About My Blog

I Spent six weeks in Egypt before spending a year in Germany. This blog covers the best summer of my life. If you are looking for my posts while I was in Germany ask me, and I'll be happy to share them but I have been asked not to share them publicly. Feel free to visit my brothers blog of his year in Germany or my new blog

Sunday, July 4, 2010


The past few days have been ridiculous. We are finally discovering how
to move around and have become much more confident with everything
from hailing a cab, ordering food, talking to people on trains, and
haggling prices at markets. It helps that we have befriended jamie who
lived here for half a year in the fall. She knows everything about
Egypt and Cairo and has no reservations about speaking with the people
here unless it is culturally inappropriate (more on that later). On
Thursday yalda Jamie Sara Ayman and I went to the Cairo jazz club
where there was life music and also by chance a relatively famous
movie star. We didn't stay long but this club was much better than the
disco the night before where the Egyptians would dance in front of the
mirror to see their hips move. In Egypt women rarely dance but it
seems that the men more than make up for it by dancin in front of
mirrors. Ayman loved kaylas scarf and would tie it around his waist
and shake his hips like a belly dancer. The disco was empty compared
to the jazz club because we made fools of ourselves as the only ones
on the disco dance floor but barely fit into the club. More
impressive than the club or disco was the mosque or mezget as it's
called here. It's the oldest one in cairo and was more expansive than
even the largest churches in the US. The architecture was simple but
beautiful and because of the open roof I was able to get the most
amazing picture of the sunlight as it streamed across the marble
pillars. We picked up the qur'an and georges read several of the
soorahs. I found it hard to focus on the soorahs and the lecture about
ancient historythat followed because thoughts were racing through my
mind. Although the qur'an was the same version for each of us much
like a hymnal in church I was obsessed with it's beauty. Everything
from the decorations on the front, the "backwards" flipping of pages,
the written language and the designs on the borders of each page was
somehow really deep to me. Maybe it was sheer boredom that drove me
to atypical thoughts but they seemed completely rational at the time.
I remember saying to myself "the way this feels right now, I think I
was meant to be Muslim". I don't really want to convert but watching
the people pray, hearing the call to prayer each morning, seeing the
defining "scar" on the foreheads of Muslim men (from resting their
head on the ground during prayer), and witnessing on tv as many
Muslims watch the prayer at Mecca. Ever since this moment at the
mosque ibhave been obsessed with finding a pretty qur'an. Whil I would
be satisfied with one similar to those at the mosque I want it to be
more specaial and therefore even more beautiful. We spent Friday
afternoon with 60 orphan girls aged 3-17 who all live under one roof
with one caretaker, sister Mary. The girls were amazing and had a
great time but i was possibly more happy than they were beause I lost
all shyness around them. I get embarassed easily but I decided that no
matter how embarassed I would get I would still have my own new
clothes and a full meal every day and some of these girls would not.
My embarassment was their enjoyment which was all I could ask for. I
learned so many new words, games, and even songs while with them as
they grabbed at us hoping we wouldn't let go or leave. The girls were
obsessed with all of our cameras and took pictures of us when what we
really wanted were pictures of them. The girls made us promise to come
back and as we walked out of the door below their third story
apartment they all ran to a window to wave godbye and we all knew at
that point that we would be back.

I know I said I would continue the Jamie story later bu I'm too tired
now and I still have a whole day and a half that I would have to write
about. Instead I will end here take this time to rest and sleep in and
then write more tommorow. But for now Ill sit here as it hits me over
and over again that I'm not only in Cairo but Egypt, Africa, the
middle east, the second largest city in the world, and a place that I
become increasingly more attached to each day.

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