Thursday, February 15, 2007

Love in Egypt

Today as we took a usual walk up the corniche I saw a man sitting on a wall. I made eye contact with him and walahi something twinkled in his eyes although the sea was rough and it was windy and he looked cold. He just sat there looking so serene and content. It was instant, it was powerful and I just wanted to take him home.

He was at least 70, barely had teeth and sells shell jewellery for a living. People get to an age where they should be at home while there family provide for them. I welled up with emotional and brought one of his strange creations and gave him a note. Walahi I just wanted to give him the contents of my purse but he looked too proud. It’s incomprehensible for any Egyptian to reject a present so I told him it was a hadiya.

He then started giving me an array of necklaces back as a hadiya! Subhanallah I have got so used to being continuously ripped of here that his integrity made my throat constrict with emotion even more! I want to know things about him like where are his family, where does he live, how many hours a day does he work? Would he have tea with me!I love him, I really do, it was as instant as it was potent.

In every apartment block there is a family who oversee the running of things, well ours have 3 little children and the little girl makes a visit to every flat at least once a day to collect the rubbish. I find it difficult to give her our rubbish, she looks about 8 and should be at school! I give her and her siblings sweets when I see them but how rotting there teeth is going to improve there situation I don’t know I am just not sure what I can do. I feel imprisoned by my inability to communicate. I love these children and I can’t help but compare the age of my niece with the ages of these children and how they are literally living in different worlds.

I go to the majid for Isha prayer and I pray with this little old woman who can barely stand but without fail is there and she is there before me, she sits on a chair during sujood but the rest o the time she stands feet to feet with me and I want to ask her about her life and any children she might have, how long she has been using this masjid and how she manages to be there every Isha without fail. I want to take her goodies too and show her my album and share my little world with her, but as things stand we share a smile and part ways. Tonight I just wanted to hug her and tell her I love her and that I admire her.

Egptian and their famous charm eh, well so far I have lost my heart to and old teeth less man, a frail woman and 3 beautiful children may Allah love them.

10 comments:

Aya said...

NM,
I think you've fallen hard, girl. I had a difficult time with Egyptian street children when I visited Cairo.

Something about waking up every day and having something to do, even selling shells on the beach, is crucial for many elderly folks. Yes, it seems as though they shouldn't, but a sense of purpose, contribution, and engagement with life is important for their health. Necessity, of course, is the dominant reason but I've come to understand that feeling important through work can make life worth living.

NM said...

Wise words there Aya, But they still tug at my heart! Something you just have to live with i guess although i wouldn't go as far as accept because social inequality and poverty are symptoms mal-governance.

Ever The Idealist said...

AA NM how you doing down there sis? I laughed so hard when I read about your washing saga!
I love you for your kind heart - give the kids fruit instead love.

Missing you in MANCHESTER. We just came back from the twins wedding to Ibrahim. They looked so good together. Mashallah

Firefly said...

Aw..he sounds really sweet. Loving the regular updates!

md said...

awwww nemo you've brought egypt back to life for me for...i'd feared that it had a died a slow and painful death in the dark crevices of my mind....

NM said...

ETI: fruit? that never occured to me so fruit it is! What is it with this get married or engaged while Naima isn't here ploy! its shocking and upsetting 4 events in total am going to miss :(

Firefly: Its my pleasure, although i can never seem to leave a comment on your blog it always freezes, makes me so sad :(

NM said...

MD: you can relive it all if you come see me, bring the clan:) Egypt can't fade its too glourious

NM said...

By the way MD For the love of all that is good BLOG! and get Newbie to do it too. I feel like i have no idea whats happening in your world...sob...sob

Big forehead said...

i just want to know why do somalis love everyone else and everything else that is not somali or is somali related

NM said...

Its easier to think the grass is always green on the other side i guess