Hi Egypt! Remember me? Remember those heady days in 2003, when we were just getting to know each other? I remember the fear in the air as bombs were dropped on your cousin, Iraq and you were trembling in your ancient boots! We wondered together, what was going to come of you?

And now you’re all grown up! You’ve kicked out that bully boss and you’re on your own, flying solo, free as a bird and a little bit scared, I’d imagine. How are you doing now? Freedom can be terrifying, which is why so many stay with abusive people, better the devil you know and all that! But now that you’ve stood up and made yourself known, what comes next?

Looking back at our time together, do you remember the Nile, that dirty, historic piece of water? How we laughed when I was too scared to put my dainty fingers into that slop! The spray off the felucca held terror for me as I imagined all those bugs and worms finding their way into my organs in years to come.

I found myself wanting to be a part of you, to be Egyptian with all your dramatic history and culture. With my darkish skin and hair I almost had you fooled! I loved walking around those ruins in my sensible clothes, hair flying in the soft, cool breeze! The weather was fantastic, not too hot nor too cold, thanks for that!

I loved your humour: the local man selling his wares, mimicking the Aussie accent, the man at the sculpture store haggling with my husband for my hand in marriage “100 camels!!”. You certainly love your drama. Remember the time you got those American tourists lost? We were so scared that the crazy part of you had taken over and whisked them away forever. But na, you were just playing with our minds. You’re not too scary.

Except for the protests marches down our street and the guard on our bus with the machine gun and the child labour going on in the rug stores. Those were a bit scary. But, Egypt, you have a good heart. It’s just a bit angry and a bit deluded sometimes. But know that we miss you, we love you heart and soul and hope that this new day finds you smiling and truly free.

image by Ramy Raoof