It's Friday. Alhumdulillah.
It's my first day off from a 6-day week of teaching middle school English.
It's Egypt. Alhumdulillah.
Egypt on Friday means that there's civil unrest. I tried to explain to an imam overseas how Friday in Egypt just doesn't have that "feel good" vibe. He admonished me. Yes, Friday is supposed to be a time of togetherness. I get that, however it isn't the case here.
Yesterday, while I was getting ready for school, I walked out to the salon where my husband had on the morning news show. I wasn't trying to catch any news. I'm really too busy to do that. Be that as it may, I saw a man lying down on a dirt road bleeding profusely from his side. He was dressed all in white so the bright red blood was more obvious and out-of-place.
"Don't be scared," warned my husband.
"Da fain?" I asked in Arabic. We have a lot of these Arablish conversations.
"Kerdassa," he answered; never taking his eyes off the screen.
"Live on air," he said not realizing that was the worst thing to tell me.
"Delwati?!" I was trying to understand the situation before I went out on the road. Kerdassa just isn't that far away.
"Don't be scared. Don't be scared."
In Egypt, you simply can't be scared and keep going. You have to focus on getting done what has to get done. I went to work. Everyone was talking about Kerdassa.
The man on TV whom I saw bleeding on the road, General Nabil Farrag, was dead. He had been carried away by an armored vehicle. His death was, no doubt, in retaliation for the crackdown on terrorism in the village.
Last month, the police station had been attacked. You can see the burned-out ruins across from the masjid in the photo above. Eleven officers were brutally slain (for which I can't link to any photos or videos because the images are simply too ghastly).
When I got home from school, I tweeted, "Inna llahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un," for the General who had died. That phrase is what you say when someone dies. It's a reminder. "From Allah we come and to Allah we return."
I was sent an immediate reply that he should go to Hell. That remark was re-tweeted many times over.
If someone really has done misdeeds, we don't need to wish them to Hell. They are to be judged by Allah only. To guess that someone is going to Hell OR to Paradise is dabbling in shirk; making yourself an equal to God.
We don't have to love someone in order to say, "Inna llahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un." We should be able to say it about everyone since everyone will die. We will die. Only Allah Subhana wa Ta' alah will remain.
Today, Kerdassa celebrated for the cameras while more arrests were still taking place.
I've only been to Kerdassa once but it was a nice trip and one that I chronicled on my Facebook back in the Summer of 2010. After thinking of Kerdassa so much, I had to go back and look at those photos. I wanted to remember that place before it become synonymous with terrorism, killings and arrests.
Some of the pictures have appeared before on this blog but never were they identified as being from Kerdassa. The captions are left exactly how I wrote them on Facebook three years ago.
KERDASSA! The Galabiya Capital of Egypt! This is the first pic in a series of shots from a jaunt down the road to this "village" (think small suburb). One whole street is lined with galabiya stores. Then, we went to the weekly (CRAZY BUSY) market---but more on that later. Didn't buy this one, by the way. Too expensive. The one I did buy was 35 pounds and I hope to wear it on Eid inshahallah.
LOL! These painted galabiyas were for the tourist trade. Shikira, Nancy Agram and some village chick with a pot on her head---take your pick!
Happy me galabiya hunting. I want to go back---like NOW! Loved the town and the bargains. Wish I could spend a fortune and buy more.
Love this applique quilting. I adore it really. I just don't know about buying it in dusty Egypt. How do you maintain this? I would feel sad to buy it and ruin it.
Love the lotus design too.
Can you imagine this one? Wow! Too much handwork in this! I would love to gift everyone with one of these.
On to the market!
There is no real way to communicate through these pics how amazingly HOT and tiring it was to be at the market. Add to that confusing and (at times) scarey. I am not normally freaked in large crowds but this was intense.
LOL! OK...the story to this pic: We were going through the crowds and I was following a bit too closely behind Mr. Ahmed and....I stepped on his shoe and the sole came off. He was P--erturbed (we'll go with that word). And he started talking to everyone at every stall and I didn't know what he was asking for. Finally, he stops and goes in a little shop---shoe repair! This pic is him waiting to get his shoe fixed. He forgave me after he put it on again
So many items and so many people. Really, a market is not a quaint little excursion for the casual tourist. It is INTENSE!
Could not! Could not! Could not get a pic of one of the many ladies carrying animals on their head. It was a WTH deal. Live birds in a box or in a pan squawking away as the ladies strolled through. This is the best I could do---sorry. It was a duck.
Here are the chicks hangin' out. I took the pic while waiting for Ahmed's shoe to get fixed.
I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this picture. LOVE IT! I am very respectful of people when I take pics. This captured the sense of busy hands without showing their faces. It shows the plenitude and the beauty of the colorful eggplants. I want this blown up and hanging in my home.
Camel toes. LOL! Sorry but this was seriously freaky. I went to take a picture of them and the lady uncrossed the legs. I said in Arabic, "OH NO! I like them the other way," and she re-crossed them. Ghoulish! I just had to make sure you saw this real-life euphemism.
RUN, CAMELS! RUN! Um....you aren't running. Listen, Camels, you are not in town to give rides. The caravan has STOPPED! You must leave town NOW! Or...sigh...ok, never mind. I'll see you around (in the market).
The way this area of the market shows the upholstery fabric is to hang it from up high and create a kind of tent. Very wacky. And what's with the 50's print?
LOL! I was crackin' up about the lady bringing a turkey on the bus ride home. She was getting tight-lipped at my insolence and then I hear a noise. Sure, enough the lady in back of me had a chicken! She was nice about it and I took this photo. God bless
LOVED this masjid. This color green is so awesome.
Forgot to say that this is leaving Kerdassa. Almost broke my camera lens trying to take this shot.
Riding in the mini-van. My mom and dad had one when I was a baby. I used to get nostalgic for it when I'd see them in the U.S. LOL! They are all over in Egypt. No more nostalgia! I just want that pic of me as a baby next to the van. This is Ahmed getting the change.
Fields of Kerdasa
Really hard to see the Pyramids but they're there! See them in the distance? Pyramids = home to me. I'm five blocks away from them and seeing them feels comforting for real.