George went to Washington in January 1963 to talk about our new post overseas, and called Tulsa with the answer: We were going to Baida, one of two capitals of the North African country of Libya, a place which was literally not on any maps yet."


"We were only in Washington briefly, but long enough for George to serve on the African desk at USIA on Pennsylvania Avenue and for me to take a job teaching at a high school in Silver Spring, Maryland. I was teaching History in the red-brick, white-columned Montgomery Blair High School when I announced that January 4 would be my last day—because my husband had been assigned as Cultural Affairs Officer in Lagos, Nigeria."


"Our arrival in Karachi was not auspicious. The Embassy shipped our effects from post to post in large cargo containers. It was always a very exciting day to see our things again—it helped to make each new house a home. But the day the container arrived in Karachi, there was altogether too much excitement. When the front of the container was removed, a shocking amount of water gushed out onto the street. I can’t remember how we found out what had happened, but apparently when the container was being transferred from one ship to another at the port of Bombay, the crew had dropped it into the sea."

United arab emirates

"Abu Dhabi has one of the most poetic of all names: In Arabic, it means Father of the White Gazelle with the Brown Eyes. According to legend, one day in the distant past, a man from the Bani Yas tribe in the interior of the United Arab Emirates—the U.A.E.—was searching for water. As he approached the island of Abu Dhabi, he discovered not only a white gazelle, but also a source of sweet water. The sight from the plane as we approached our new home was astonishing—empty desert right up to a shimmering sea of blues, greens, and turquoises."



"The Foreign Service had a policy against assigning officers to the countries of their ancestry, and it almost never happened, but here was the Embassy’s new Public Affairs Officer, actually assigned to Jordan, the land of his roots. The headline in the Jordan Times on Friday, September 10, 1978, two months after our arrival, spelled it out: 'George Naifeh Relishes Chance to Renew Links with Past.'"