I already shared a favorite, Insha'allah, which means "if God wills it."
In this country, religion is not an aspect of life. It is who you are. There isn't a division of work and family and religion and working out and shopping. Everything they do is done to be the best person they can be and to live the best life they can live. Insha'allah is heard in every other sentence in every conversation, young or old, pious or sinful. If God wills it, it will be done.
Yesterday I learned the response to "How are you?" The response is Alhamdulillah, which means "Praise be to God." There is no "fine", or "so-so", or "sucky because my life is crap." The response is "Praise be to God." I'm alive. I'm breathing. I had breakfast.
I was taught this by a friendly and sweet doorman who is missing half his teeth. He dutifully does his job. He proudly wears his uniform. He takes great pleasure in teaching me his beautiful language every morning. I tear up to think of how my mornings would be had I not fostered this relationship.
When I first learned to say good morning in Arabic, he responded with Sabah il full, which means "may your morning be filled with the scent of jasmine." What a stunning language.
I usually say Howdy in the States. Boo.
Before I moved here, I didn't know what to expect. I knew I would be an obvious outsider because I cannot blend in physically and I don't speak the language, try as I might. What I didn't expect was to be bowled over by the beauty of the people in Egypt.
It saddens me to hear of violence here. All I can see is my sweet boab and his kindness to an outsider.
I feel sheepish for underestimating these people because our beliefs are different. Shame on me.
I am so thankful that God saw fit to educate me here in Cairo. I am so blessed by my life here, even after three weeks. I'm still uneasy at times. I still stumble over my self-taught Arabic. I don't know what the future of Egypt holds. I pray that it holds peace because these people live in peace and deserve peace. I pray that those who choose to travel a path of violence will find a new place to live.
I may have only lived here a few weeks, but it is my home for now.
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