Friday, February 4, 2011

The Night the Lights Went Out in Giza

Note:  I wondered if I should simply leave the narrative of the revolution with, "I told him my plan was to stay in Egypt.  Inshahallah." 

However, I need an outlet to express myself.  So, I'll continue to blog about what's happening from a personal perspective.  I'll leave the political perspective to others. 

Part 5

February 4, 2011

I had to check the calendar to see what the date was. I've lost complete track of time. I wondered this morning why the alarm on my mobile didn't wake me up in time to eat suhour. It's because I don't have the alarm set for Fridays.  Today would have been a day off from school. A day off? It's been a WEEK off. One week.


I've been fasting the last two days. I have days to make up for Ramadan (women can't fast when they are menstruating and must make up those days later). The outer chaos surrounding me told me that it was a good time to find some inner peace. Yes, fasting makes me physically weaker (and less able to wield a stick at an intruder) but it also makes me spiritually stronger (and more able to handle the idea of an intruder).

Now that I have internet again, I was surprised to get not just one but three messages from someone I barely knew from my past. She was pleading for help. No, she wasn't in Egypt. She was in America---with all its freedoms. She has a home, a job, money, a car, food and so on. And yet? She wanted something from me. She felt lost. She was missing a close relationship with God.

I told my husband later, "See? If you have everything but you don't have Allah, you really have nothing and fear for your life more than any of us here. Alhumdulillah, we have our faith."

I've continued cleaning and organizing my home. A shelf in my boy's brand new amoire is being put to use to hold my school folders and teaching tools. I had kept all of that mess lined up against a wall in my salon like a demarcation of where my workstation would eventually be located. Now? I know. There will be no money for a long time and no desk for a long time. I have to make the best with what I have now. Alhumdulillah, I can work around lack and be grateful for what I do have.

Last night, what we didn't have was electricity. That was one of the most upsetting moments here at the house. I've been relying on light at night to help me feel safe. I thanked God many times for the street light which the government lovingly installed (along with pavement) this past Spring. Before then, the streets were darkened once the shops closed.

What was scary for me is that we didn't have the Quran either.  I've been relying on the Quran playing 24/7 on the radio. Whether or not you are Muslim, you have to acknowledge that the extreme breath control of someone reciting Quran does indeed help you find your own calm.

All of a sudden, the lights and Quran went out together and I almost screamed. I grabbed the wind-up flashlight from under a pile. I used it to find the candles in the kitchen. I used a large cake pan to house them all. Mr. Boo and I made it downstairs to be with the others. No one downstairs had any candles! Sometimes it amazes me how ill-prepared Egyptians can be for something that happens all the time.

Being without electricity is so normal here but this was the first time since the protests/revolution started.  My husband was calling the electric company and was being told a half an hour. I visualized attackers on their way and hurried lighting the wicks. By the time I got all the candles lit, the lights were back on.  It had only been about fifteen minutes.


Oh, Allah!  You alone are our light in the darkness.  Forgive us for fearing anything but your displeasure.


Esoterica said...

You have been on my mind constantly. May Allah protect you and your family. We are glued to the news...

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Esoterica,


To everyone who is thinking us, please visualize our family surrounded by light. Please don't picture us in the chaos.

Thank you for your thoughts and for writing them to me. I love the love :) and love you back!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words. They are especially precious to us right now. Please, as you are able, write more. We love you. - BPJ

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom BPJ,

Thanks for the love. I want you to do the voice over for the movie when it comes out:

"Yosra thought she'd be staying in the Cradle of Civilization. It took a revolution to rock that cradle. Who do you turn to when there's no where to turn? No jobs, no money, no bread---NO WAY! See how one American kindergarten teacher took the protest by storm and changed history by blogging her truth to the world. Coming soon to a theatre near you!"