Home » Abdul Fattah Murad, Egypt, HMLC, Kiss, Monem, rants, المترو, لندن, مؤتمر, مظاهرة

أيامنا الحلوة Our beautiful Days

I am always proud to be an Egyptian and will always be but sometimes things happen to further consolidate my love and passion for my country. Life is strange with its surprises. For me, most of its surprises are unpleasant, but the one I encountered on Friday night uplifted my mood so much that I haven't stopped smiling. Yet my heart aches. I miss my country so much. I miss its people, history, walking downtown late at night, my friends .. everyone. But what has been nagging me was my lack of impulsiveness. I who consider myself so spontaneous have failed to satisfy my curiosity to learn more about a random person I met coincidently. 
 
On Friday night I have changed my rituals and instead of hanging out with my work colleagues I went to the west end for a change. I should have known better. The people I was with were lovely but the night did not take us anywhere exciting, so I decided to leave early and catch the tube. I hardly take the tube in London, they are disgusting especially on weekend nights. Everyone is so drunk and loud and you are stuck with them in this long dark and stale cylinder. 
 
I was sitting there trying to avoid eye contact. That is a rule in London. People don't like being looked at or smiled at. So I am sitting, contemplating the night, my foul mood, my life, the tube, and focusing hard on not looking at anyone and there came an old couple. The woman sat next to me and the man in front of her. A few minutes later, the man started staring at me and then looked at his wife and pointed at my necklace. She looked at me and smiled.
 
"This is the key of the Nile," said the old man. I smiled proudly and nodded. I like to wear my key of life when I am out. Its like walking around with my identity card. I am Egyptian. Also my infatuation for the  key of life grew bigger back in Egypt because everyone, believe it or not, took it as a cross. Egyptians did not know their own symbol! I wore it to spite people. Something I like to do.
 
"From Egypt?" asked the woman. I nodded back.
 
"You from Egypt?" she continued asking. I said yes.
"Aaaah ayamna el 7elwa (our beautiful days)" she continued. She took me by surprise. Her accent was perfect. I looked at her with curious eyes, trying to find anything in her face that could tell me more about her.
 "You know I lived in Egypt. I was born there. I love Egypt very much", she continued thankfully satisfying my curiosity and without pushing me to make the effort to ask her for more information.
She continued talking until I regretfully had to leave.  She is in her 70s. She is born in Cairo , Egypt. She lived there  for many many years. Her father owned a  weekly newspaper, but unfortunately died very young. He was 54, I think, when he passed away. As a result of that sad incident, she had to go to Greece, where she later met her husband, who studied in London and was madly in love with the city that they come at least 4 times a year. 
 
I wish I had stayed longer, missed my station. Or maybe I should have taken her phone number and arranged to meet her for coffee and heard more about her childhood in Cairo and more about the Egypt she knew and lived in. She remembered the Greek Club, where I used to like to hangout before leaving. I would have loved to know where she lived exactly, which school she went to. If the things she saw are still there today and if they are the same as they were at her time? Aaaaah how I wish I followed my impulse …
 
Anyway, there is no way this could change now unless life plays its funny game again and I bump into her somewhere in this cold city for her to let the warmth slowly spread through my veins as she tells me more about her Cairo stories.
 
The one thing I am sure of is that I love Egypt and I that I am nostalgic for my ayamy el 7elwa (my beautiful days).  

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