Tuesday, June 19, 2012

80 Million

Asalamu Alaykom,

Egypt is bigger than Tahrir Square.

No matter how many people flood this public place, there are always far more who are away from the crowds, the bright lights and the TV cameras.  They are quieter and living simple lives.

It's the girl leading her little brother home on the donkey.  As they sit together on top their little beast, she tries to steady the mound of tall clover as well.  The clover falls.  She gets down to retrieve it.  She places it back on the donkey's back with her brother and she stays down.  She can walk and he will ride.

It's the grandma who cleans the streets every day from the night's discarded debris.  By nightfall, there will be another pile of chips bags and animal dung but she claims her street in the first sunlight. 

It's the driver willing to let the people walk in front his car safely without speeding past the intersection. 

It's the old cleaning woman who works to support not only herself but her daughter whose husband died last year.  Without that income, the grandchildren would starve.  The woman cleans slower than she used to but she tries to make up for it with kind smiles at those who underpay her.  She suffers daily but remains thankful and cheerful.  "Alhumdulillah," she repeats again and again.  "Alhumdulillah."

It's the fisherman who has gone to the Nile in the morning to catch the food he hopes others will buy for the evening.  He carries the basket through the village calling for buyers.  Occassionally, he rings the doorbells of the homes where he has sold fish before.  When someone invites him in, he crouches down and guts the fish before he gets paid.  It's hard work (as you can see from the bandage on his finger) and it's not guaranteed income.  However, it's halal risq so he keeps supporting his family this way.

It's the new bride and groom as they pass out juice boxes to every man who came to witness their wedding ceremony at the masjid.  The men don't drink it even though it's 100 degrees.  They bring it home to their children because no Egyptian man has greater delight than in making his children smile.

It's the boys on the roof flying their octagonal kites high in the sky.  Each kite is the colors of the Egyptian flag and the spirit of their nation soars above the Pyramids.  The boys pull their strings taut; each boy hoping to keep it aloft as long as he can.

It's the muzzein calling the believers to prayer.  Five times there is an actual man who has to leave his family and leave his work to ask others to do the same; not for him but for Allah.  His voice signals the passage of time and the dedication of souls.  In the darkest times, his voice brings hope.  In the happiest of times, his voice makes us remember not to forget our duty.

So many people are living their lives in Egypt.  They are living beyond your perception and maybe even beyond your understanding.  They are hot and tired this summer.  They are wondering who will be their new president. They are also thinking that it's one month until Ramadan.

And they all say, "Inshallah,"  God willing.

May Allah bless the people of Egypt.

1 comment:

MarieHarmony said...

It's a beautiful account of life in Egypt Yosra and a lovely tribute to Egyptien people. I felt like walking the streets of my husband village reading you. Thank you so much. You are right Egypt is much more than what we see on TV. And my heart and prayers go to them in this special time.
Take care dear. xx