Saturday, August 10, 2013

Welcome to Egypt

Upon landing in Cairo Mohamed Shata (see previous post for more about Dr. Shata) warmly greeted us and welcomed us "home" to Egypt distributing a long-stem red rose to each of us, a very nice gesture I am sure you will agree.

On Day Two, we toured the Citadel of Salah al-Din (c. 1171 CE), the Mohammed Ali Alabaster Mosque and the famed Egyptian Museum in Cairo, where we were captivated by Professor Shata's thoughtful, careful, archeological and egyptological explanations. His passion, sincerity and depth of expression beautifully translated the spirit of loving protection symbolically depicted in the artistry of the delicately carved and colored bas-reliefs, statues, jewelry, etc. of ancient Egyptian culture.

Surprises & Smiles in Bahariya Oasis: On our third day in Egypt we headed out to the Bahariya Oasis which as the itinerary promised was indeed "full of surprises." Hotel Beshmo, located in the Garden Under the Moon Camp, charmed us immediately upon arrival and it was lovely to be far from the "maddening crowd" of Cairo. Driving in to the Garden Under the Moon Camp it appeared to me the villagers are content. They walk through the village with grace and ease and the children play in the dirt streets greeting you with their beautiful smiles. I must tell you, however, behind their smiles they are hoping we will gift them with a pencil or pen (their favorite being a ballpoint clicker pen), a chocolate, or the big jackpot, an American dollar bill. I was happy to take the time to exchange a few words, share each other's names and to tell the girls they are 'gameela' (beautiful). In so doing, their faces and the pink in their cheeks reflected their genuine happiness and good health. 

Clockwise: Shadia and daughters:
Walah, Minar, and Narme

We visited Shadia's shop "Horass Handicraft Exhibit" and I was happy to exchange my money for the handicrafts therein since the sign said "The exhibition is for helping poor families' girls through working." Shadia agreed to my taking a picture of her and her daughters.

When I was back in my room at El Beshmo Hotel taking a little siesta I heard a donkey braying and the sounds of children voices as they played outside. I thought now there's a sound that has become nearly extinct in our culture where children stay inside glued to a TV and/or X-box.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving a comment and by all means please feel free to share this blog URL with friends. BTW, you might also be very interested to visit a website dedicated to the realization of a vision following this trip to EGYPT... Go to