January 4, 2010

What's going to happen now...

So I am home but there is still a lot I would like to write about. Some of it is the more controversial stuff that I didn't feel comfortable writing about while in Egypt and some of the stories I have I didn't want to terrify my Mother with before I got home so she could see I was safe and sound. Over the next few weeks I'm going to wrap up with the more scandalous side of my trip....the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First though I just wanted to say that I am beyond grateful that my parents let me have this experience. I really do have some of the best parents out there for letting me travel to Egypt and travel all over the Mediterranean. Thank you for pushing aside your prejudices and your fears and allowing me to go to a place in the world where most people are terrified to go. My eyes were opened and I fell completely and totally in love with the Middle East. Never in my life have I interacted with people who, for the most part, wanted to help me so much and were so caring and absolutely wonderful.

Most of all I want to thank Sarah Elmeshad for everything that she did for me. This woman is the most thoughtful, caring, determined, faithful, and loving person I have ever met. She met me at the airport when I first arrived in Cairo, got me set up with a phone, fed me my first meal in Cairo, fed me when I couldn't find food, took me to the grocery store, let me play with her children, invited me into her home, took me to buy school supplies, drove me all over the place, and bought me my last meal in Cairo. She was the best blessing anyone could ever have hoped for and I am so glad that my Aunt Anne put me in contact with her.

But what saddens me the most is that this amazing woman would be SO discriminated against in the US, and is even discriminated against in Egypt. She wears a niqob, meaning all you can see are her eyes when she is out in public. And I hate to say it but before going to Egypt I would have immediately judged her. But I am happy that she was able to show me my prejudices and I am so grateful for all of our talks about religion, politics, kids, school, work, and life in general.

Sarah you were my guardian angel in Egypt and I am so happy to have had you there.

More stories to follow!