Egypt - Port Said to Cairo
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19.10.2010 - Port Said to Cairo, Egypt
Homes on the road to Cairo
Now let's return to the stories told by our guide. She was saying, very proudly, that they had found a new gold mine, the 13th, in the desert, somewhere near Cairo. And she was mentioning that it was a big source of gold, they collected from this new mine as much as from all the other 12! Simon asked her about the poverty in Egypt, where is all this gold going ? The answer was: there poor people, normal people, rich people, the gold belongs to their country, most of the people having savings in gold ... so no answer ! Marwa said that their population is grouped in 4 big categories: 57% were farmers, the poorest, 2% Bedouin (so around 60% of the population is very poor) and the rest: rich people and people working for the government or companies. The majority of women work for the government or in companies (a small percentage). I think that she wanted to say
that these are the only places where women are allowed to work. Most of the shops were closed at that hour (was after 9 o'clock !), to our surprise. We received the explanation that there were no customers at that hour and the majority open after lunch time !! Of course we didn't understand that explanation, wasn't logical at all, especially that we saw a lot of men sitting at tables at some kind of cafés. Marwa said that you could see only men like this, never a woman, a woman wasn't allowed.
She didn't say why ... Marwa gave us an interesting explanation for the way the women are dressed, I mean that thing that covers the head. She said that in the Koran they say this is the Virgin Mary, because we can see Her like this in pictures. It seems that there are a lot of similarities between Muslim and our religion, she said. Simon replied immediately: "then why there are
so many fights between us, in the name of these religions ?!" Marwa answered that those who kill in the name of Koran are the real criminals. She specially mentioned that it isn't written anywhere in Koran that the women should have also the face covered. That those who claim something like that are extremists. Another interesting thing that Marwa told us was about the hieroglyphs. About the way they were made, what they represent, the way of making the ancient Egyptian inscriptions, why, how, what they represent. It would be a book if I'll write all the details about that. Imagine, she spoke almost continually for 3 hours. And everything was so interesting !
About 11 o'clock we arrived in Cairo. The shock was enormous. An awful image because of the misery and poverty that you could see around, near the luxurious palaces ! I couldn't imagine so much poverty ! Huge areas of blocks, started to be built and not finished, but with people living in them ! And something else shocking: everywhere you could see satellite dishes, even in these ruins, if you can call them like this. And the misery, the rubbish everywhere ! I can't describe these images using the words I know ! And almost everywhere, near the towns or in the middle of nowhere you could see military units, "the government" as Marwa called them ! I don't think I'll ever forget those images, the people, the cars, all over, no rules, nothing, most of the people poorly dressed. They were looking at us, like we were part of another world ... waving there hands to us...
>> Page 4 - National Museum, Cairo, Egypt >>
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