Friday, December 17, 2010

Naseeb



We were sent home from school early due to the sandstorm. I exited the microbus and saw the most beautiful gray kitty walking along the curb.  It seemed to elegantly navigate through the freezing wind.  I didn't even worry for him as we passed each other.  I worried for my boy.  I hurried him home and got him inside. 

The next morning, the sun shone so brillantly---as if the miserable day before had never happened!  Except, while walking along the street, I saw the proof.

There was the dead body of the little kitty. 

I gasped. 

It must have died just after we saw it. 

I didn't know it would die.

Even if I had known, there is no way I can save every helpless kitty in Cairo.

I didn't cry.  I couldn't!  I had my son's hand in mine and a taxi to catch.



I ride taxis to and from school.  Sometimes, we catch a ride home with a co-worker.  Sometimes (if I'm feeling brave) we jump on a crowded city bus.  As stressful as it is to find a ride home, it's actually less stressful than riding the school bus.

On that day after the storm, I felt blessed to have a white taxi at the end of the school's drive.  YES!  White taxis are newer, cleaner, and usally have Quran playing on their stereo system.  A white taxi also means a reliable meter which shows the exact money owed.  It makes life easier on me.

However, for the first time ever, this taxi driver didn't have 2.50 pounds on his meter when I jumped in.  He had 3.50.  I sat there explaining to him in Arabic that he was wrong.  I was nice but firm.  No, I tried to tell him over the loud music, I wasn't going to pay an extra pound.  He had to change it or it was, "zolm," unfair.

So, there we were trying to come to an agreement, when a speeding car going the wrong way zoomed past us, went up on two wheels and then crashed into the meridan strip. 

If...

I mean, what if the meter had said the right amount?  We wouldn't have been sitting alongside the road.  We would have been on the road and in the way of the speeding car.  And...

alhumdulillah.

That's what I said to the man next.   I said, "Alhumdulillah".  I told him in Arabic that he was fine and I was fine---thanks be to God so let's get out of here. 

He changed the meter to 2.50 and on we went.

I asked for him to switch the music to Quran.

He did.

He asked me if I was a Muslim.

I said the best answer to give.

"Alhumdulillah."

Ana shaddah la illaha il Allah wa ana shahaddah Muhammadar Rasullulah.

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