Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Homesick

When I see pictures of Cairo I feel like I'm looking at pictures of home. I have no claim to Cairo but through my husband, and I only spent eight weeks there last summer, but its very essence has become so ingrained on my spirit that I feel like I will always be connected to the city just as I am connected to my birthplace.

I don't negate its ugly side, and I don't pretend to ignore the harsher reality beneath the bright lights, but when it comes down to it a piece of me still exists there and probably always will.

So when I think of moving to Egypt this summer I don't feel as if I'm moving to a foreign country, I feel like I'm going home.

I don't speak the language and so many of the finer nuances of the culture escape my American-bred literalness, but when I think of being there this sense of loneliness and desire squeezes my heart inside.

Ana Baheb Masr.




Check out the smog yo, I don't miss that.



This is just a cool pic

19 comments:

Vanessa Fatima said...

Egypt! I am thinking about studying Arabic there for a quarter in a year or two, insh'Allah.

Organic-Muslimah said...

I think you are more homesick for your husband than the country itself. I find it hard to believe anyone would love Masr, with the good and bad, without being from it and having roots there. Does that make sense?

I think Egypt is such a multicultural country, that almost anyone can feel like its home, but when you really live in it, you learn the truth. No matter though, its people love Masr and cherish it.

Molly said...

VF- you will love it there inshAllah. you're going through your school?

Organica- You may find it hard to believe, but that doesn't make it untrue. Sure I miss my husband, that is a given, I miss him more than my breath. But my longing to Egypt does not stem from being in Egypt with him. I miss the sounds, the sights, the sense of being there.

And just so you know, 3/4 of my 8weeks last summer were not with him. I am connected to Egypt through him, but he is not how I got to Egypt or why.

Organic-Muslimah said...

"but that doesn't make it untrue."

I hope you aren't annoyed with me. I was just thinking out loud on your blog. I normally don't on anyone's else, but you seem the kind of cool person who wants her space to be for everyone to think and express.

I guess I was just thinking of myself visiting a European country and loving the scenes, but I can't imagine being homesick for it. It's just the way I think :)

Mona said...

Ok, I'm really asking for my own benefit 'cause I need it. What do you love about Masr? We are in opposite positions...I miss the US like you miss Egypt. Please, I mean what is it that you love about it?

janene said...

I think Molly you are in the pursuit of happiness -- maybe you are not as happy here as you imagine you would be over in Egypt?

I once too imagined I would be happier in Egypt...but I learned for myself happiness is a state of mind.

Not inintending to sound condescending and I am stepping out a limb with my assumptions...or maybe I am just projecting my past experience with being enamoured with egypt onto you...

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

It's quite possible to become totally enamoured of Egypt...warts and all...without having a marvelous husband waiting there. It's a place that can really grow on you and one where you can find a special spot of one's own. I came here as a wife and I've stayed as a widow. I'm here because I love the place on my own BUT I live outside the city, outside the crowding, outside the pollution. And I only go there when necessary. I enjoy my immersions but I REALLY love getting back to the farm and the village.

luckyfatima said...

I agree with Janene: It sounds like you are searching for something. I hope you find what you are looking for.

UmmLayla said...

The person who drinks from the Nile will always return, Right?

Hmmm, not like I'd want to drink from the Nile these days... But you know.

I think you might be missing your hubby. Just my two piasters. And of course you might be missing the romantic "here for a vacation" side of Egypt. I am that way.

We talk about going all the time, and I am excited... But something tells me after the first year reality would set in and I wouldn't be so enamored with the whole thing. Not that I wouldn't want to live there still... We want the kids to be there so our choice isn't really a romantic decision anyway, you know what I'm saying? It's more like a for better or worse decision!LOL

Anywhoo, June isn't that far away;)

Mama Kalila said...

I comp understand the missing there thing... I feel that way about Tanzania. I even dream about it, not every night, but pretty often. It actually worried my husband before we got married.. he was afraid I'd leave & go back lol.

On a different note, I don't know how you do it being separated from your husband. I know people do it when the have too, but it must be rough.

Natalia said...

Hey, you should join WOMEG on yahoo groups. It's a group of foreign women living in Egypt and could be helpful with your relocation.

But I understand how you can miss Egypt, I love the land as well. I do have some (I hate it, I hate it) moments when there, but it's such a bubbly country that it's normal to raise contradicting emotions.

Organic, Masr Omm el Donya. Don't underestimate! :)

Natalia said...

Hey, you should join WOMEG on yahoo groups. It's a group of foreign women living in Egypt and could be helpful with your relocation.

But I understand how you can miss Egypt, I love the land as well. I do have some (I hate it, I hate it) moments when there, but it's such a bubbly country that it's normal to raise contradicting emotions.

Organic, Masr Omm el Donya. Don't underestimate! :)

Organic-Muslimah said...

Organic, Masr Omm el Donya. Don't underestimate! :)

Ahh. I am not. I am from both worlds and I know what I am saying.

Molly said...

Organic- Everyone's memories and feelings about someplace are different. I personally hated living in Wisconsin, but plenty of people call it home. Same with Greece, plenty of people love Greece. I don't.

I am just fine with people speaking their mind on my comments, I'm certainly not against it in any way.

But you just need to be careful that in speaking your mind you don't marginalize someone else's feelings without defending why you're marginalizing them.

Why couldn't I miss Egypt without being from there? Sure you have your own feelings, but why do those discount mine?

Feel free to speak your mind, but be willing and ready to back it up. And I'm not annoyed with you because I do want people to feel like they can come here and speak their minds, so don't worry.

Organic-Muslimah said...

Molly,

"But you just need to be careful that in speaking your mind you don't marginalize someone else's feelings without defending why you're marginalizing them."

You lived in Egypt for 2 months as a tourist. Of course you will have a beautiful picture of the country and feel like it's 'home.' But will you call it home when you witness all the injustices of the regime? the rudeness of the people?

All I am saying, people who are from there, don't have a choice when it comes to loving their country, although they a treated less than human--but you do. Why would you love something that you have no roots to, even though you have nothing to link you to it?

You have to realize, I am looking at your post from a completely different angle, as an Egyptian who has lived in Egypt a big portion of their life.

If you think this comment is 'discounting to your feelings,' please delete the comment immediately and we can pretend it never happened.

Thank you.

Molly said...

"You lived in Egypt for 2 months as a tourist. Of course you will have a beautiful picture of the country and feel like it's 'home.' "

Thats called marginalizing, I didn't go onto your blog when you complained about being marginalized by your teacher in school and said "well you spent a big portion of your life in another country."

As for how long I spent in Egypt, you don't know where or in what economic stratus I lived in. You weren't with me, you have no idea what I saw or didnt see.

For your information, and this will be the extent of my defense, I saw more than one example of the "warts of egypt", I wasn't exactly eating strawberries and sipping champaigne, I wasnt living the high life in maadi or driving around in mercedes, I can't imagine that I could have seen Egypt and more "real" unless I lived on the streets. Life WILL be different the second time I go there because I won't be on vacation this time, but it doesn't mean I don't know exactly how Egypt is.

And you don't know anything about my experiences there.

Molly said...

And I won't delete it, I feel it serves more purpose as a glaring example of marginalization.

I can understand if I had called myself a "true egyptian" after only spending two months there. That would be the height of absurdity, but my feelings towards a country aren't subject to your rules.

Organic-Muslimah said...

"Life WILL be different the second time I go there because I won't be on vacation this time, but it doesn't mean I don't know exactly how Egypt is."

I am just being honest with you. If you are going to get mad at me for that, then I have nothing else to say :-)!

Molly said...

Ogranic, honesty is appreciated, marginalization is not.

If you had said- "I've never felt homesick for any of the places I've been and I don't understand how you could feel homesick for Egypt when you are not from there, but hey, if you say you do then you must feel that way."

Thats called expressing an opinion.

Theres a difference.