Uhibuk ya misr.
I do actually love all arab countries, I may hate their administration but how can I not love filistin, misr, suriya, Al-Sham in general, Saudi etc. when these are the lands of the prophets. I hope and pray for peace in all of these lands and that Islam may rise strong once again.
As you might know, I’ve kept it quite quiet before I went, I was in Egypt for a month coming back at the start of Ramadan. That was not planned. Nope, not at all. Planned was to stay 2 months, from the 13th of June till the 23rd of August. Our mission? Learn as much arabic as possible, succeeded? Weeelll. Madha sata’mal ma’a wahid shahr faqad? (what will you do, with only one month)
We worked with Al-Kitab Al-Asasi, wrote dialogues and stories, which I need to remind myself to carry on doing, otherwise I’m going to forget everything, yaniy kullu shay!!! 6 hours per day 4 days a week, we had Fridays and Saturdays free, we also didn’t get a meal on those days meaning we had to go to restaurants. Hone our skills to look stupid when not understanding something or starring the other in the eyes, silently pleading that the opposite understands. Amiya is hell, how is someone supposed to understand that? We’re learning fusha faqad (only), the “g” threw us off completely. (exp. Fajr with a soft geem in fusha is a hard g, Fagr in ‘Amiya) The first time we went I was the only one not to get badly sick.
I should mention we were 3 people at first, later on another arrived who was to stay while we went back. U. and I knew each other since birth pretty much. His mother was there at mine. He’s 2 years younger than me. T. was another in our group, him I knew from the DMK. The last person I didn’t actually know yet, the others did though, T. from school and U. knew him from the MJD I think, he arrived on the 5th of July. A. another old friend of mine was supposed to come on the 12th, he had some Exams and was looking forward to it. We had to return before he could join us, well read what happened below.
We lived in Ain-Shams an area where the middle class as well as a lot of the poor live. It felt unsettling that at this moment we probably were the richest people in the area.
It has quite a few mosques in a 50 metre radius from our flat. It however is no Nasr city. Which I’m sad to say we couldn’t visit, in fact we couldn’t really leave Ain-Shams. We did once because the guys wanted to go to a doctor who spoke German. Apart from that only to the Airport. Ah no we went to Tahrir square once, before the whole madness started.
From my Egypt Moleskine Diary:
“The Nile passed near Tahrir Square I didn’t know that. We crossed the bridge to the Isle. It was a nice view over the Nile especially since the sun was going down. Unfortunately my camera and my phone’s battery both failed, so that photos will have to wait till next time, inshaAllah”- Saturday 22nd June
“In the red carpet mosque there is a radio on the minbar, one of these old style ones. Black with yellow stripes, looks kinda cool. There’s a red string attached to its antenna wonder what that’s for. Just saw the first asian looking guy in Cairo, if I’d have to guess I’d say he’s from Indonesia.” -Wednesday 26th June
“As Egypt marks its one year anniversary with president Muhammed Mursi, protests for and against his presidency climax. Around 7 people to my knowledge died. We got the day free, as our teacher is going to take part…He advised us to stay indoors, to have brought everything we needed and not to take any photos on the street if we do venture out…The lights went out again, we heard the generators go out, so this time we’re sure its got nothing to do with the cables outside.” – Sunday 30th June
“News: Egyptian army blocking off roads in and around Cairo to contain large crowds. / Armoured vehicles deployed / Egyptian presidency office says Morsi ready for coalition government…”
“…We’re totally stressed out and strained at the moment. I was able to talk with my mother just now. She’s totally worried.We’re safe, nothing’s going on in our area…”
“…An extremely loud bang outside, a child yelling Takbeer. The kids are going to start a revolution here soon…”
“Egypts president Morsi has been overthrown and Constitution suspended…A lot has happened in the time we prayed Isha at Masjid A’lisha. Adli Mansour is the interim president, he was the chief of justice…Outside people are celebrating, we’re worried about what’s going to happen next…Feeling kinda powerless, like a spectator…Leaders of the Brotherhood are now being arrested…There were rumors that the military put Morsi under arrest. He could have been forcibly removed and sent to the presidential palace as a helicopter landed there, or so are they saying… Number of the German Embassy in Cairo: 002-2728-2000”- Wednesday 3rd July
” “The army rolls over the bridge made of The People” ” – Thursday 4th July
“We’ve got no electricity again, U. is going crazy again…”
“…Ash-shab yurid (The people want)…the oldest son of the teacher has become the breaking news correspondent. The teacher told us he believes everything the media tells…The worldwide leader of the Muslim Brotherhood was arrested today, but let go soon after. He is going to give a speech right about now…Picked up the 4th in our group today, S.” – Friday 5th July
“The teacher is not sure if we will have lessons tomorrow, there are 3 options 1. He will call and everything is all right 2. He will be taken to prison. 3. He will be killed…He called! We thought he wouldn’t any more tonight, it’s past midnight.”
“S. came through the door, saying lessons have been cancelled. I thought okay, maybe he is sick. Hoping the status Quo, was being held unto. He shattered my hopes right then and there. He said that they were attacked but he is okay. I was now totally awake, stood up turned on the TV. AlJazeera showed a clip of what happened at dawn, 42 people were killed and 5 children among them a 6 month old baby. We called the German embassy. The situation will probably escalate. They’d advise us to leave, however no official notice that all Germans were to leave Egypt had been given. If we were to stay we could be put on a crisis list…”
“We just went up the roof, and then climbed on the roof of the stairs again, all of us this time. We prayed Maghrib on it, it was…just heart-touching, the wind travelling all around us, birds circling around us. I just gave my self up, my Nafs didn’t matter. I hope I’ll have more moments like that.” –Monday 8th July
“On the roof at the moment, with the boys. We’ve had tea, then prayed Isha, S. just put a small talk by Imam Siraj Wahaj on. Now they’re playing some kind of Lebanese game with stones, looks interesting 😛 , in the background the horns of cars blaring, reflecting our view of Cairo as the never-sleeping city. The streets are filled, even at 1 o’clock in the morning, with children playing…In our plane at the moment about to take-off. And take-0ff we did, saying Salam to Cairo for the near future, even U. got a bit sad to leave at the end.” – Tuesday 9th July
DMK – German Muslim Circle
MJ – Muslim Youth in Germany
PS. 12/12/13 – I removed the names from this post, read through it again and corrected some spelling mistakes. I just realised, that I did not ask their permission before posting this. Well, it has been Online for almost 6 months now, better late than never though, before I get into trouble with them. Even if I do think they wouldn’t mind me posting their names with it it is common adab :/