The summer before he went off to college, Swarthmore first year Ahmet decided he would paddle down a portion of the Nile River in an inflatable raft. That plan might seem risky enough in peace times, but in the midst of rising popular dissent against then-President Muhammed Morsi, Ahmet also faced heightened restrictions on tourists in Egypt. But the extraordinary thing about Ahmet’s story – besides the fact that he actually attempted such a stunt – is that the Egyptian conflict brewing that summer barely merits a mention. Our story begins with Ahmet in the history classroom of the boarding school he attended in Turkey, faced with a nearly unanswerable question for his college application essay.
This piece was produced by Amy DiPierro.
Audio used in this piece is in the public domain or has been licensed under the Creative Commons.