Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How I love thee

Oh man, I had a dream about Egypt last night, Cairo to be exact! It was beautiful, I dreamt about the death defying taxi rides, the call of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer, sitting in the court yard of Azhar masjid, the serenest of masjids I have ever been blessed to spend time in.

Particularly Islamic Cairo where everyone greets you with a heartfelt salaam. The view from the hotel, the staff who would try to teach us Arabic but never showed their frustrations at our inability. The wedding we accidentally stumbled onto as we walked into the Hilton to change money which was characterised by the sound of the drum and ululations of joy at their union.

I woke up with a cold, feeling miserable and blocked up and I wanted to cry! How is it possible to miss a mere place so much a year later to be so bewitched and captured. To have it hold on to your affections and imagination a year after returning home? We where only there for 14 days for the love of God, how is it possible to miss and long for a place so much when all my loved ones are here?

I miss the

The lulling effect of the Nile
The death defying taxis
The crossing the road with “Bismillah” just in case
The hospitably and sincerity of the locals
The cementing of life long friendships
The hypnotising call to prayer, especially for fajr
The brother’s unique way of making you buys 10 items when you went to the stall/shop for 1 item.
Tje haggling over a cup of mint tea

I need to go back and get Egypt out of my hair, I am sick with love (okay manly with a cold) for the country and the people.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was very naïve when I went to Cairo. I thought all Muslims in Muslim countries were good and practising.

Everything was fine when we arrived at the airport, I saw loads of hijabis. Men kept staring my friend and me, but they do that everywhere anyway! We got to the hotel, and that is where I started to get disappointed: all the Egyptian women working there were wearing very-very short skirts! Then I thought, ‘oh well, they live in a poor country, it is difficult to find a job, they need to work and that is the uniform they have to wear at the hotel’. Although that wasn’t a good-enough-excuse.

Things got worse when we started going around central Cairo. I was still naïve and thought all the young couples I saw on the streets holding hands or even kissing were married!!! I used to tell my friend ‘mashallah, people get married very young here’. Now I know why she keeps telling me that I live in a fairy tale world – my ideal world!

I’d like to go again to see the better parts of Cairo inshallah :).

Happy anon.

NM said...

My god! its almost as if we went to two different places, parallel worlds there happy anon!

if you ever want to see my egypt let me know ;)

Anonymous said...

We'll sort something out in the near future :).

Happy anon.

lulu said...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

-Mark Twain

Anonymous said...

i'd love to go to egypt but i heard the sellers rip you off

Good anon

The Rendezvous said...

Can you post some more pics of Egypt NM...

am sure it was captivating with the likes of pyramids..did u see them anyways

NM said...

Good anon: its unfortunately very true that the majority of sellers trade ethics are a little skewed but if you know what the local price is then haggling over a cup of mint tea is an exhilarating experience. One that will keep you wondering around the souqs till 2am

I must admit though haggling is not for everyone.

Rendezvous i took 650 picture and a made a 6 hour dvd :) I will put them up when am back from Bosnia inshallah (21st of august)

The pyramids are foreboding, incredible structures. A must see

Lindsey said...

What is stopping you from going back? Last year I went backpacking around the Middle East and it was unforgettable. Be wild and spontaneous while you’re still young and before you become caught up in the rat race and everything becomes secondary or tertiary to mortgages and school fees

NM said...

What IS stopping me? I am blessed with parents who understand my need to travel, I am unmarried and I don’t have children, no one is dependent on my income, I have another year before I start my pgce. By the looks of this lindsey maybe am I the only one stopping myself.

Princ_of_Som said...

ahhhhhh Cairo, u eaither hate or love it, there is no middle ground with it. i can't never tire of that place, the noise, the buses where u board and part while they moving.
but the histrotical sites blow ur mind trust me and Islamic Cairo is the place to spend ur time, Citdal Saluhudin was my fav by far.

NM said...

princ_of_som? Intriguing name.
Cairo is an incredible place, never took a public bus though, next time inshallah. The Citadel was stunning. Salahudin... sigh...sigh what a great role model Raheematulllah.

lostkitty said...

cairo - be still my heart! One look and I was in love.

(no puns NM about any prince of egypt!)

NM said...

lol! you put that in my head T. but since you have...ha he