This post was inspired by Clear, who left a great comment on the previous entry. Check it out, then read my response below..
“And I’m in love with the people. The snatches of conversation in Arabic, the language of our conquerors, drifting towards me on whiffs of the Mediterranean, does something to me that I can’t explain.
The shoves from the random agents of the Muslim Brotherhood–and their wives–when they notice my paper-white arms gleaming back at them, when they see my long hair bannering behind me, are an immediate turn-on.
The spider-like presence of women dressed as ninjas–that black, that concealing–screams “home!” to me in a way I can’t explain.
The constant bickering and “No, it is YOU guys who are going to hell!” between Christian “sects” (not to mention between the actual faiths) reassures my faith in unity and love. (And for the record, I believe that it’s Jesus that’s the cornerstone, not how many times a day you pray or if you went to confession last week or even if you’ve been formally baptized.)
The failure to actually DO anything, save for whining and complaining, of some Copts about their predicament–and the total 180-attitude of others who insist that there IS no problem in Egypt for Christians–both make me want to move back to the city of my birth more than I can tell you.
And who can forget about the fact that I cannot be a College Dean, a Governor, or even a police officer (not that I’d want to be, since my subscription to “Non-Steroidal Rage Syndrome” has expired) because of my faith, and probably my sex.
It’s not the sha3b that makes this happen, perhaps, but they can’t or won’t stop it from happening.
And the way MY OWN PRESIDENT has either turned a blind eye to the way things are–or made it happen. That’s really the kicker about my love affair with the people of
Egypt. (And, by the way, whether I just referred to Mubarak or Bush, they both share the guilt for the crime of allowing
Egypt to continue to exist as she is. They are the wife that buys the Vodka for their alcoholic husband. They are the parent that buys white bread and ice cream for their rapidly-heavying son. They are the enablers, and, even if they aren’t the original source of the cavity, they’re the not-so-sweet sugar that makes the decay and ROT so much worse.
I know that ALL Egyptians are suffering, either from the lack of freedom or from the economy. (And, in some cases, the religious thing.) I KNOW it’s not just the Copts who have it less-than-good.
But I also know that if there was a march on the Egyptian equivalent to the White House in
America, they would HAVE to do something. They couldn’t arrest us all! Or, if they did, everyone would be in jail and the world outside would have to take action and either stop giving money to propagate these atrocious acts of silliness–or they’d take over.
It may even start a (civil?) war, or make another
Iraq (God forbid).
The people are part of
Egypt, but they’re also part of what’s WRONG with
Egypt, and, to a certain extent, I love Egyptians. But I also want to slap some of them around for clinging to outdated modes of behavior like complacency, gossiping, thinking someone’s immoral because they had dinner with someone from the opposite sex. OK, I can understand the root of these things, and, to a certain extent, I agree.
But I also see the myriad PROBLEMS that have led to a rather stunted society–socially, culturally, psychologically, emotionally.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love Arabic and don’t speak a word of Coptic, I do love the hospitality and the 3ozooma and the pesky strangers that ask when I’m going to buckle down and “get a real job and have some beautiful babies.” (Sort of.)
Don’t get me wrong, there ARE lots of Muslims who do more good for the cause (well, all the causes) than some Copts do. There ARE lots of people that have defended me from shoves and jibes in
Egypt. There ARE those who actively fight for the type of
Egypt that I long for, The New Egypt.
But even that cuts me to the quick, for I am unable to put my hands into the fight. I have to watch from a distance, writing about things I’m (for the most part) not a part of anymore. And it kills me.
I am not CONTENT to watch protests on TV, or from my laptop. It is not enough.
My eyes mist, water, spill as I see my brothers and sisters fighting for change.
I WEEP because I cannot join in, not now and perhaps not ever.
But more so, I weep because I am PROUD of them, so proud that my heart will burst for love of them. For love of Egyptians. For love of