Candidate Profile

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EXPERTISE
Arabic Culture & Studies
History - Art & Culture
History - Social
Travel & Destinations
World Affairs
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
BIOGRAPHY
Focusing on specialized history, cultural insights and intriguing stories about destinations, Barbara’s proficiency derives from her background as an international correspondent for 25 years.

Based in Paris, London, and Washington, D.C., she reported from 46 countries while covering issues ranging from the Middle East Peace Talks, foreign policy, Parisian haute couture and was even an embedded war correspondent.

Her unique professional perspectives enable her to speak with any audience about different cultures, regions, peoples, and history with conviction, compassion, and often humor.

A specialist on Arab affairs, Barbara was embedded with the U.S. Marines when the US invaded Iraq. Due to her knowledge in international affairs, and her work with Marines and Iraqi civilians in Iraq, the US Marine Corps hired her as a Subject Matter Expert at their operational culture center in Quantico, VA.

Barbara currently works as an International Affairs Analyst in Cybersecurity at the US Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC.

She is also an adjunct professor in media and communications at Marine Corps University (Quantico), and teaches military generals and senior officials about Arab culture and Islam at National Defense University (Washington, DC).

Barbara speaks fluent French and conversational Arabic.


PRESENTATIONS
TOPICS

THE ANDALUSIAN: 'HORSE OF KINGS, THIEF OF HEARTS'
A living treasure from Europe’s past, the Spanish Andalusian horse has for centuries been renowned for its great spirit and courage. The Romans considered them to be the best cavalry mount. The Spanish Crown gave them as coveted and influential gifts to neighboring kings. Carthusian monks, in 1011, were exclusively entrusted with their care at the monastery’s stud farm for 400 years. From the battlefields of the ancient world to the farm fields of the last century, learn why the Andalusian’s fame prevails with its centuries-old human/equine bond.

ARABIAN OUD – 'THE SCENT of PARADISE'
'Oud' is a musky, unmistakable scent. Selling for as much as $250,000 a kilo, Oud is the perfume industry's most expensive raw ingredient. Called the “The Wood of the Gods” and “The King of Incense,” Oud was favored by Egyptian pharaohs and Chinese emperors, and is noted in the Bible, the Qur’an, and Buddhist scriptures. Today, in the Middle East and Gulf, Oud’s scent bespeaks luxury, sensuality, and tradition. But most Westerners know little or nothing about it. Oud, however, is now a key ingredient in luxury fragrances created by Christian Dior, Jo Malone and Guerlain and many more. What is this mystical scent?

FROM CLEOPATRA TO CHANEL - THE ALCHEMY of PERFUME
For centuries people have taken instinctive pleasure in rubbing scent into their skin and using it to pray, heal, gird themselves for battle, or to entice a new lover. Those beautifully bottled scents on sale at modern-day perfume counters belie an exotic and sometimes bizarre history that goes back thousands of years. Some modern fragrances trace their lineage to the European Bubonic Plagues, the Mideast Crusades, and era of the Pharaohs; other perfumes contain ingredients derived from the organs of whales, civets, or cats. Join us as we explore the world of fragrance, its history and its profound resonance with body, mind, and spirit.

COFFEE: The “DEVIL'S CONCOCTION”
The history of coffee is a swashbuckling adventure spanning a thousand years, filled with death-defying escapes, international intrigue and - oh yes! - torrid romance. From distant, tropical islands to the power centers of international trade, it has been banned, berated, hailed and championed, generating as much fear as enjoyment. Coffee was such a big part of Turkish culture they created a law that made it legal for a woman to divorce her husband if he failed to provide her with her daily quota of... coffee. This is not just a drink, this is magic; infusing itself into our psyche, stirring conflict and controversy.

THE OLIVE in the ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN
Homer called olive oil "liquid gold." For three millennia, people living near the Mediterranean Sea have regarded the humble olive as more than a source of food: it was medicinal, magical, a generator of wealth and power. Olives were found in the tomb of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. In ancient Greece, athletes ritually rubbed olive oil over their bodies. Olives, emblems of benediction and purification, were ritually offered to deities and powerful figures. Branches from the olive tree were a symbol of abundance, glory and peace.

PORT WINE – ITS HISTORY and CURIOSITIES
Longing for a rich, smooth, sweet wine to savor while you enjoy some dark chocolate or a stout cheese? Consider Port. Port wine grapes have been cultivated in Portugal since antiquity. Come learn why this elixir has been praised from by the likes of Strabo, the great Greek geographer, and novelists Anthony Trollope and Edgar Allan Poe. Learn the subtle distinction between port and sherry, and discover the best-kept secrets about this flavorful wine.

SILK - THE SINGLE THREAD THAT ENSNARED THE WORLD
What do you usually associate with silk? The Silk Road? The idiom "smooth as silk"? Your favorite silk scarf or necktie? Fashionistas may be surprised to learn that threads collected from a total of 110 silkworm cocoons are needed to make one silk necktie. A silk blouse? 630 cocoons. Our knowledge of silk ordinarily doesn't extend far beyond fabrics and fashion. But when you look at this subject more closely, you will discover that silk has a history that is illustrious, colorful, and largely unknown.

TEA - 'THE GIFT of GODS'
The history of tea is as murky as an over-brewed pot of Lapsang Souchong… Its muddled past began in 2732 B.C. when tea leaves blew into Chinese Emperor’s pot of boiling water. A craving for this refreshing beverage unrolled from Asia to Arabia and Africa where it was sipped, eaten and used as currency. A caravan trade route to transport tea covered 11,000 miles and took camels - each carrying 600 pounds of tea - 1½ years to travel. The Dutch imported tea into Europe in 1610… then England’s King Charles II married a Portuguese princess who adored tea and introduced tea time to the court. Today, tea’s top four exporters annually contribute 5.8 million tons of tea to a thirsty, $25 billion global market.

DESTINATIONS

CROATIA - 'THE PEARL of the ADRIATIC'
Best-known for its breathtaking beaches, Croatia is also home to 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Croats don’t call their country Croatia, they call it Hrvatska. And they don’t speak Croatian, but rather Hrvatski. Its currency is named after a bushy-tailed mammal and a lime tree. The Zinfandel grape originates from Croatia. Alfred Hitchcock, Lord Byron, James Joyce and Agatha Christie praised Croatia’s beauty. Nikola Tesla was born here. And, oh yes, and the HBO series Game of Thrones was filmed here.

DUBAI – 'THE CITY of GOLD'
Most famous of the seven Emirates, Dubai has become a ‘Hot Spot’ for those seeking glamour, ostentatious luxury, and indulgence. Spectacular skylines, audacious architecture – including the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa -- and gold souks filled with high-end jewelry (the country accounts for 29% of the global gold trade) truly make Dubai “The City of Gold.”

GREECE - Is it 'ALL GREEK' to you?
“Not worth his salt,” “To take the bull by the horns,” “It’s all Greek to me” – phrases commonly used by Westerners -- are rooted in Greek culture. The Greek language and culture have thrived for over 3,000 years, making it one of the world’s oldest civilizations.
The Hellenic Republic, the official name of Greece, is so much more than stunning beaches, ancient ruins, island views, retsina, and ouzo. It is also home to, for example, 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and should be a must-see destination on everyone's bucket list.

MONACO - ‘THE ROCK and the GRIMALDI ROYALS: THEIR ENTWINED HISTORY'
The history of Monaco goes back to the 6th century BCE. It begins with a rock, a very large rock, where Hercules dedicated a temple to himself. Don’t confuse it with the Rock of Gibraltar. This Rock was the first conquest of the Grimaldi dynasty, the rulers of the country for more than 700 years, founded when the Guelf Francesco Grimaldi disguised himself as a Franciscan monk to sneak into the city and open the gates for his soldiers in 1297. Since then, The Rock and the Grimaldi Royals history have been entwined.

PETRA – 'THE ROSE CITY'S MANY UNREVEALED SECRETS'
One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Petra has been inhabited for over 10,000 years. Nabateans claimed it as their northern capital when it became a major stopping point in the Spice Road. The Romans, coveting Petra, took over and “modernized” it. The Byzantines made it their capital; and the Crusaders, during the same era, built churches here. Petra’s many mysteries remain largely hidden: only 15% of this ancient city is discovered.

SEYCHELLES – 'THE LAND of PERPETUAL SUMMER'
One of the smallest countries in the world – the 115-island archipelago sits just off mainland East Africa in the Indian Ocean. Explorer Vasco de Gama laid claim to it in the 15th century. Pirates used it as a great hiding ground for massive treasures still unfound. James Bond, author Ian Fleming, said it served as inspiration for his book, 'For Your Eyes Only'. Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, spent their honeymoon on North Island here. Now it’s slowly being discovered by those who value this unique island country and its gorgeous beaches and waters.

SRI LANKA (CEYLAN) – 'THE TEARDROP of INDIA'
Colombo, with its large harbor and strategic position on the East-West Trade route, has been a flourishing seaport since the 5th century. The city of Colombo is the gateway to the wonders of Sri Lanka, an island nation that boasts a rich colonial heritage and features a melting pot of races, religions and cultures. Glorious beaches, parks, heritage buildings, and museums make Colombo a vibrant destination.

THE SUEZ CANAL – THE ‘CANAL of the KINGS’
The longest canal in the world without locks, pharaohs created the first waterway connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas in 1850 BC – that’s 4,000 years ago. Ramses I was responsible for this initial attempt; Cleopatra surrendered it to the desert; Napoleon coveted it; Ferdinand de Lesseps dreamt of it; the British, French and Israelis invaded for it; Nasser nationalized it; the Yellow Fleet was anchored years on it; and now capacity has tripled on it.

SULTANATE OF OMAN – 'THE PEARL of ARABIA'
Once just known for its fragrant frankincense and the birthplace of Sinbad the Sailor, Oman is a virgin tourist destination. Absence the pizzazz and decadence of Abu Dhabi and Dubai; its true beauty lies not only in its infinite deserts, dramatic coastlines and mesmerizing mountains, but also in its time-honored traditions and gracious, welcoming people.

The SEVEN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
From pearl divers to gold to now world-famous architecture and glitzy reputations, Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s stunning growth has -- in a few short years --taken them from sleepy stretches of coastal deserts on the Gulf to world-famous destinations.
But wait, there are a total of SEVEN Emirates -- what about those other five?
CRUISE HISTORY / EXPERIENCE
LECTURED ONBOARD THE QUEEN MARY 2 WORLD VOYAGE, FROM HAIFA TO COLOMBO, JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2020

People enjoy being entertained while being educated about their next destination; thus the lecturer must be passionate about their area of expertise.
If not, folks will be bored; even worse, they'll miss an opportunity to appreciate a new destination, or discover something new about a destination they already visited.
RECENT PAST CRUISES COMPLETED
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
SHIP REF CRUISE DESCRIPTION NIGHTS SAILING FROM DEPARTURE DATE
Queen Mary 2 M001 World Cruise Sector 17 Haifa Friday, January 10, 2020