Tagged with Belonging

Praying for a President

In the last few days, President-elect Mohamed Morsy has made very encouraging signs about his inclination to govern from the center. He has met with Christian leaders, revolutionary icons, and even issued directions to not hang his picture in government buildings throughout Egypt, as was done under Mubarak. Of course, critics may say it is … Continue reading

Overwhelmed by Belonging

Today was our first Friday back at the regular worship services at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox church.  We came back to Egypt almost three weeks ago now, but due to special services because of Easter, plus our own trip to Portugal, we didn’t have a regular Friday until today. We’ve seen some of our friends … Continue reading

The Sole of Belonging

There is nothing, or more properly rendered, no one in this photo that suggests Egyptian-ness. Perhaps we are not blue-eyed and blond, and thus may not stand out immediately as foreigners in a crowd. But any casual glance from a local resident would eye us as ‘khawaga’ – a dialectical word stating that one is … Continue reading

Layla’s Party

We’ve had three children in three different countries, which has given us a chance to see some interesting birth rites in each country.  Emma was our first child, and we wanted to have her in America to be close to family and just for the first experience.  And common to our North-eastern American culture, we … Continue reading

Today We are All Oranje

Perhaps this is not so much of an Egypt story, but it does give a glimpse into expatriate life. Ever since the US loss in the World Cup I have been flirting with other national teams, finding myself gravitating to those playing the best soccer, namely, Spain and Germany. The presence of many Dutch in … Continue reading

Incredulity and a Car Ride Home

I had two experiences at Emma’s preschool today which gave both a reminder that I don’t really belong, and a sense of belonging. Thursdays at preschool is swim day.  The teachers set up a large inflatable pool and the kids can swim for about two hours. They are always generous with Hannah participating in special … Continue reading

Assigning Names

To be born on Thursday, God willing, will be our third daughter. Number one was born in the United States, though conceived in Jordan. Number two was born in Tunisia, and in a few days a third birthplace enters our family. The Arabs call such terminology ‘masqat ras’, or literally, ‘the place your head falls. … Continue reading

Emma’s Saliib

Today Emma showed that she is being affected by peer pressure … but not in a way I expected.  I was sitting with Hannah in the bathroom for awhile, and Emma asked if she could write.  I probably don’t let her play with a pen and paper often enough, but since Hannah was occupied, and … Continue reading

Finding Church (part three)

In early October we began this blog, and after the opening post our next two entries were about the challenge of finding a local church in which to worship. In part one we described our general attitude toward this process, and in part two we described some of the local options from which to choose. … Continue reading

Finding Church (part two)

                 Within the Arab World, no nation contains as many Christians as Egypt. As a nation there are approximately 80 million Egyptians, and it is commonly constituted that 10% of these are Christian. Yet while some Copts (the name of local Christians, and the word from with ‘Egypt’ is derived) occasionally claim that there are … Continue reading

Finding Church

The Christian who believes he belongs to God, and who wishes to belong to a particular people, must also believe he belongs to its church.                  Here in Egypt, however, that is a bit of a complicated matter.                  The church in general is multifaceted, diverse in styles, practices, doctrines, and denominations. While this has … Continue reading

A Sense of Belonging

There is a certain alienation that comes from life away from home. Home, of course, can be variously defined. On one extreme it can be wherever I lay my head, on the other it can be the insulated community that either forbids an exit or so transforms its inhabitants that they ever fear it. A … Continue reading