Moved on! Check TheCairoCalls
I thought, as I drove my car through Cairo
streets on my way to work. I looked around me and people seemed to be going about their daily business. They are crowded, annoyed, smelly, and miserable, I thought. The traffic stopped for a while near an underground station, and I can only picture the metro going relentlessly between stations as just one huge casket transporting the undead through the various circles of hell. The hell of mediocrity, apathy, and bigotry. Such is a Dantian
hyperbole, I thought with a melancholic smile across my face.
Cairo’s intrusive summer sun (it’s summer already over here) added to the discomfort. I remembered last Friday’s sermon. I wake up late and I had to go to a mosque other than my regular one. One of the never-ending-sermons ones. Reminiscent of the ones I had to sit through every summer in the mosques of Alexandria. The kind of sermons which goes on for a couple of hours. Anyways, last Friday’s was really annoying. The guy kept repeating really naïve arguments, and using such childish methods of persuasion, that I felt really, and deeply insulted. For the first time in my life I thought of walking away from the prayer, but then thought that my patience would be rewarded “I went to pray, AND I endured that Imam...” I remembered Friday, and I felt anger accumulating in me.
I drove for a couple of hundred of meters to be stopped again by traffic. This time I was on the 6th of October, immediately next to an old church in Shubra. From my position, I was at the same level of the cross with the words “Blessed are the two peoples of Egypt” inscribed across it. Yeaaaaah, I reminisced. I remember reading this sentence every time I was going to my grandpa’s as a child. I always wondered who those two peoples are?
At this exact moment the radio started playing a relatively old song by Egyptian pop singer Simone. The song was sung in both Greek and Arabic. The song is a relatively “average” pop song, but no piece of music had affected me as much as the buzuki solo at the beginning of the song. I was really touched. And I started remembering…
I remembered my first week in university when I was introduced to Hero of Alexandria in my scientific thinking class. I can see him working on the steam engine (he designed it but never implemented it) in his lab overlooking the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, whose marble stairs glowed so brightly under the summer light; sailors had to cover their eyes while docking their ships. I remembered Sayed Darwish tinkering with his Ou’d on the eve of Sa’ad Zaghloul’s return from exile, and coming up with the immortal “Ya balah Zaghloul…”…I remembered old footages of priests on top of demonstrations coming out of mosques in 1919. I remembered Yehia El-Fakharany’s smile as he played Bocchi in Zezinia...the half Italian, half Egyptian playboy who roamed Alexandria’s street for love. I remembered the boys and girls strolling down the Corniche while the boy is thinking of a way to steal a quick kiss from his girl. I remembered Elizabeth Taylor courting Antony, and Alexander taming his horse on his way to his city with an angel on his finger.
The buzuki continued playing, and I started to cry…