It’s winter in Finnsnes, Northern Norway. Some days it gets so cold, (minus 33 degrees anyone?), your glasses freeze over the moment you step outside – the clean, fresh Arctic Circle air searing into your lungs. There are fifty shades of snow: capping the distant mountains, stacking up in drifts at the side of the road, crunching as cars pass, or crisp underfoot. Kids can be seen skiing to school, women kick-sledding to work, and the odd granny has even been spotted whizzing to the doctor’s on a snow scooter.Read More
Throw open the window and the air is spiced with the aroma of freshly fried Ta’amya (the Egyptian Falafel) and Ful (fava beans stewed in tomato sauce), overlaid with less attractive but equally persistent topnotes of household rubbish, in both the poorest and the richest districts of Cairo.
The streets are clogged with honking traffic, inching its way through the noisy, boisterous city. At times it feels the only way to escape and gulp in mouthfuls of fresh air is to head down to the majestic Nile.
It's against this background, in the upmarket middle-class district of Nasr City, that 29 year-old Norhan Mahmoud plies her trade as a translator and interpreter between Arabic and English.