Monthly Archives: October 2012

Tahrir Graffiti

Hello again class! I apologize for the delay in a new post. This past week was midterms so I had to give all my focus to studying Arabic. I will make it up to all of you in the next couple weeks.

Perhaps you’ve noticed in my videos that there is quite a bit of graffiti here. Like all cities (and most towns) painting on public walls has always existed in Cairo. However, since the revolution in early 2011, graffiti has sprung up everywhere as a symbol of protest and resisting the authorities. Nowhere is this more true than in Tahrir Square, the heart of Cairo and the most recent revolution. It has become famous enough to have a name and a Wikipedia article: Mohamed Mahmoud Graffiti.

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Photo of the Week and Moving Day

Big news, students! This week I moved from Haram to a different neighborhood in Giza called Mohandessin. I live right across the Nile from downtown Cairo, which is something I wanted to experience before leaving Egypt. Living in Haram was incredible though and exactly the sort of culture shock I was hoping to go through when leaving the US. But don’t worry! I know that I haven’t done a post on the pyramids yet and other ancient Egyptian monuments, and those will be happening soon!

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One of the biggest differences between where I used to live and where I live now is the view. Instead of the pyramids and the desert, the balcony looks at a green, tree filled park called Midan Aswan (Aswan Square).

Street Wedding

يا واخد القرد على ماله يروح المال ويقعد القرد على حاله. = (ya waaxod il-‘ird 3ala maalu yiruuH il-maal wa yi’3od il-‘ird 3ala Haalu) 

If you marry a monkey (i.e. someone ugly) for his money, the money will go away and the monkey will stay the same (as ugly as ever). (Don’t marry for money.)

Good morning, class! Your questions were great and have once again given me a lot to think about. I didn’t have time to put myself into this new video, but I promise that my next video will feature me a bit so you know who is behind the camera. The new video is about the wedding of my next door neighbor that took over the entire street and night.

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Photo of the Week

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A traditional ‘shabby’ wedding, complete with band, dancing horses, belly dancers and shooting guns. Shabby is a word used to describe the working class Egyptians like my stable neighbors. More on the wedding on Sunday!

Women and the Cairo Metro

Sabah al-khair! Izzaykom il-yom? Ana zai hasan.

“Good morning! How are you all today? I am like a horse.” Arabic is a language of infinite greetings and then infinite responses to each greeting. Sometimes I feel like I’m still learning how to say hello to someone because I will suddenly be greeted in a way I’ve never heard. My favorite one so far is to say “I am like a horse” when someone asks “how are you?”

Speaking of horses, here is another video! It is about Cairo’s metro/subway system, but you can see the stable that is underneath my apartment and the sandy alley outside my front door. Easter egg: can you spot the ferris wheel?

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An Unexpectedly Extended Trip to the Red Sea

Hello once again, class! Thanks for your great questions, I look forward to hearing more. They gave me some good ideas for blog posts in the future!

First, a video!

A week and a half ago I went on a school field trip to the Red Sea on the east coast of Egypt, about 90 minutes from Cairo. You might know it as the sea that Moses parted in the Old Testament.

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