Watching the news about the turmoil in Eqypt, conjured up memories of our visit there two years ago. Thoughts about the welfare of Ali Aldeen, The Lady in Blue, and her children keep forming in my mind.
This prompted me to re-post these stories and photos. It was written BEFORE the downfall of Hosni Mubarak in 2010.
After spending a long day traveling to Cairo from Alexandria on a bus, driving through the city, visiting the musuem where King Tut 'is stored,' and then driving 'home' (to the ship), my thoughts were focused on my home, my family, my friends, my dogs . . . in America.
As mentioned in the previous post, I've not taken much time to peruse through my photos of Egypt taken last year, until now, while witnessing the news coming from that country in turmoil.
Upon realizing I had taken eight-hundred-seventy-six pictures that day, this project seemed a daunting task. In trying to narrow down that number, I wanted to make this personal . . .to give these photos a face . . . a name . . . a feeling . . . a story . . .
. . . to make them more than just photos that go into one more Travel Album.
Here are a few of those photos with hopes that when you leave here, and go about your day, you will think about those who crossed my path that day.
We'll start with these two . . .
While Ali Aldeen and I . . .
. . . he said to me, "You know I am your armed guard."
To which I replied, "Why do you think I'm standing next to you ?"
He laughed, and at that point, Ali Aldeen became my personal body guard for the rest of the day.
Even when I took a wrong turn trying to photograph something off the beaten path he made sure I found my way back to the group.
Because Ali Aldeen stood by me from that point on, it afforded me the opportunity to visit with him. He was a kind, courteous, delightful young man. And, very intelligent, I might add. He spoke four languages fluently and was up-to-date on the politics in America. He had so many goals and hoped to better himself.
Ali Aldeen held the American dream in his heart.
Continuing on with our tour of Cairo . . .
The highlight of our time in Cairo was the tour of The Egyptian Museum . . .
It is now being reported that the Egyptian Museum has been looted and that rioters have destroyed two mummies along with other artifacts.
Egyptians have now formed a human chain around the museum to protect marauders from causing more damage.
Even though I have no photos of what we saw there, here is an INSIDE VIEW of the museum.
The following are a few sites as we drove through Cairo . . .
There are many canals throughout the city of Cairo that provide food and water.
In one of the canals there was a dead horse, and just down stream there were ladies with buckets getting drinking water for their families.
Here is a glimpse of the street activity . . .
My thoughts are with these people who walked the streets, doing their every-day-business and now, those streets are filled with death and destruction.
And then, there's this story . . .
These bags were filled with chips, cookies, crackers, a banana and apple, a bottle of water, and a boxed fruit drink.
They are given to each person on the tour when loading the bus.
At the end of our very long day, Hans and I still had our goodie bags as the bus parked one more time.
It was this lady's home. This lady-in-blue. Just before I snapped this photo, several young barefoot children had been playing. Four, maybe five little ones laughing, and jumping, and having a good 'ole time. The children ranged in ages from two years old to about eight years old.
The young man in orange and blue, with the shoe-shine kit, is also her son.
I looked at our goody bags full of food stuffed under ourseats on the bus that hadn't been touched, knowing that they would end up in a trash can back at the pier or scattered along the streets.
If you notice, Ali Aldeen is in that first photo. I stepped off the bus to ask him if it would be appropriate to give the lady-in-blue our goody bags.
He told me it would be appropriate to give those goody bags to anyone.
I took our two bags and handed Ali Aldeen a bag and the lady-in-blue a bag.
While all this was going on, the others in our tour group were watching from the bus.
When I boarded the bus, everyone who hadn't opened their bags were holding them out for me to distribute to the group standing on the sidewalk. There were about twenty goody bags !
Once again, I stepped off the bus, but this time loaded with about ten bags under each arm. I took half of them to the lady-in-blue and let the others take the bags from me.
Everyone you see in that first photo ended up with a goody bag, and they ate and drank the contents right then and there.
Even Ali Aldeen !
She nodded yes and flashed this smile which made me think, "There are hundreds of languages in this World, and a smile speaks them all."
During the long trip from Cairo back to Alexandria, I sat in my seat being grateful for what I have.
Ali Aldeen was waiting as we departed.
He shook my hand (which contained a generous tip) and thanked me.
He told me that today was probably the first day the children of the Lady-in-Blue had ever had fresh fruit.
He told me he appreciated what I had done and that it was the first time anyone on any of his tours had ever done that.
He told me he loved America.
He asked me if I would smuggle him into my carry-on bag and take him to America.
my thoughts focused on my home, my family, my friends, my dogs . . . in America.
This post was created BEFORE the downfall of Hosni Mubarak.
It is my hope that the death and destruction happening in Egypt, right now this very minute, as you read this, is not in vain . . . that this country can have a democratic government focused on human rights and economic reform . . . a government that has Ali Aldeen's best interest at heart. . . that the lady-in-blue can feed her children fresh fruit everyday . . . that someone can help clean the canal waters of the Nile . . .
Today as I watch the Crisis in Cairo, my thoughts are with Ali Aldeen and the-Lady-in-Blue, and all the others pictured above. It is my hope that they and and their families are safe.
While watching the news from Egypt (non-stop), the ticker across the bottom of my TV screen reports this:
Dennis Kucinich Settles Law Suit over Olive Pit.
Dennis the Menace is whining and has sued someone over an olive pit and people in Egypt are experiencing what is happening there ?
Are you kidding me ?
Evidently not . . . read this: