Middle East | Egypt – More reflections on the moulid
The past days I was in a large town in the delta called Tanta, sleeping on the ground next to a mosque, dressed in my gallabaya and using the mosques bathroom for several days. So there wasn’t exactly email..What an amazing experience I had, sleeping, eating and talking to the sufis and each night attending mass zhikrs and wandering the streets of this pronvincial town losing myself in many ways, as in my identity and as in my way in the twisted streets of the provincial town. The life of the sufis is hard, they spend much of the year, wandering form moulid to moulid, camping at each saint;s tomb for a week or two and then moving to the next, giving food to those who need it and providing a blanket for sleeping. They live mainly off beans and bread and sometimes cheese, and sit for such long periods, watching and waiting. On the big night of the festival there were 2 million pilgrims to the tomb and it was absolute chaos,so many rough country people, and the morals are loose, an interesting form of islam….my friend came me with for the biggening, and then she left, so for a day or two I was alone among 2 million egyptians, I suppose I got a little overwhelmed, because they spoke such fast and low arabic that I could hardly understand them, and was getting quite frustrated, because they didn’t understand when I didn;t know a word, they would just repeat it again. Anyway, egyptians, especially the country people, are very intense people, they get into fights all of the time and always have dramas and problems about little things…I suppose at the end I was feeling a little sad and isolated, even though the Sheikyh was very kind…..everything was all so strange..Once on the street I saw a friend from canada, I was talking to him and maybe 50 people surrounded us and tried to make me stop talking to him, because they thought I was an egyptian girl talking to foreign men, they asked me who he was what I was doing, and I couldn’t really talk to him because of the women…everything in egypt is so rough, dirt is everywhere, cleanliness is not a big issue here and the people are overwhelming at times. People eat off the ground literally, sometimes I saw people pick seeds off the ground and eat them, but all of the meals are from the ground, after being touched by 10 people. C’est la vie, I’m still very alive, and did something that everyone thinks I am crazy for, being by myself in somewhere like that….tonight there shall be a concert in my university with turkish whirling dervishes, so I getting my full of sufi stuff,..