Monday, August 29, 2011

A Blessed Eid


Tonight it was announced that Ramadan officially ended today and the four day Eid el Fitr (known in our family as "The Cookie Feast) will begin tomorrow morning. After fasting from food, water, and cigarettes from dawn to dusk for 30 days, families will spend four days on a sugar high eating lovely powdered sugar covered shortbread, sometimes filled with dates, nuts, honey, or turkish delight. There are about four other traditional cookies for the Eid, but the kahk is my favourite. Virtually everything will be closed with the exception of the odd gas station or 24 hour pharmacy. This young girl from the farms near me looks like she's more than ready for some cookies.

The traditional greeting is "Eid Mubarak" or blessed eid. I figure that we've had more than enough Mubaraks, so I used the English. It will be understood too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Moringa Trees


The Moringa tree is a miracle. Almost every part of the tree is edible and it is well-suited to our climate. A friend of mine brought seeds from east Africa and another friend with a nursery is growing seedlings to be planted in the countryside here. The only specification is that they cannot be sold but must be given as a gift. Their lacy foliage is beautiful and will be a welcome addition to our farmlands and gardens.

Moringa Trees


The Moringa tree is a miracle. Almost every part of the tree is edible and it is well-suited to our climate. A friend of mine brought seeds from east Africa and another friend with a nursery is growing seedlings to be planted in the countryside here. The only specification is that they cannot be sold but must be given as a gift. Their lacy foliage is beautiful and will be a welcome addition to our farmlands and gardens.

Monday, August 22, 2011

If Ever There Was A Bridge For Trolls


Houses along the Mariouteya front on the road, but a drainage canal runs behind them. This family made themselves a bridge across the canal but I don't know if I could ever walk across it. Aside from the distinct possibility of a troll living under it waiting for one of the family goats, I'd be terrified of falling into the canal.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The End of Africa


I"ve been out of touch for a bit. My daughter arrived back in Egypt for a two month visit but we immediately flew off to South Africa for the wedding of one of her best friends from school here. So, while we are used to hanging about the northern end of Africa, last week we were exploring the Cape area of South Africa. Beautiful, beautiful country.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Sign of Normalcy

I suspect that Egyptian boys could find a place to play soccer ANYWHERE. This young man was getting in some good kicks to a barely inflated ball in a blocked street near Tahrir. A silver lining to any cloud.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hot Tea on a Hot Day


Egypt runs on hot sweet tea. That's one reason the first couple of weeks of Ramadan are so hard on everyone. This tea shop was impromptu, set up on the sidewalk outside of the Mogamma while the people were living in the tents on the lawn there. It probably isn't there after the army's sweep yesterday.