December 16, 2009

The Power of the Pharaohs...

It's days like today when the world amazes me. I woke up this morning at 7:30 to take a final and noticed that it was windier than usual outside. After dropping off my final paper for my Arab Women's Autobiographies class I noticed that a sandstorm was blowing in. There were times I was walking but I felt like the wind was pushing be how it feels when you walk down the path behind Dorch and the wind from the water blows right up the hill. Except this time it wasn't just the cold that was biting your face there was sand in it as well. Now I don't know about you, but I never expected sand to be able to cause as much damage as it does. But it makes sense if you think about it....sand after all is just rock mashed into billions of little peaces.

The sand blowing through my desert campus was ripping through signs displayed all over campus. It was invading our rooms through closed doors, and closed windows. It was drying our throats, and stinging our eyes. The security guards throughout campus donned medical masks so they could still be out on campus without inhaling the sand.

Sadly enough finals don't stop for sandstorms! So I still had my two papers and one exam to turn in today. But I am actually happy that I got to be out in the storm. You read about  sandstorms and their magical abilities for sand to get EVERYWHERE. But I never really realized how true it is. My room which had the door and windows shut all day now has a nice thin layer of dust on the floor. My throat is dry from sand, and my eyes are loving the fact that I wear glasses for some was bad enough with glasses I don't know how people got through today without something over their eyes.

But the sandstorm also made me wonder about the thousands, probably millions, of Egyptians who don't have a place to hide. When you walk around the city, or even just drive around Cairo in general, you will see more poverty than you could even imagine. Right down the road from my state of the art university there are new buildings and homes being built and people live in the shells of these structures. Or people live in shacks built up next to them. How do these people hide? Their homes are built out of discarded building materials and are meant to be able to be destroyed after the building project is complete. When can they go to escape the stinging sands of the desert?

The sun is setting now and the sky has turned a bluish, orangeish, grayish, yellowish color...a mixture of sunset and sand. There is a hush around campus like how it sounds after a snow falls. The campus smells like dust and everyone has a gritty feel in their teeth. But the storm has least for right now...and all we can do for now is wait for the dust to settle so that tomorrow we can clean.


This was what looks like when there is a sandstorm going on outside....

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