Stayin’ Alive

I have had family reaching out to me assuming that I am dead because I have not posted recently. I am fine. Just really, really busy. Because of how intensely consumed I am with reseach papers right now, I will make this short. I am currently working on writting two lenghty papers in the days approaching spring break. It will be a rush to the finish line but hopefully I will make it. That being said, I am filled with excitment. On Friday, Bahar and I leave for a whirlwind 16 day trip in which we will visit Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Turkey, and Lebanon. Just to prove I am still alive, I will share two stories from this week. One for fun, the other for reflection.

Wednesday: Leaving AUC for the day, Bahar and I called a taxi to get food in the Rehab souq. We were begining to enter the car when the driver demanded almost twice as much for the ride as should be expected. Bahar and I stopped while entering the vehicle, climbed out, and headed back to AUC. As we walked back, the car backed up hap-hazardly almost running over Bahar. She reacted angerly punching the car and yelling at the driver “Why did you do that?!” The driver yelled back at the two of us, “You are crazy!” Jumping into action to defend my friend I yelled back “Inta bateekh!” While I was attempting to use the colloquial phrase, “You’re dumb!” I unfortunately said “You are a watermelon!”A man looked at me after my response disaprovingly.

Monday: After exiting our Egyptian Arabic tutoring, a woman came up to us begging for money. We said we didn’t have anything and that we were sorry walking a couple of feet in the other direction so that we would walk away. She did, but her little daughter, maybe 4 years old, moved in. We told her no once, twice, moved in another direction, a third time, walked away, a fourth time, decided to walk up the street away from her, six, seven, eight. Suddenly she began grabbing Bahar and moved quickly from the clothing to Bahar’s hair pulling and tugging and begging. We were distraught. Bahar could not pry her lose and I did not want to intervine and use excessive force with a little girl. Bahar finally resolved to give her one pound (12 cents) to get her off. She moved to me. I forcably yelled “Amshe” (run away) at her twice until she left. – Later that night, I almost cried as I reflected on the event realizing that shame is a privilidge.

If all goes well, within a few weeks I will be posting on a few different topics including gender in Egypt, my academics at AUC, and my travels around the region. But yes, I am alive and well, continuing to have an amazing and diverse experience in Egypt.


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