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"It is the journey which makes up your life."

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Khamseen?

A weird fog has settled across Cairo. It's thick, white, a little dusty, but also... damp. It rained again, which always takes me by surprise because, well, the edge of the Sahara is one of the last places I'd expect such weather.

Mostly though, the air's been strangely dead. There's no wind, but still a fair amount of dust and grit in the air, so there have been confused rumors that this might be the beginning of the Khamseen, the alleged fifty days of sandstorms. (This is a fallacy, Ray says--the Khamseen is more like a 50-day season in which it is more likely that there will be sandstorms, but no guarantee of it, and certainly not fifty straight days of the stuff.)

In any case, the fog has been so thick for the last two days that from the middle of the 26th of July bridge, one cannot see either bank of the river.

Also, there was some kind of massive protest near campus today. A horde of people (mostly men, many in traditional galabeyyas), carrying signs and chanting loudly, strode right down the middle of Kasr al Aini street towards al-Tahrir.

All this happened in the middle of my Arabic class, and the sounds of chanting coming in through the windows made the whole class so agitated that everything ground to a halt so we could crowd together at our fourth-floor room's two tiny windows.

Despite having learned the whole Arabic alphabet as of today, none of us were able to make out the slogans on the banners being carried, and our teacher refused to translate them for us, because she was upset that our hysterics forced her to stop teaching for five minutes.

Other than that, not much to report. Sarah, Monica, Stephanie, and I went to City Stars Mall (gargantuan!) out in Heliopolis and bought ourselves some Amr Diab albums.

2 Comments:

Blogger Ryan said...

Hah, you're waiting for sandstorm season. I'm just waiting for a -thaw.-

Sounds like your teacher doesn't quite appreciate the fear US/Int'l media has built up about large crowds of Arab men. Then again, maybe translating the signs was for the best.

...I just looked up Egypt on the CIA Factbook. It only has a 57.7% literacy rate. Wow.

Ooh! Let's trade musics! I can send you Russians and you can send me Egyptians!

1:00 AM

 
Blogger Kat said...

yay tradey tradey!

and yes, the teacher is an Egyptian herself, so she probably isn't that susceptible to American media (I think the Int'l ones are less...unreasonable about it...maybe... I haven't watched/read any news in awhile).

3:30 PM

 

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