My parents arrived in the United States in the winter of 1956, penniless refugees fleeing Hungary during its brief, bloody revolution against Soviet rule. Along with thousands of other new immigrants, they were welcomed to the country at the Army’s Camp Kilmer, near New Brunswick, New Jersey. My parents and several other couples were married in a joint ceremony in one of the camp’s chapels. They were sponsored by a family on a California farm, and later moved to Spokane, Washington, where I was born. I spent my childhood in Woodbridge, New Jersey, speaking Hungarian at home, but learning English on the streets, from television, and school. My high school and college days were in Central Florida, and that is where I still have family and friends.
I moved to Arlington, Virginia in 1980 to attend Georgetown University for my Master’s in Middle East History. Beginning in 1987, I began freelancing, writing articles and taking pictures in the Middle Eastern countries where my wife was stationed with the State Department. For selected examples, visit the Journalism page.
In 2002 I received a doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford, and my thesis won two prestigious awards. I have written book chapters, encyclopedia entries, journal articles and book reviews dealing with Middle Eastern history. Visit the Scholarship page for more details.
I am living in Arlington with my three children. In my spare time, I enjoy travel, the outdoors, cultural events, cooking, flea markets and a variety of sports.