This blog was originally designed to keep me sane as I began learning Arabic. It morphed into a blog of musings about Arabic, the Middle East, and the Islamic World, as well as book reviews about those topics. Then, the blog became a place to keep my family and friends updated on my adventures while I was living abroad. During May and June of 2012, I had a 6-week long internship in Cairo, Egypt through a international student organization called AIESEC. I taught English at the Awladi Orphanage in Cairo, home to several hundred children. I lived in an apartment in Nasr City before moving to Maadi (each is a distinct area of Cairo). I experienced President Mursi's election, camped in the western desert, rode camels by the pyramids, and had countless other experiences. I have since moved past this blog, on towards new endeavors, but if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 36

We went to Coptic Cairo today to walk around. It was really quite interesting to see how their churches look. The outsides look pretty similar to western ones, but, inside, things are much more Islamic in style.
The Coptic museum was cool, because it showed the transition between “pagan” gods to Christianity. There was no clear-cut change; there were a lot of times where Dionysus or Aphrodite would be featured, even though the people were Christian.
The way that they show Jesus in their paintings is really interesting too. He looks much more Arab than what you see depicted in European or American churches (for obvious reasons).
After Coptic Cairo, we came back to Maadi for some shawarma (I will really miss shawarma!).
On our way home, driving through Maadi, we saw people in line to vote at the schools and lots of army men out for safety. There was a long line of tan tanks and a couple big trucks full of soldiers. I wonder how the rest of Cairo looks today, because if Maadi has so many soldiers, the rest of Cairo must be crawling with them. Maadi is an extremely calm place in comparison to other locales.
Things were quite busy on the road, considering the time of day and the place. There were obviously a lot of people out. However, I’ve read that the turnout for the elections have not been that high in comparison to the previous voting period. It will be really, really interesting to see who wins this. I wish I could stay for inauguration at the end of the month.
Either way, I completely expect there to be a backlash. I don’t know how severe it will be, but there will be people completely beside themselves if either man wins.
I plan to spend the rest of the afternoon reading up on Egyptian politics and following the election from my computer. I really wish we had a television here so I could watch the news! It’s weird being here and feeling like such a concerned citizen. However, this election will decide the future of Egypt for years to come. Whoever is elected will oversee the formation of a totally new governing body for one of the most influential countries in the Middle East. It’s an exciting time to be in Egypt!

Want to know more about the presidential candidates?



  1. A new shop opened in Edwardsville, the Pita Pit. Patrick says they serve shawarma. I'm sure it won't be half as good as what you have been eating. But you may have to give it a try when you return home.

    1. That sounds so nice! I will definitely be going when I get home!

  2. AHHHH!!! The Pita Pit is quite delicious :) I've already been three times, and yes I believe you will like it! Also, when you come home, you'll have to explain what shawarma is to me!