Old and new

“ Want to go faster?”  That was  the gist of my camel ride today. 

Ahmed, who led my camel, which he told me was named Michael Jackson,–obviously a (slightly disturbing in this case)  way to entertain tourists. 

Though I had mixed feelings riding the camels/visiting the pyramids again when most others were excited for their first time. The excitement was infectious, I’m so excited to ride camels! James, another student on the dialogue, said repeatedly grinning widely. 

It turned out to be totally different. The weather, a sunny state constantly last year, was a crazy sandstorm. My sunglasses shielded my eyes from blowing sand rather than the sun.  The pics (coming soon) tell the story.

Driving back our conversations ranged from the uncertain state of the Boston Globe to building permits in Cairo (they’re are tons of new buildings which look ridiculously old, dusty and conglomerated–who’s building them) what will happen to all the garbage the now dead pigs ( a result of swine flu slaughters) will eat, etc. 

Tomorrow we’re visiting coptic Cairo.  We were supposed to visit Zeballan. an unplanned city of people who make their livings  sorting through Cairo’s garbage and site of an amazing Coptic Church Cave, but because of protests over the pig slaughtering, the excursion’s on hold. 

I read the Egyptian government planned to slaughter all the nation’s pigs a week back, but it didn’t strike me until today exactly what that meant. Raising pigs is prohibited in Islam. Coptic Christians(maybe Jews or other smaller minorities too?) depend on them as part of their livelihood and to eat food waste. What will happen to all the garbage–a visible problem in Cairo, without them? 

http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-04-29-voa28.cfm 

Mufas just walked in. 

Egypt runs on suprises. 

He tells me Muslims raise pigs too–this isn’t about religion and the problem is only how to kill the pigs. They’re dirty and live in garbage. 

Hmm…Guess I’ll have to find out more myself. 

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