I have been thinking about you lately; well actually I think about you every day because I own an Egyptian rug that brings me to your sunny land each and every day. I have a friend who lived in Cairo for four years with her family and she found this little rug for me in one of your shops or markets. It is a delightful piece of the desert in this northern climate where I live. Here’s a photo of this cheerful little carpet which would also make a great wall hanging.
I also have some pictures that my friend took when she lived in Egypt. People are missing you so much. We hope that you are faring well under military rule and that there are leaders working to design a new government for the Egyptian people. I hope your economy is staying healthy and that people are not suffering because the tourist industry is languishing a bit. Do people still come to visit? Are the camel rides at the pyramids still available? Do people still ride the beautiful feluccas on the Nile? I have never even been to Egypt and yet, because of my friend’s pictures which she generously sent to all of her friends here in America, I have Egyptian scenes in my head. Here are some of the pictures she sent me. Some are from her neighborhood in Cairo and some from elsewhere in Egypt taken when her husband was on holiday from work and they were free to travel around Egypt. Mostly I chose pictures that stuck to Cairo. We have the blurry picture of the flute man making his way to work perhaps and a photo of children playing outside of my friend’s apartment building. We have a donkey cart wending its way down a street in town and a construction scene and a view over Cairo on a day when the dust was in the air. And we have the camels. All beautiful. Of course every city and nation has parts that are poorer, perhaps not as beautiful, but I have no pictures of those parts of Egypt in my mind so I only see your loveliness.
Here is a picture of the view from my front steps. As you can see we are in the fall season here and the trees are our current glory. The leaves cover the ground and as I rake them I feel like I am raking medieval jewels, made from earthy stones, in the colors of nature, ambers, jaspers, garnets tumble at my feet with crinkly sounds as I move them to the curb to be picked up by the village Department of Public Works to make way for the snows of winter. My climate is so different from yours that we each probably seem rather exotic to each other.
But we are having such difficult times with our politics these days. People are trying to twist the rules of our democracy in order to get their own way. A minority group in our government is trying to force their will on the majority. This group is willing to destroy our financial standing among the nations of the world by defaulting on our debts. It is nothing like what Egyptians have been through and are still experiencing but it does give a tiny taste of what unstable government feels like and it gives us the fear that this instability will escalate. For 225 years our Constitution has been sufficient to give us a government that, while contentious, has worked. That’s a long period of stability among the nations of the world. I really hope this is just a blip in our long history of governance that is way less than perfect, but which has steered our nation through many storms.
I also wish that Egypt comes up with a new government that lasts as long or longer and that serves the needs of all of the Egyptian people. Hopefully Americans will be coming to visit you in your exotic, gorgeous, and sometimes harsh desert and tasting your delicious cuisine and purchasing lovely memories in your markets and riding those graceful feluccas on the blue Nile. As for me, my little Egyptian rug will still remind me of you every day for as long as I own it, and I will never willingly let it go.
I ask for blessings for us all and smooth sailing and good fortune. Good day (or good evening if that applies).