I am Anna Corley, however, most recently I have become Anna Nason. I married Scott Nason in March!
Katherine and I met in Paris for our “Bonjour Tout le Monde” study abroad in Summer 2010. Yes, “Bonjour Tout le Monde” or “Hello Entire World” was the title of our program. We spent our days not-studying French, eating tarts, and traveling.
Today, I live in Jerusalem with my husband.
I am from Madisonville, Texas, which happens to be the Mushroom Capitol of Texas.
I attended Texas A&M University. After graduation, I moved to Washington, DC where I met my husband. We were interns at a policy research institute. We then dated long-distance, him in graduate school at the University of Chicago and me in Tel-Aviv, Israel. We then were married in March and recently moved to Israel for the year.
We live in the downtown Jerusalem neighborhood of Nahalat Shiv’a. We live 20 meters from one of the busiest streets filled with coffee shops, restaurants, book stores, retail stores, and the latest Israeli phenomenon of the light rail.
We are a seven minute walk from the Old City and about that far to the border of East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is primarily Arab and a deeply contentious issue for the modern state of Israel. There, we often visit the swanky American Colony Hotel which is notorious for its crowd of international business men and journalists.
We are both in school at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I am in graduate school for international affairs, with a fellowship focusing on Israel’s defensive position in the Middle East. I also study Hebrew. My husband, Scott, is writing his graduate thesis and studying Arabic.
Currently, we are on holiday waiting for school to start. Our days will look different come next week. We often spend time in the Old City, going on long walks in the evening, and exploring the wonderful intersection of cultures to be found here: Austrian cafes, European patisseries, American burger joints, cafes owned by New Yorkers, and the best locally owned falafel stands. Israel, as the only Jewish state in the world, houses a culture of its own mixed with the native culture of the Jewish families who have immigrated here. This also includes Jewish families who my not be citizens but who have such a connection here that they purchase real-estate, build hotels, start restaurants, etc. Just like our apartment, owned by a New York banker.
However, there is this issue of Shabbat, some Israelis say they long for it, we, however dread it. On the Jewish sabbath, the American Saturday, everything shuts down. You name it, and it’s closed. These are days when Scott and I bury ourselves in the apartment and watch Downtown Abbey.
Reports of tensions erupting in Israel and the greater Middle East seem to flood newspapers. However, life here goes on as normal with crowded markets, full cafes, and an active nightlife. What I have learned: Israelis are incredibly resilient.
Advice: Israel is incredible and should be added to your “must-see” list.