Diversions on the Path to Paradise Diversions on the Path to Paradise Diversions on the Path to Paradise Diversions on the Path to Paradise Diversions on the Path to Paradise

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April 2017

Another Trip to Beni Sueth

150 150 Muriel

I made another trip to a different village in Beni Sueth to continue the roof and water tap project. This village is the home to a family that has pretty much adopted me as a grandmother figure to their children. The father is the “boab” (the Egyptian version of a maintenance man) to a villa a few doors up from where I live with my daughter and her family. Most of the “boabs” hail from the “ballad” or countryside in Egypt, travelling to live in the urban or suburban areas in Egypt in order to make a living. Wages are meager and living conditions are are not the best; they typically live in the basement of the building they care for and in addition to maintaining the building and grounds, they are expected to wash tenants’ cars as well as perform other tasks and chores required by the people who live in the building. And this could mean ANYTHING!

I met this family in 2011 and again in 2014 when I was just here in Egypt visiting. They are the nicest people and are always looking out for me and having me come drink “chai” with them. Our communication has improved since I started studying Arabic however, I am studying “classical” Arabic and they speak Amiya or the Egyptian version of Arabic. I always promised I would visit their village one day and I finally took the opportunity to travel there a few weeks ago.

After my visit to the first village where the initial roof and water tap project took place, I came back so excited, sharing the pictures and videos with them of the project. I noticed a sort of indifference from them that was not disrespectful but more puzzling than anything else. When I asked them what was wrong, the wife shared that they neither had water or a roof at THEIR house in THEIR village! I was mortified! Here I was showing off the pictures of a neighboring village that I supported through this project and they too were without these “amenities”. So I made a promise that I would go with them to their “ballad” and see what could happen for them.

So I went to the village of Kaffra Hakeem where they live and the above videos I recorded are a glimpse of the life there. If anyone is interested in contributing to these efforts, please leave me a comment and your email so that we can communicate.