Touching My Roots

Alexandria, Egypt, 1970s: we grew up in the same neighborhood within walking distance from each other. Went to the same schools, sat in the same classes from kindergarten to high school, had the same friends. Went through childhood, puberty, early adulthood and first love stories together. We carpooled to school, ate, played and slept in … More Touching My Roots

Who’s Crackling?

Walking along the sea shore under the moon light, silence is only broken by strange crackling sounds. A sound like I’d never heard before. The closest I could liken it to is a flamenco dancer playing her castanets quietly. There were no people, cars, radios or electricity. Everytime I stop, the sounds stop. I know … More Who’s Crackling?

Pussy Letter

Dear Hyoomn,You’ve been mostly kind to us. Caring, feeding, spoiling… Thank you! But I’m not your toy, not your child and not an ornament (even though you’ve bred some of us to be just that). I don’t need your protection or control. I’m a resilient, powerful being just like you. I love to play, bask … More Pussy Letter

Sausage anyone?

One of the things I like about living in the developing world is the connection to the origin of things. In the USA, like other “developed” countries, many things are masked, hidden and disguised with a user friendly facade. However, in many old cultures, people are in touch with where their food comes from without … More Sausage anyone?

Renewal

“Renewal” typically has positive connotations: new beginnings, hope…etc, things that inspire optimism. Except in Egypt. “He/she got a renewal” means that their indefinite, illegal prison sentence has been extended 45 days. Then what? Another 45 days that typically add up to years. Tens of thousands of Egyptian families, mine included, live with loved ones behind … More Renewal

Stars never die

A celebrity, an icon, bigger than life. I grew up watching him on TV. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would meet him in person, let alone have him as my mentor, inspiration and friend. The day he told me “براڤو عليكى يا هاله!” (Well done, Hala) after seeing my performances, … More Stars never die