LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE.
Literally. People can not show affection in public, no hugs, no kisses, just holding hands.
Biggest cultural shock while being there.
Jan 22. Alexandria, Egypt.
always interesting reading how people feel about their experience in Egypt….
ehhh…I wouldn’t call it entirely hopeless. I saw quite a bit of PDA in Egypt. Its generally a cultural taboo to publicly display them, but its safe to say that its not as shunned as people make it to be.
I might be a little biased but I always thought you can find love in the streets of Alexandria much easier than you can find it in New York, for example. Maybe it’s not the kind of love that you’d see in chick flick movies or read about in Jane Austen novels, but it’s definitely there. You can find it in the street at dawn where an old couple, after praying fajr in the masjid across the street, sit together in ther balcony and watch the sun come out on the Mediterranean. You can find it in the street at noon where that one adorable, little boy defends the girl next door when all the boys tease her because she can’t score a goal. You can even find it in the street on a crowded night when a husband protectively calls out to his wife by their son’s name, instead of her own, out of fear of strangers knowing harassing her by it.
I don’t know. Like I said, I’m definitely biased. I just could never imagine Alex as a hopeless place when it comes to love. (Justice, maybe. But love?) It’s all about perception, I guess.
I felt almost sad but uplifted in reading this description of life in Egypt. Where I’m from, such innocence has been lost a long time ago. Biased or not, the imagery I enjoyed from reading that was really touching. I can relate to some of it, but from a very long time ago. That was one of the few blessings of apartheid in South Africa. It strengthened community bonds amongst the non-whites. We’ve since gained a freedom of movement that has resulted in an erosion of culture and community because most people have since sub-consciously aspired to play in the space of the previously elite whites of the country, and in the process, gave up the wholesomeness of living simply in a community that overtly loved and cared for each other. At times like this, I miss the good old days of apartheid. It reminded the non-whites of South Africa about what was really important.