Saturday, May 13, 2006

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom!


This is quite an easy post to write because I love Egypt. It's true that of my many years on earth, I've only spent seventeen days in Egypt but still, I love the place and frequently dream of returning there.

I think one of the main reasons I loved being in Egypt was because Egypt is a Muslim country (I use that term to mean that Egypt is a country with a Muslim majority). The first time I went there I was a shiny, new Muslim, still in the closet to my family and most of my friends and work colleagues. The feeling of relief at being somewhere where having to pray five times a day is the norm rather than a oddity, at not having to consantly explain all the time was amazing. It felt like I could inhale after holding my breath.

Yet amidst all the joy at being amongst other Muslims in Egypt, hearing the athan, indulging in muhijaba-friendly shopping and alternating between embarrassment and pleasure at people's delight in meeting a real-live convert, there is one memory that stands out.

I am on horseback by the pyramids looking out across the city, when the athan for Mahgrib starts. Like an aural wave, it swept across the city as the different mueddhins made their calls. As I heard it, one word came into my head: "How?" How can a country this religious be ruled by people devoid of any goodness, spiritual or otherwise?

Masha Allah, there are brave people in Egypt doing more then asking questions but are actively fighting for change in Egypt. I am humbled by their efforts. May Allah protect them all.

Technorati tag: googlebombingforalaa

12 comments:

roora said...

i am happy by your post safiya mainly bec i am an egyptian and i hope you would come soon a visit and we meet you ISA. But most of the ME cointries their majorities are muslims, anyways i am happy that you liked here.

And i appreciate very much your wishes and your prayers for us.

tota said...

It’s really nice to see our countries through others eyes … I liked how you described the view of hearing the Azaan, while u r on the horseback near the pyramids at sunset, I felt it, and for a moment I forgot all the events we are through.

tota said...

It’s really nice to see our countries through others eyes … I liked how you described the view of hearing the Azaan, while u r on the horseback near the pyramids at sunset, I felt it, and for a moment I forgot all the events we are through.

Alina said...

Safyia, it's nice what you're doing with the linking, just like every one did. What is happening is amazing and I will have it in my license paper, on censorship. I am displeased to put Egypt along with China, Iran and other such countries...

As for your trip to Egypt, I totally envy you! I so wish to get there someday...

luckyfatima said...

i spent a month last summer in egypt for arabic study. it was a real eye opener, how everyday middleclass people struggle to have good things for themselves and their families, how graguate youth unemployment is so high, how the govt is so corrupt. still, the egyptians i met viewed their situation with that famous egyptian sense of ironic humor and with the feeling that egypt is still the best place in the universe. very heartening.

Ali la Loca said...

Wow Safiya, I am so intrigued by your story (in general, not just your post about Egypt, although that is very interesting as well). I will enjoy reading more about the world as you see it.

LouLou said...

Safiya,

Good to see you doing your bit for Alaa while at the same time telling us this interesting story about your visit to Egypt.

I love Egypt oo.:)

Safiya said...

It is a very special place and I'm saddened by all that is happening there.

Insha Allah, Alaa and all the others will be freed soon.

Fatima - I when I was there I was struck by two things: firstly all the things we take for granted and secondly, the vast chasm between the rich and the poor. Within the space of a mile you can feel like the most over-indulged, spolit Westerner to feeling scruffy and poor.

It has so many problems and yet I dream of going back there all the time (and maybe getting to meet some of you bloggers in the flesh :))

Ali - Welcome, I'm glad you like it here.

Alina - I would definitely advise you to go, it is like no where else on earth!

Yes, there's been another template change. I tried using an non-blogger one but it all went horribly wrong so I will stop fiddling for now!

roora said...

sob7an Allah that you realized that from your short stay !!! you get the picture all clear , can't believe that it is that clear for someone who comes a short visit

we took it for granted and there is INDEED vast diiference between povery and the rich
but yet I believe that there is no much more than charities here organized to help the needy people and people run in helping out cases.

But my friend described these efforts like putting water in the sand , no matter how much water you pour in the sand , still much more is needed. the sand is the poor people , water is the money.

Maxxed`ouT said...

a closet-Egyptian
:)

Wonderer said...

Safiya,
Lovely post, I liked most the description of hearing the Athan by the pyramids:)
Thanks for the nice words you said about my country and pray with us to fix what is broken soon isa:)

محمد النقيب said...

what makes egypt special is the family atmoshphere,you should stay with an egyptian family for awhile,the government is the tragedy ,but it won't always be like thismthere alot of brave young men and women who are leading a change movement ,,and one day it will all be fine ,and an advice to you as a new muslim ,read about the history of egypt in the muslim era and the fifties and sixties ,you'll like it much much more...