Heather in Cairo

Heather is a senior majoring in history and medieval studies in Dedman College, with a minor in art history in Meadows School of the Arts, and a recipient of the Gilman International Scholarship to Egypt. In Fall 2009, she will continue her studies in Arabic and Egyptology in her second semester at the American University in Cairo. Learn more about the SMU-in-Cairo program.

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Comparing past and present in Cairo

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
– St. Augustine

Standing on the 24th floor, gazing out of my friend’s apartment with the cool night’s breeze blowing in my face, I am reminded of how much I love Cairo at night. The lights, the fresh night breeze, the noise, and the bustling of the city rage on until the morning.

I am staring out across one of the most dynamic cities of the world; a city built upon extraordinary history. To some people Cairo is an example of the “convivencia” that Spain saw during the Middle Ages. However, this is a matter of opinion.

My first week here already has provided me with a plethora of conversations about the interactions among Muslims and Christians in Egypt. Ramadan brings the opportunity for me to experience and digest an entire month of Islam’s holiest time of the year. I look forward to forming my own opinion on the matter of religious interactions amongst people in Cairo and comparing the present with the past.

peace-1.jpg I took advantage of the end of the summer by enjoying the North Coast of Egypt with friends. Many of them will embark on study abroad to Europe, so each day was filled with lots of fun. I felt like I was in paradise as I enjoyed sinking my feet into the pristine white sands and swimming in the extremely blue Mediterranean sea.

I experienced the incredibly hospitality of Arab families. The guest/host relationship is taken very seriously here. I felt as though I was a part of the family, as my friends’ mothers took me into their homes as their own. There was no denying any meal. I enjoyed many traditional dishes, which were all fabulous. I will always remember the last week of my 2009 summer.

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    One Response to Comparing past and present in Cairo

    1. Lewis says:

      Nice writing, Heather. I am glad you are making the most of your time there!

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