Saturday, February 5, 2011

Accepting Hardship as the Pathway to Peace



It's morning.  I woke up after not being able to sleep until 1 AM. 

Last night was the first in a week that I removed my clothes and put on pajamas.  I've been sleeping in my clothes so I could be ready.  For what?  For whatever could happen.  That heightened sense of alarm makes you sick.  It depletes your adrenals.  My mom called again last night and recommended fennel tea---which I actually have on hand.

Mom keeps calling.

I called her about this revolution a week ago---when it was still more of a possibility than an actuality.  The time difference makes calling tough.  I called as soon as I could that morning.  I used all the minutes on my phone. 

Later, she would call and leave a message using my Magic Jack number (which still works for people calling in but the actual USB fell apart so I can't use it to talk to anyone).  I'm still able to retrieve those messages on my email---that is...when I'm allowed internet access by the government.  So, there were a few messages from my mom waiting for me.  The first message from her was terse and very "mom" in how she reprimanded me for calling too early and told me not to call that early again.  The second message was her not being able to reach me and worrying for our safety.  The third was very sad.  I've been able to talk to her about those messages.

"Do you understand now why I called when I did?"  I ask.

"Yes!"  She laughs, "I know now that you thought you'd lose your phone line."

"Yes, mom, and I did lose it.  So, are you sorry now you left that message?"

"YES!"

It's funny, you know...she and I weren't able to live together as adults.  After two months, I was forced to move out from her place and take my own apartment even though I wasn't able to really afford it.  When I lost my job in February of 2009, it led to me looking for work in Egypt.  I knew I could no longer live in the U.S.  I had no safety net.

Safety.

I woke to massive rounds of automatic gun fire from somewhere north of here, which is the pyramids area.  It is still going on and I don't know what's happening.  I don't know if people are dying. 

That dawning realization, as I lay in bed this morning, tied my stomach in knots.  I have felt the tension in my gut for a week.  My head can be rational and my heart can be calm but my stomach belongs to an animal who senses danger.

Normally, I ready myself for prayer the first moments I wake.  I couldn't.  I had to call my husband and hear if he and his cell phone were downstairs.  He has not slept beside me in over a week.  When I heard the ringtone, I thanked God and thought I could continue with my routine.  I couldn't.  I had to see him. 

I shed a few tears.  I was held.  I returned upstairs to prayer, Quran, my sleeping boy, and the comfort of this laptop.  I stuffed in earbuds to listen to music instead of shooting.

Soon, there will be breakfast downstairs. 

Yesterday, I had to laugh at the falafel, which they call, "tumaya" here.  My husband had gone out to retrieve the fried hummus bean patties which my son and I love.  My son had refused to eat breakfast when there was no tumaya.  So, yesterday there was tumaya.  It was the smallest tumaya I've ever seen.

I joked with my husband in Arabic "I thought you were getting tumaya not green peas!"

When he set the tumaya next to the hard-boiled egg,  I laughed harder.  It made him laugh too.  I ran and got my camera.




Alhumdulillah for laughter.

2 comments:

TwinCities Lynn said...

I'm glad you are safe and able to blog to let us know you continue to be. Please, if there is anything I can send to you that you need, let me know. I don't have much money, but I have more resources available to me right now than you do. Please let me know if there is something you need for you or your little one.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom TC Lynn,

You are very sweet to ask. Actually, I don't think anyone is delievering to Egypt as this time. They are more interested in moving people out. We're OK, alhumdulillah with what we have. My boy is happiest with his colored pencils and paper[---always a project! Just keep good thought, okay? :) Thanks!