28 January, 2008


Mozdalefa is a place between Arafaa and Menaa. Muslims are supposed to spend the night over in this place after Arafaa day. It is meant to be a place for rest and gathering strength before a long day yet to come.

I almost cried when leaving Arafaa, just the same feeling that overwhelms me when Ramadan is over. And added to this the view of tens of old people and I mean really old people who didn’t find a place on the bus to leave. We helped them as much as we can, gathered them, their luggage in one place, and a promise from one of the officers they will start moving in a couple of hours by maximum as soon as new busses arrive.

And the march started, and in its end it involved climbing down a steep trench, climbing up a small rocky hill. Stepping on and over sleeping people who totally blocked all entrances to Mozdalefa
Whenever I needed a hand I just reached out not knowing who will pull me up or stop me from sliding, but I always find a hand. I look out to this night, and I see God’s mercy on us, no one slide, or got hurt.

Finally we found a spot, opened the tent for my sister and my friend’s sister and lie down for a couple of hours before heading to Menaa. was thirsty, but no bottled water in sight, just a bathroom and tens of people are “fighting” for their turn. Couldn’t find a bottle to fill and bring back to my sister. My friend did manage and got some oranges.

The ironic thing that on our way to Arafaa their were tens of big trucks distributing water and food for hojaj heading to Arafa. I saw people taking a bottle of water, drinking a sip and then throwing it, to pick another bottle 5 minutes later and do the same thing.

Was in my 2e7ram which changed from bright white to grey, sleeping in the street, dead tiered, broses all over my feet and on my eye level only feet of people passing by trying hard to avoid stepping on me. Had plenty of money, but it was useless. Couldn’t be identified by the type of clothes I wear or the company I hang with, no one knew my education or work experience. The “I” meant nothing. You just depend on Allah and kindness of people around you.

What crossed my mind at this point was the similarity between me and the homeless people we come across in the street and pretend they don’t exist or feel this quick feeling of pity that strongly washes away as the scenery changes.

Whenever I see homeless people now I remember how it felt and the payback I should settle.

One last thought. A comprehension I had years ago, about a young urban dude who as he was walking in a garden on his way to work, spotted a homeless when he looked closer to he discovered it was his ex-boss. …………..


Eman said...

praying goin 2 7ij , do3a , all those things that make us communicate with God askin 4 forgivness or help or luv is a door 4m heaven opened 2 us,
rabna ytkabl menk isa oui ysabetek 3la el 7'er oui yhdina

Shimaa Gamal said...

Sometimes, when I dream of ruling Egypt, the only project I have in mind is something for the homeless. I don't know why I have always felt guilty, specially in the winter, for those who can't find a shelter. But as you said, this guilt fades away as soon as the scenary change, or in my case as soon as I wake up from day dreaming.

It is really interesting that something can make the "I" of no matter. The "I" is the safety net for many of us. Or the goal many of us want to achieve.

Rabena yektebhalna isa.

Didn't I tell you before I really like your noticing eye.

Pink Unicorn said...

I’m sure it’s a greet experience .. may God accept from you and give you the blessing of going back ..