Wednesday, August 04, 2004


So i'm lying in bed.. it's almost 2:00 and i have to be in
el zawya el 7amra at 9:30 tommorrow to attend a mo3askar on
el mo7afza 3ala el bee2a..

I groan at the memory of my last encounter with the
around 60 kids (perfect gender balance, mind you) dressed
from head to toe in new tshirts, pants,socks and shoes, oo..
and not to mention caps and socks..
one of those situations where you can't pinpoint what's
wrong 3alaTUL bas you just wince at the manzar..
and then the discussions start.
Mawdoo3 el sa3a? Al Entema2. (said with drama, madd al "aa2")

"Ana 3ayez 2a3raf menko 7aga.."

said the tall man in the ugly beige suit as he looked into
the eyes of every one of the kids, dabbing sweat particles
off his forehead as he shifted from one group to the other..
He tried to take all of them in.. or at least seem to. All
of them, including the 11 year old mo7agabat, hair covered
severly, and comfily clad in half sleeved tshirts..

"Kan 2ey e7sasko lama shoftu 3alam masr beyrafraf fel

Baladgeee ba7ebaha kol 7etta fe baladi..

Grrooooann AGAIN..

Back in bed. WHY am i still up?!
Suddenly, a powerful memory flash. A clear picture, in full
color and perfect resolution.
The cup of coffee i had at 10 am this morning.
the picture fades away adn then another memory.

Marwa,Amr and I walking through Selim to the car, a group of
women sitting in a circle (probably enjoying el tarawa we
7abeet el hawwa, fel mal2af el odam el 3omara) they look up
at us, faces potentially welcoming, but overwhelmed with
curiousity and small tite polite smiles. They try to look
away politely, but teh curiousity keeps the gazes coming
back to us..

"Essalamo 3aleko" chirps marwa sweetly, breaking the silent
polite stares.

"salamo 3aleyko.." i murmur inaudibly as well smiling shyly
and then looking down, biting my lip as i walk a bit
faster.. wonderng what they're thinking. Feeling
umcomfortable being in THEIR neighbourhood and not
introducing myself.

"3ASSALL" i hear one say to the other. (you know emphasis on
the 3in adn the seen, teh way they would say it when they
move the head back at teh first part of the word "3aaaass"
adn then slowly bring the head back to it's position for the
shor "all"..)

My head perks up.

us? maybe Not so bad after all...

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