Sunday, January 3, 2010

Letters from Egypt: Dead and Gone

That part of me left yesterday, the heart of me is strong today. No regrets I’m blessed to say, the old me dead and gone away.

For those of you that don’t know me, I’m known for using song lyrics as quotes and while “Dead and Gone” isn’t a song I’d consider a classic or proud to quote, that phrase does describe my feelings toward 2009. I’m not sad to see it go; I’m very excited to get 2010 underway.

I kicked off the new year by adopting a dog, Brees (named after my favorite American football team’s quarterback Drew Brees). Someone left him at the Ace Club in poor condition and while I’m nervous about adopting him – as in it feels like I’m becoming more settled in Cairo – I’m excited to have an animal once again.

My New Year’s Eve consisted of going to Ace Club for the member’s draw and then to Stilletto’s at the Sheraton on the Nile. There wasn’t even a countdown, the lights were just turned off – what is that about? My friends and I were confused as I’m sure the rest of the crowd was as well. I suppose it didn’t matter anyway, I mean, it wasn’t as though I had a New Year’s kiss. But just by the off-chance I did, it would’ve been nice to have known in advance…just sayin.

Everyone begins a new year much of the same – they want to start anew. Maybe that means going to the gym (as I found a lot of newcomers working out this morning), eating healthy, being a better person, etc. That usually lasts for about two weeks to a month or so. I thought my goal for 2010 would be to move on past Egypt, and yet, I’m hesitant.

I just don’t know if Egypt is done with me yet or if I’m done with it. I was brought here to learn something and I feel that when it’s time to move on, I’ll know. I think the key was finally taking a much needed vacation. I will admit that I was so angry about being here before I left to go to the US. Remember in previous blogs how I discussed that I felt most expats I’d met were so disgruntled about this place and I couldn’t understand how one can remain in such a place that clearly brings them misery. Well, I became that disgruntled expat.

It tries your patience and I had so much anger that I just didn’t know how to deal. I had so much anger toward Egyptians, Muslims, Islam in general, etc. and it was hard for me as that just wasn’t the way I was brought up. I definitely struggled and still continue to struggle at times. At least I admit it and while some of you may criticize me for it, I guarantee that more of you feel the same way and are just scared to confess it because of the social stigma that comes with the admission.

And with that, I realized that it wasn’t Islam that I was angry with – it was the people hiding behind Islam that continue doing horrible things. I would be angry with any Christian using the Bible for personal gain and let’s be honest, there are those in every religion. Well, I’m unsure if I’ve ever met a hateful Buddhist, but that’s beside the point. The point is that I felt like a horrible person for feeling the way I felt. As I said, I continue to struggle with it, but I’m much better today than yesterday and I can only hope that it lasts for longer than two weeks to a month.

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