Behind the Sun

Egypt was bitter sweet, very bitter and very sweet. Celebrating Eid with my brother’s family: very sweet! My brother couldn’t join us: very bitter. Playing with my adorable grandniece and grandnephews: super sweet. My brother cannot see them: painfully bitter. Snorkeling daily in the Red Sea: heavenly! My brother sees the sun only 1 hour per day: Fu*ckingly bitter. Eating all my favorite foods, fruit and Eid sweets: deliciousness! Waiting in garbage for hours on end on a hot summer day to be admitted to visit my brother: nauseating. Meeting my Egyptian childhood friends and dancing to live music with my USA dance sisters: heart-warming awesomeness! Touched inappropriately and being called names by the guards when visiting my brother in jail: hell. Looking at the desert horizons, admiring the vastness of the hills and sea: heaven! My brother sees the 4 walls of a concrete prison cell with tens of other men day and night: painful. Diving in the clear warm waters, surrounded by a beautiful variety of colorful fish: awesomeness! Feeling utterly helpless to release my brother from jail: debilitating.
6 months and counting. No trial, no sentence, no legal recourse and no end in sight. Waiting for…Godot? Thousands and thousands of Egyptians are “behind the sun”*. Kafka was an optimist.
When I’m by myself, my thoughts wonder to those who are imprisoned unjustly without any crime. The pain gets overwhelming. This time the blow is too close to the heart. I tell myself “I trust. My brother is strong and handling it well. It’s his journey. Something is bound to change soon”. But my body contracts, my chest tightens, my sight blurs. I double over, break down and cry and cry and cry…

* An Egyptian expression meaning ‘kidnapped by the state’. In other words, a political prisoner.

#travel #egypt #redsea #westandinlove #politicalprisoner #family

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