Friday, July 26, 2013

My family encouraged me, my class participants urged me, and when I telephoned two of my oldest dearest friends (Lana who resides in Georgia, Melissa in Colorado), they not only encouraged me, they also decided to join me! So, in only a few short weeks since Egypt beckoned, we all united at JFK airport in New York to fly direct to Cairo with the other Windows of Egypt tour participants organized most capably, efficiently and effectively by Alice Nagy of Pennsylvania in collaboration with Mohammed Shata* of Cairo. Their diligent attention to detail provided an experience wherein everything went exceeding well and every inch of the itinerary went without a hitch, on time and very smoothly. All along the way it was as if a red carpet had been rolled out for us. Hamdul'Allah (Praise God) and, I might add, Praise Goddess (Hathor)!

Photo taken by Tahya @ Temple of Hathor, Dendera 

Words fall short of describing the overwhelming experiences I had in Egypt where the past and the present, the sacred and secular, generosity and scarcity coexist. It's a country of contrast and emergence, albeit reluctantly, into the 21st Century.

Weeks after I landed back home in the U.S., I continued to awake around 4:30 a.m. (just about dawn and the first "call to prayer."). Upon waking I found myself inspired and ready to launch from my bed to begin to put into action the thoughts swirling in my head yet by the same token my body ached for more rest. Despite how tired I was, I was coming to realize there IS something about the energetics of Egypt and being changed forever having visited the place. I guess Florence Nightingale said it best...
"One wonders that people come back from Egypt and live lives as they did before."**  
We were blessed to have the expertise of one of Egypt's "best of the best" tour guides: Mohammed Shata, accomplished Archeologist, Egyptologist, and Metaphysician, known worldwide for his extensive knowledge. In fact, Mohammed Shata is the best guide anyone could ever wish for! Professor Shata has a degree in archaeology from Cairo University, and worked for many years with the Supreme Council of Egyptian Antiquities. He is the former Inspector of Antiquities at Giza and specialized in excavating sites in the vicinity of the Pyramids. He participated for two years in the re-assembly of the Solar Boat, discovered many tombs of Old Kingdom royal family members, and worked on the restoration of the Sphinx, among other projects. Mohammed lectures widely in North America and England.

**Nightengale, Florence. Letters from Egypt, A Journey on the Nile 1849-1850, Weidenfeld & Nicoson, New York. 1987

Friday, July 19, 2013

Egypt Beckoned....

and I answered "the call."

by Tahya

2007: It was a mid-January morning when my friend Gloriel Leight informed she was contemplating a return trip to Egypt wondering if I'd be interested in joining her. At first, I admit, I did not think it was possible since the departure date was less than 8 weeks away and I had a "full plate" of classes scheduled. Furthermore, what with the holiday season only weeks behind, I was short on cash, and, Egypt, to the best of my knowledge, was not among my top five picks of places I might want to dedicate time and expense. Nonetheless, as Gloriel revealed the itinerary, my interest was piqued. I contemplated the idea and allowed myself to "listen" to my inner guide who seemed to be ever so sweetly nudging me to let go of worry and to feel free to make this excursion. Even though I felt great uncertainty about the reality of managing to pull together the dollars needed for this adventure in a very short period of time, something inside convinced me that if I would only heed the call, the money would follow. I sensed a great "pull" I cannot explain nor could I ignore.