Images of Mona from left to right: Celebrating with Urease cake, White Water rafting, speaking at my friend's wedding, riding a motorcycle, the orchid show at Como Conservatory, riding a bike, visiting Stonehenge, the Grand Canyon  

Running with the penguins in Abu DhabiBeyond my scientific pursuits, I color my life with myriad hobbies and pastimes. I love to travel as I embrace new opportunities and experiences like zip-lining, whitewater rafting, and penguin-petting in Dubai. I am a voracious consumer of music. At work, the songs of Harry Belafonte or Celtic Traditional Bagpipers (to name just a few) fill my office. I am an enthusiastic amateur hand-drummer who recently had the pleasure of performing one or two riffs at a friend’s wedding. Since I was young, I’ve listened to audiobooks avidly; I love the Harry Potter series and the works of Agatha Christie. To stay active, I like to do martial arts, rock-climbing, and tandem biking. Recently I picked up improv, and I plan on doing stand-up in the near future.

Two hobbies that I am particularly fond of—creative writing and knitting—are showcased in the websites below:

Screen shot of the "Banana Days" blog

Banana Days is a blog I started to share small slice-of-life stories and things I have experienced as a blind scientist. Here, I hope to improve my writing and provide entertainment.

Screen shot of the "Handmade Knits by Mona Minkara" site

The art of knitting is one way I am able to de-stress and refocus. Knits by Mona is a collection of things such as hats, scarves, and throws that I’ve knitted and sold, as well as items I have for sale.

Pictures of Mona from left to right: Looking at ice roses, feeding the ducks, pushing a trolley onto platform 9-3/4, wearing one of my hats, rowing a boat, one of my scarves, the glow of the ice castle, and an amazing shot of seagulls