Filed under Culture

India through Egyptian Eyes

India through Egyptian Eyes

This article was first published at The Media Project. Early Saturday morning, with a heavy heart Mohamed Abla traced his whimsical silhouettes with only a few looking on. Everywhere along his stretch of the 150 foot wall surrounding the famed Khan Market in New Delhi, folk art inspired images of children, animals, and birds burst … Continue reading

Healing Grace for Upper Egypt

Healing Grace for Upper Egypt

Umm Peter stood with dignity in the corner of her simple, cinderblock home. With an appearance weathered over the years, in grandmotherly fashion she spoke of the men of the village and the difficulties of life. Half, she estimated, work in the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh or Hurghada. There is little opportunity in … Continue reading

Q&A with an Expert in Customary Reconciliation Sessions

Q&A with an Expert in Customary Reconciliation Sessions

This article was first published at Arab West Report. For many Christians in Egypt, customary reconciliation sessions (CRS) represent one of the most visceral symbols of discrimination against their community. Existing outside the scope of formal law and justice, CRS offer a quick alternative to the lengthy judicial process as village elders and religious leaders … Continue reading

Getting Around in Egypt

Getting Around in Egypt

Everyday Egypt is a Facebook page featuring the images of photographers active in the country. Many thanks to Egyptian Streets for collecting these great photos showing the reality of daily transportation for millions of Egyptians. Please enjoy, and visit their pages also for regular updates that go beyond the sometimes distorting headlines. 1. The daily … Continue reading

Convergence

Convergence

A few days ago I stood in the center of a crowded metro car. It was around 95 degrees, hotter inside. Strangely enough with the open windows and rotating ceiling fans, the temperature was tolerable. Sometimes it can be preferable in the aisle, rather than squeezed five across a four person bench. But generally it … Continue reading

The Egyptian Street is Still Alive…

The Egyptian Street is Still Alive…

Thousands are in jail for breaking the protest law. Revolutionary hope takes a backseat to stability and security. Yet, despite the crackdown on opposition politics, an unlikely source of protest is taking back the streets. ‘Even now, I am calling for the revolution to continue and the rejection of dictatorial paths,’ Fr William Sidhom told … Continue reading

Emma, Alone in a Class of Muslims

Emma, Alone in a Class of Muslims

Egyptian schools are known for large class sizes and a not-so-great student-teacher ratio. But our third-grade daughter, in one class at least, has a private lesson. Despite being in a class of 31 students, Emma studies religion one-on-one with the teacher. The Egyptian system separates Muslims and Christians for religious education, and Emma is the … Continue reading

A Christian Captain for Iranian Soccer

A Christian Captain for Iranian Soccer

Yesterday I posted about religious contradiction in Saudi Arabia. Today posts a Guardian article about Iran, in the other direction: The 32-year-old midfielder, known as Ando – or Samurai, due to his hairstyle – is not shy of showing his Christianity, often crossing himself on the field. In April, Teymourian, who has played for Bolton … Continue reading

Borio: Milk’s Favorite Cookie

Borio: Milk’s Favorite Cookie

Life can sometimes be much less expensive in Cairo than in other cities of the world, and what better test can demonstrate this than the Oreo cookie? Or rather, the Borio. I am not sure about any of the legalities in this locally produced knockoff of the popular Nabisco product, but it is ubiquitous in … Continue reading

CARAVAN: Art as a Path to Grassroots Peace

CARAVAN: Art as a Path to Grassroots Peace

So much is wrong with the Arab world today, it can obscure all that is right. At the heart of both are interfaith relations, and the CARAVAN art exhibition showcases the good while addressing the bad. International in scope, its contributions stretch across continents, touching the famous and simple alike. “We know much more about … Continue reading

Street Music as Solution

Street Music as Solution

One of the reasons given for the weakness of liberal values in Egypt is that political parties are not active on the street. Politicians tend to be elite, it is said, and are much more comfortable appearing on television and holding conferences in hotels. This makes a difference, of course, as the media has great … Continue reading

Why Egypt Crushes at Squash

Why Egypt Crushes at Squash

From the Atlantic, seeking to explain Egypt’s odd dominance of a sport few Americans play: On Friday, Egypt’s Ramy Ashour won the squash World Open—basically the Wimbledon of squash. The tournament attracts the best players from around the world. But the final game lacked a certain element of suspense: Both players, Ashour and Mohamed El … Continue reading

Darwin in Arabia (and America)

Darwin in Arabia (and America)

From the Times Literary Supplement, a book review on the reception of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary ideas in the Arab world. First, and especially for Arabic students, the trouble of language: For a long time, the reception of Darwinism was bedevilled by the need to find either neologisms or new twists to old words. As Marwa … Continue reading

How Can Egyptians Smoke, Looking at This?

How Can Egyptians Smoke, Looking at This?

A recent Ahram Online article quoted from the Egyptian minister of health, stating nearly a quarter of all Egyptians smoke, including 46 percent of adult males. This, he said, is one of the highest rates in the world. But every time one of these Egyptians reaches to take a cigarette, one of these images stares … Continue reading

Allahu Akbar, Algeria

Allahu Akbar, Algeria

It has been a rather subdued World Cup so far in Maadi, Cairo. The cafes are full but by no means crowded. This World Cup has been a gem of a tournament, with average goals scored hovering around three per game. But it is not attracting local attention in our neighborhood. Most space is empty … Continue reading

Egyptian School Children on Sexual Harassment

These two videos, with translated subtitles, come from Dignity without Borders. The first interviews boys about their perception of sexual harassment, while the second gets the girls’ perspective. Both are intriguing and shed light on what is widely acknowledged as a significant social problem. Listen in and find out why.

Dorosy in the Wizard of Oooz

Dorosy in the Wizard of Oooz

At the end of the school year – and yes, somehow in Egypt, we are already at the end – our girls’ school puts on an assembly for parents that includes an English language play. This year Hannah, our kindergartener, has been selected for the leading role in the Wizard of Oz. But when we … Continue reading

Bring Back our Coptic Girls

Bring Back our Coptic Girls

Seeking commonality with the outrage over the schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria by Boko Haram, Ebram Louis and the Association of Victims of Abductions and Enforced Disapperances (AVAED) is launching a hashtag of his own. #BringBackOurCopticGirlsEgypt. I might advise to remove the ‘Egypt’ from the hashtag, thinking ‘Coptic’ builds sufficiently on the now viral #BringBackOurGirls. But … Continue reading

Ostrich Eggs and Coptic Easter

Ostrich Eggs and Coptic Easter

On Easter in much of the Christian world, believers celebrate Jesus’ resurrection by painting chicken eggs in various colors. The tradition is old and has been extensively secularized, enjoyed now without a necessary reference to faith. In Egypt it is the same; one day after Easter is Shem al-Naseem, an ancient Pharaonic holiday enjoyed by … Continue reading