31.7.10

I have no idea what these are called in English...





But here they're called teen shoky (spiny fig?). Its a fruit you can buy off a kart, peeled and ready to eat. So here's this dude selling them on his kart and he's talking on the phone while peeling them for a customer. Mind you, the little black dots, those are thorns. When I watch people peeling them at home, they wear protective gear like they're going to the moon. Thats if they arrive home in the bag. Usually they tear through the plastic bag if you're not careful. And everyone loves them. I don't. They're too much trouble for a fruit. Whats wrong with Mangos? At least they don't try to hurt you when you eat them.



But maybe Egypt is like teen shoky. You can't get too close at first, but once you peel back what can hurt you, its pretty sweet inside. 

Maybe I'll try some tomorrow. 

[Edit: They're called opuntias. Thanks ya Youssef.]

28.7.10

The Dark Side of the Moon

The title is a bit figuratively incorrect. The dark side of the moon usually means the mysterious side of the moon. But there is nothing mysterious or even slightly ambiguous about this topic. The dark side truly means dark, unwanted, sad.

I have been reluctant to share what I am about to put in this post. Primarily because I don't want people to think that I am negative or only see negative things in my country. I'm sensitive. But who isn't? The point is to raise awareness. And not to sugar coat reality with touristic pictures of a history that is long gone. This reality is true and tangible not only in Cairo, or Egypt, or Africa, but in all corners of the world.


This child is sleeping in the middle of one of the busiest streets in the city. Might I add about a dozen people walked by in the thirty seconds it took for me to capture this image. Not. one. of. them. looked. Actually, one of them glanced, but he looked at me.

To others on the street, at least to my best interpretation, this child is just a fact of life. Young and old, rich and poor. To each, its opposite. And the opposite has to exist. In spite of my best intentions, I didn't reach out to the little boy. I figured this is the best sleep he can get and I did not want to disturb it. And I honestly didn't know what I would do if I did awaken him.

But there is something about the way his hands are placed next to his chest and face that is so innocent yet so eager to protect. It speaks that every child is the same, and thus deserves the same. Why this child is sleeping on nothing but cardboard in the middle of the street, I'll never know. But once again, I want to raise awareness. Lecture alert: Women and children are the poorest populations in the world. Millions of people in the world live on less than $2 a day. You try living on less than even $5 a day, let me know how that works out. Yet we live on streets where we don't have to see the poor. The government marginalizes them and we happily forget they exist just because we don't see them.

This is just one of the side-effects of poverty. A child sleeping on the street. More stories to come on what these children come to be involved with.

27.7.10

Cairo II



Here's the Nile and some of the boats and restaurants on the water.

I'm hoping this one is more colorful. :)

Cairo


Cairo and the Nile at night from the 6th of October Bridge. 
Best. Breeze. Ever. 



Downtown Cairo. Old European-Style buildings. Busy, crowded, just the way I love it. This specific square has been the scene of many famous films. Its used for flashbacks, but in black and white, in reference to the good ol' days when all the Europeans lived and prospered in Egypt. Long before poverty, corruption, and overpopulation. 


But this is Egypt. And I love it. 

25.7.10

Introductions

Egypt. Thats a loaded word. Partly due to emotions. Partly due to history. Partly due to politics. The list goes on. But thats what this blog is going to be centered around. Egypt, in its purest form. Its exciting but scary to start writing about it. So here are the reasons I could fathom for starting this blog. Because I love Egypt, though its easy at a distance to forget why, I want to share Egypt. Not necessarily only the heart-breaking, but the good, the bad and the ugly. Call it an honest approach. And because I feel like there is something to learn from every story, I'm hoping that there is something universal to be taken away at the end. But mostly, its the records of a journey, for me to look back on.