About

My blog is about Africa. It is also about the Middle East and life in general, reflecting over 30 years of work and study in Africa and the Middle East – as researcher, project-program director, evaluator, consultant, lecturer, author, and trainer.

I have advanced degrees in Egyptology, Arabic language , literature and history, social anthropology, and extensive training and work in agriculture, agroforestry and livestock systems in non-industralized societies.  I am particularly interested in colonial and pre-colonial dynamics, my field of doctoral research was on agricultural trans-formations in Egypt, from the 19th century to 1985. 

Arabic and Semitic Languages

Subsequent field activities have included  work in about fifteen countries in the Middle East and Africa, with long-term residences and work in Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and Burundi.

There are many photos.  I tend to think and explain visually and so some of the photos are repeated in another blog in order to illustrate a point.   Most of the pictures are mine.  However, where a ‘Source’ is not given, I have lost the origin of the photo and urge you to send it, if you know.  Thank you.

43 Responses to About

  1. Clanmother says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. I am going to enjoy following your blog!! We can learn so much from the past IF only we would listen!!!

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Thank you so much, Clanmother. A major goal of the blog is to render ‘arcane’ knowledge more accessible to non-specialists. So it is always very rewarding to learn that this is the case! :-)

      Like

  2. Hi Diana! Thank you very much for following my blog, and for kind comment & likes :-) Your blog is wonderful. I’m looking forward to reading your posts. Have a beautiful weekend. Maarit-Johanna.

    Like

  3. Hi

    Thanks for your interesting blog – I am looking to join Mohamed Abdi Ware – (I saw some pictures of him in your blog) since more than 10 years. If you have any way to reach him please let him know that Pacha (Gilles Sandre) is looking for him and can be reach at the given email address.

    Many thanks

    Best regards

    Gilles

    Like

  4. Marc-Joachim Wasmer says:

    Dear Diana, a question about the oil painting traditional fishing along Lake Tanganyika, 1950ies. I’m studying another representation of this lake, made by the Swiss painter Ricco Wassmer for the Expo 58 in Brussels. May you give me some more informations about this interesting picture, e.g. name of the painter, measures and the where about? Thanks, Marc-Joachim Wasmer in Bern

    Like

  5. Ron Pavellas says:

    WordPress tells me that you viewed my blog article on T.E. Lawrence: http://pavellas.com/2009/12/09/getting-to-know-t-e-lawrence-of-arabia-1888-1935/

    I have also written about modern day Africa, but I don’t focus on it. After quickly scanning your blog I see that it is of a quality I aspire to. I will subscribe to it I am always eager to learn.

    Best wishes,

    Ron Pavellas
    pavellas.com

    Like

  6. M Majzoub Fidiel says:

    Dear Diana
    I am glad that I came across your blog after decades since we met last time. I am Mohamed Majzoub, ex-CARE Sudan staff. I have just left my job with Practical Action in an early retirement attempt. I would would like to rejuvinate the relation. My contact is majzoubm@gmail.com

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Hello Mohamed – how wonderful to hear from you! I’m in Burundi and have been for a while, consulting for NGOs and others. Why are you retiring? Well, I’ll write you more during the next week.

      Cheers – Diana

      Like

  7. minlit says:

    You know since the new WordPress stats page appeared, I’ve been wondering who was in Burundi. I guess it must be you. Very interesting blog. Love the list of Egyptian sins/ faux pas. Wow, if they did all that, they must have been the best behaved most polite society ever! I’ll be back!
    Nice to meet you.
    Deirdre

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Thanks, deirdre – and I enjoy your blog, too. Yes the ancient egyptians tryed to cover all possibilities of no-nos in order to be admitted to the Netherworld!

      diana.

      Like

  8. Emma Stone says:

    Hi,

    I came across your page recently and I’m trying to find an email address to contact you on to ask if you would please consider adding a link to my website. I’d really appreciate if you could email me back.

    Thanks and have a great day!

    Like

  9. sbothi says:

    Hello Diana

    I just discovered your blog and would love to ask you some questions about Burundi. I am interested in possibly doing some research there and am currently learning Kirundi. I messaged you on Facebook but many times those messages are difficult to notice with the settings. My regular email is brendan.padraig@gmail.com

    best
    -Brendan
    Chicago, IL

    Like

  10. robert says:

    In your March 26 post you cite David Livingstone for the prices of ivory from 1867 to 1874. For example, in 1868 it ran from 38 to 42 pounds, but how much did you get for that price?

    it seems awfully expensive for a kilo.

    thanks, if you know,

    bob swartz

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Bob – Thanks for your question. The price is per tusk, not per kilo. And the price would reflect not just size – but equally important, quality because quality differed amongst tusks.

      Diana.

      Like

      • robert says:

        That is helpful,. I can assume, I guess, that the price range is for a 28 kilo tusk, and get a per pound cost, at the port. By the time it gets to Boston it would be several times that.

        I wonder, though, following the Panic of 1873 there would have been a marked drop off in the demand for ivory (few pianos being constructed). the price of ivory on hand, in inventory, would have dropped dramatically, but it does not seem that this decline was reflected in prices at the source until a few years later, and then it was significant, but not dramatic.

        any thoughts about that?

        Like

        • dianabuja says:

          Good question. I want to think about this, and will get back tomorrow.

          Like

          • dianabuja says:

            Robert –
            I’m not sure that the Panic of 1873 would have impacted on the trade, because if it was no longer possible to sell the ivory to Europe and-or the States, the market in the Middle East, India, and China could be served. No integrated, global markets at the time. This is my current analysis but would be happy to learn of alternatives.

            Like

  11. Rose King'atua says:

    Dear Diana,

    How are you? Am not sure whether you are the person I have been looking for all this time….worked under you in Winrock, Nairobi ..are you the one? Hope so coz I really miss you and would like to keep in touch with you.

    God bless

    Rose

    Like

    • Rose King'atua says:

      Am waiting…..excitedly…..

      Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Hello Rose – Yes, it is Diana from Winrock! How nice to hear from you – how are you? And what are you doing now? Please let me know and yes, let’s keep in touch!

      Warmest regards – Diana

      Like

      • Rose King'atua says:

        My my, this is one of the answered prayers!!! I have longed to know how you are, where you are…how things have been with you etc! You were more than my employer – more like a dear friend and big sister!!! I was just going thru my snaps and I saw a snap we were taken in your house near Yaya and my search for started all over again and this time I am grateful to God it was succesful. Had even asked Barasa..remember him? He also didnt know of your whereabouts nor did my sister Catherine Gitau…..now am happy to know you are still in this planet….lol! Why Buja…like de Treville!! Wao..am speachless out of excitement! I work in a hospital in Nairobi..still doing documentation and more admin work. Hoping to take a break soon to rest..not done so in six years, while I assess this far part of my life…Do you ever come to Kenya? How is Burundi? Can see you are up to much stuff and truly hope you are enjoying yourself. OK let me stop here..the excitement is too much…could go on and on! How I wish I could see you and just catch up, like good old days in your house..remember? Tanks for responding and for accepting my FB request…..please inbox me your number, will call you one of this fine days..will send you mine too. God bless you ever so greatly.

        Love Rose :-)

        Like

  12. Anne "Yowgerschnapps" Ricker says:

    detreville!!!! I have been searching for you for decades. We had our Bush 50th reunion yesterday, and I swore I’d find you (Rosie, Vicki, Pauline, Susie, Pam). Have I found you? Anne

    Like

  13. It was a pleasure to find your blog. I am a professor of history at the University of Hartford – specializing in the history of exploration. My current project is on the 19th expeditions of Henry Morton Stanley and his interactions with King Mutesa and the people of Buganda. I also teach a bit about Africa (mostly West Africa) in my Atlantic History course. I love the photos of your blog and the focus on food; it gives me a better sense of the places I’ve never been (While I lived in Egypt for two years teaching English, I’ve never further south than Aswan). I look forward to reading more of your posts! Michael
    +1

    Like

  14. Nathan says:

    Hi Diana,

    Just found your blog, I’m working in Buj on food security issues and would love to meet up with you. We come to the pool often, what’s a good way to meet up?

    Very interested to learn more about the initiative you’ve got going for contract farming and cooking up plans to do some ethnographic assessment work on food issues, hoping to get into some details of localized food systems–from what I’ve read here you seem to be engaged in those issues.

    Cheers,
    Nathan
    79 166 188

    Like

  15. Raj says:

    Hi Diana
    I am raj from Burundi, I love taking pictures so was wondering if you need any of my pics I can send them to you. The pictures are mostly about the scenery of Burundi.
    Regards
    Raj

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Hello Raj – Thanks so much for your offer, due to a hard disk problem, I have lost many of my pix of Burundi and so am most intererested in receiving some! Thanks again!
      Diana.

      Like

  16. Dear Diana

    My name is Christopher Stitchman and I currently work for a wildlife production company in the UK called Icon Films.

    We would really like to use an image from your blog (second image down)-

    ‘Suckling Pigs and Divine Nobles in Ancient Egypt’

    It would be great to find out where they came from and if you know who owns them.

    Do you have a personal email so I can let you know exactly what we are doing and how we plan to use them?

    I look forward to hearing from you,

    Kind regards

    Chrisotpher Stitchman

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Christopher – Thank you. I have been quite ill and will get back to you shortly on the information that you want. Regards, Diana.

      Like

  17. susanllewellyn says:

    Happy New Year, Diana! Just submitted a link to your article about the ancient Egyptian ‘recipe’ for curing urinary ailments to Digg.

    Like

  18. Diana,

    It was a pleasure to find your blog. I am a professor of history at the University of Hartford – specializing in the history of exploration. My current project is on the 19th expeditions of Henry Morton Stanley and his interactions with King Mutesa and the people of Buganda. I also teach a bit about Africa (mostly West Africa) in my Atlantic History course. I love the photos of your blog and the focus on food; it gives me a better sense of the places I’ve never been (While I lived in Egypt for two years teaching English, I’ve never further south than Aswan). I look forward to reading more of your posts! Michael

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Thank you, Michael. I will be doing more blogs on the colonial period – and and so glad to learn that you find the information and fotos, and food-focus, of use (and interesting)! More anon, Diana.

      Like

  19. Diana,
    i am in seafood business.i also own olive & fruits farm in Siwa ,with cattle .
    please feel free to call me before you go to siwa.
    00971 506242751

    Like

    • dianabuja says:

      Dear Ahmed –

      Ahlan wa-Sahlan! Thank you for your kind invitation. When I go to Siwa again I will surely contact you, though that may be in quite a while since I am now very busy in central Africa (Burundi) and surrounding areas. What kind of cattle do you have in Siwa? Or are they gamusa?

      Ma’a salaama

      Diana

      Like

  20. dianabuja says:

    Scott – Thanks for your observation, which I just saw here on the blog! Your spoon bread recipe I’m going to introduce here.

    Like

  21. I appreciate and applaud your comment on the list-serve. As valid as the content was, it often does need to be grounded in the range of how we are all living. thanks

    Like

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