Monika Ghattas

Hanoi: Poised Between Ideology and Reality

Dr. Monika Ghattas, Ph.D
September 13, 2015 

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a kaleidoscope of colors, cultures, and commotion.  There is the old quarter of narrow alleys, ubiquitous vendors balancing their wares on bamboo poles, and a constant whirlwind of screeching scooters.  Tourists are lured into shops by savvy salesmen, while sidewalks are converted into makeshift kitchens.  Not far away lies official Hanoi with manicured lawns, carefully sculpted bonsai trees, and smartly uniformed soldiers—all leading up to the massive mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and a museum celebrating his life and accomplishments.   In other parts of the city ancient shrines and temples are being restored—indicating pride in a historical past that is also an important incentive for burgeoning tourism.  Altogether, Hanoi is a perfect place for exploring and discovering the unexpected.

Monika Ghattas, PhD, is a long-time member of the Albuquerque International Association, where she chairs the Book Club. She taught European and Far East history at CNM for many years, but is now retired. She recently published a book titled Los Arabes of New Mexico:  Compadres from a Distant Land.  It is the story about the early Lebanese and Syrian immigrants who first came to the territory of New Mexico in the late 19th century. In addition, she volunteers at the Albuquerque Museum, where she has been a docent for many years. Whenever possible she likes to travel and visit unconventional destinations.

 

Supported by Sandia National Labs and Haverland Carter Lifestyle Group