Our Publications

Magazine coversIrene Shaland is an art and travel writer with more than 30 art and travel articles that were published in multiple journals in the U.S., Canada, UK, Israel, South Africa and Kenya. They have appeared in American Theater, Baltimore Jewish Times, Boston Forward, Chicago Jewish News, The Jewish Journal of Greater Boston, Cleveland Jewish News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit Jews News, Hackwriters Literary Online UK magazine, HaLapid magazine, Holiday Magazine – France/UK, IMAGE Magazine, Jewish Journal of San Antonio, Jewish Life Magazine, Jewish Montreal, L’Chaim Magazine of the Intermountain Jewish News, London Jewish Telegraph, Los Angeles Jewish Times, The Lotus, Moment Magazine, Montreal Jewish Magazine, Mosaic magazine, Northern Ohio Life, Orange County Jewish Life, Oregon Jewish Life, Jewish Chronicle – Pittsburgh, ROMAR Travel, San Diego Jewish Journal, Sephardic Ideas Monthly, Shelanu – Kenya, Sino-Judaica Institute Academic Magazine, Theater Journal, Tikkun Magazine, Toronto Jewish Tribune, Washington Jewish Week, ZEEK Magazine, 5 Towns Jewish Times, and in other media.

Irene is the author of two books on the history of theater, drama, and intercultural interpretations.
Her third book The Dao of Being Jewish and Other Stories was published in January, 2016.

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Alex Shaland started his writing career in the 1990s, contributing articles and book chapters for several Penton Publishing periodicals and other publications. In addition to his own writing, he collaborated as an editor and photographer with his wife, Irene Shaland, in producing several books and articles published in numerous magazines in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and East Africa.  Shaland’s photographs have appeared in over 20 publications and online sources including Holiday Magazine (France/U.K.),The Boston Forward, Tikkun, ZEEK, Diarna Digital Heritage Mapping, Hackwriters(U.K.), IMAGE Magazine, ROMAR Travel, Design World Magazineand other journals printed in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Korea, and Kenya. An award-winning photographer, Shaland had several solo photography shows and participated in group exhibitions organized in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Ohio.

Alex’s book, Suburbanites on Safari, was published in April of 2019.

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Please note that no publications including articles, blog posts, photographs, or part of any article found on this website may be reproduced in any form or media whatsoever without prior agreement with Global Travel Authors. All publications including articles, blog posts and photos are © by Irene Shaland and Alex Shaland. All rights reserved.


Star of David in front of Nairobi Synagogue
Brightly-lit Star of David at the entrance to the Nairobi Synagogue

My Jewish Stories of Africa

 By Irene Shaland

Text copyright © 2014 by Irene Shaland
Photos copyright © 2014 by Alex Shaland
All Rights Reserved

My husband and I have been traveling the world together for over 30 years,  ever-attuned to the Jewish story that, more often than not, seemed to be an endless chain of persecutions, humiliations, and mass murders: from century to century, from country to country. When we went to Africa, our friends joked: “It will be a challenge to find your Jewish stories among the wildebeests!” “You’ll see,” I said. “I’ll find a few good ones.”  [continue reading]

Norway, Oslo

Exploring Scandinavia:
Reflections and Conversations

By Irene Shaland with photos by Alex Shaland

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” declares an officer in Hamlet, and this is where the Bard was gravely mistaken.  Last May, we visited Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.  Everything we encountered there looked beautiful; and in spite of the cold and rain, this beauty seemed almost surreal.  In the Nyhavn part of Copenhagen, brightly-painted houses along the canal sparkled like jewels in the rare moments of sunlight. In Elsinore, the brooding Kronborg castle, the fictional home of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, was an image of somber beauty and overwhelming power as if still threatening Sweden across the narrow gulf. In Stockholm, the Royal Palace and baroque churches, flowers in the parks, and people on the streets – all were lit by an out-of-this-world grayish-bluish light as if they existed inside a magic giant crystal. In Oslo, the never-ceasing rain and wind were natural architects of not only spectacular fjords around the city but also of, seemed, its striking architecture. Oslo’s dazzling Opera House resembled a giant glacier sliding into the sea: Its white marble roof doubled as a public square.  These are some of the iconic, imprinted-in-my-mind, images of Scandinavia I brought home. I fell forever in love with this still under-appreciated, under-visited by US travelers, part of Western Europe.   Continue reading full article.

Old Town statue is called “Kafka”Seeking Kafka in Prague

by Irene Shaland

Text copyright ©2010 by Irene Shaland
Photos copyright ©2010 by Alex Shaland
All rights reserved.

We arrived to Prague in mid-April yet it felt more like November: cold, gray, rainy, gloomy and strangely, emotionally familiar. I had two books in my backpack: The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka and his Letters to Friends, Family and Editors. “Here we are,” I patted my book bag. “After almost forty years, the city you loved to hate.”[read more]


Photo_1-webStones Fill the Void: Visiting Jewish Vienna

by Irene Shaland

Text copyright ©2010 by Irene Shaland
Photos copyright ©2010 by Alex Shaland
All rights reserved.

We are in the city of the dead. On a sunny April day surrounded by noise of the big city – cars speeding, trams clunking, people hurrying about their mid-day business – we are talking to ghosts, some 65,000 of them, the murdered Jews of Austria. This is Leopoldstadt, Vienna’s Second District, and we are following the Steinedererinnerung or Stones of Remembrance. [read more]

rock art-1

The Secrets Hidden in the Rocks: Discovering Spirituality of the South African Pre-Historic Paintings

by Irene Shaland

Text copyright ©2010 by Irene Shaland
Photos copyright ©2010 by Alex Shaland
All rights reserved.

A few hours of scenic driving from bustling Cape Town (and seventeen endless hours of flight from the US) will transport you into an other-worldly realm: the South African Cederberg Mountains, a massive rock wilderness where wind and rain have sculpted giant sandstone boulders, piled one upon the other, into bizarre shapes and towering surreal creations in every shade of rust red, brown, yellow, orange and white. To read more click [South African Rock Art by Irene Shaland]

Taj Mahal, India, travel, global, authorsIn Search of the (happy) Jewish Story – in India

by Irene Shaland

Text copyright ©2011 by Irene Shaland
Photos copyright ©2011 by Alex Shaland
All rights reserved.

I dreamt of India for years. As my husband Alex and I planned our trip last year, we both began to see India as the place in space and time where one comes for self-discovery and personal growth. The truth, not told you by travel agents, is that you have to know deep down why you are coming to India. [Continue reading]

The stellae in front of the Mr. Jin’s memorial, China, Jewish, travel, glovbal

The Dao of Being Jewish: Lessons from China

by Irene Shaland

Text copyright ©2013 by Irene Shaland
Photos copyright ©2013 by Alex Shaland
All rights reserved.

For the Chinese, the “Dao” or “Tao,” is a fundamental concept of cultural philosophy, and signifies the way or the path to life-long self-discovery. During our recent trip to China, our way led us to Henan province in the central part of the country. My husband and I came in search of a Jewish story, and the story we found was much more than we could have anticipated. It made us feel overwhelmingly blessed and nourished by the unique perception and value of Judaism we discovered in this Chinese culture, a culture much different than ours. Read more The Dao of Being Jewish

Nairobi Hebrew Congregation, Kenya, Jewish

Finding Home away from Home – in Africa

We were travelling all day: through the exotic strangeness of the Zanzibar Stone Town to the Nairobi airport’s thick mess of people and suitcases, sickening smells and deafening noises. Then again, through the traffic and dust and darkness of Nairobi streets, until all of sudden, like a mirage in the wilderness, we saw a brilliantly lit Jewish star. [continue reading]