In my travels I constantly find myself in entertaining situations which lead me into indescribable situations, where only in retrospect can I find words to describe, the story-telling process maturing as last season’s wine has reached its maturity. One such of these stories comes from my first time living in Alexandria, Egypt. Beyond the isolation one feels in a foreign land, I struggled with the language. The area I lived, A3gamy, was tranquil, as I lived three blocks from the Meditereannean Sea, but such serenity has a dose of loneliness. I had made some friends, but out of them I made one specific friend who took the greatest risk in doing so.
Fil Masr it is not considered proper for a Muslim girl to hang out with a male, especially a foreign male such as myself in a city like Al-Iskandreya. However, she stood by me amongst the shouts of angered locals, joined me in the male train cars, and waited for me with a smiling face as I arrived at Mahatet Raml duly late with the ritualistically tardy microbuses across the oil fields from home. Never before did someone gladly pay such a cost to be a friend to me.
I realize that until we are no longer are the minority, those of us who choose see through the walls told to us by those who to live the lie that the other is inhuman, we will pay this cost. We may never see a world different in this way, but the idea… I think that’s striving for.