Love-Hate… Egypt

I still remember the first time I went out here in Cairo: I was an untrained in what we should call “The behavior accepted by this society”. I was also younger and I kept my dreams in a tiny glass box so I can see them… I was afraid to release them. I didn’t speak any Arabic, I didn’t understand many things (until today I still don’t understand some things) but I have on my side my “good will” and the innocence…


During an afternoon when we walked, we cross the street to the Nile side and I could hear “The hantour” (very famous song)… The music came from a “Falucca”, (Those little loud boats with lights). Without any hesitation I started to dance on the sidewalk, on the daylight… (Anyone who has been in Egypt knows that this is not a good idea, specially being a woman). Suddenly my friends surrounded me saying: “Please stop!”. With the course of time certain words began to sound familiar to me: “Haram” (sin), “Mish kwayes” (Not good), “3eb” (Shame)… I didn’t like those words!


Everything was so strange and far from my culture and the way I was raised. Sometimes, to be honest, I was over and I felt everything unbearable. I wondered if I was in the right place. “Maybe I should return to my land” I thought… My land, my tiny Tucuman that I left so long ago…

I remember one day I was very angry and melancholic. I was sad. I went to the room, slammed the door and fell sleep in the bed… crying. Then I had a dream: I saw a lot of people, and the place (according to the references of those who claim to have been there) it was like heaven… From among all these people my father appears (he died in 2006 before I came to Egypt)… we hugged strong, until now I feel that like I’m hugging him right now. I was amazed and I asked him: “Papa, what are you doing here? Do you know where I am?” and then he replied me with his sweet voice: “Of course I know where you are!”… From that day my friends, I didn’t need anything else…

The Nile

The Nile

When I was a little girl I remember we used to say: “Look at the airplane!” Pointing to the sky… (IF we saw an airplane). My city is not one of the largest in Argentina but it’s one of the most populated (and we, “Tucumanos”, we are brave so be careful 🙂 ) I remember all that in a day like today with helicopters flying over my head every five minutes… and I see airplanes all the time… all the time… no longer strikes me… and I’m not a little girl.



With so many things that happened to me here in Egypt, including two revolutions, I must admit that there are things and habits that are normal for me now… or “natural”, whatever you prefer to call… Like if I born here, as if those things were a part of me since forever…

Of course I know how to make "Mahshi"

Of course I know how to make “Mahshi”

I have lost some of my “sense of wonder” about many things but that doesn’t mean that I have lost the “enjoyment”: Cows hanging in the streets, eating with the hand (no fork or knife) sitting on a carpet on the floor, and always replying: “La’a Shokran!” when people offering me to eat or to drink something… just for they insist couple of times more… all this is, how to say it? “Part of me”.

Having a "street breakfast"

Having a “street breakfast”

Yes, sure… many times I was angry and I wanted to take the first plane to anywhere… But everytime something stopped me… not my husband or my work… but something I have inside me, something I feel… The experiences like pictures come to my mind: “The joy and the sadness”, “Good things, bad things”, “The uncertainties and the certainties”…


Street water is good now!

Maybe because I drank “Nile water” I’m under a “love spell”? Maybe that’s why I can’t leave? Perhaps when you are able to face everything in a strange land that you adopted as your own with all your heart, unconditionally with deep love… you just can’t leave?


Thank you Egypt!




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