This is a narrative of my trip to Egypt, taken in October of 2016. This trip was the most amazing of my life that I have taken to anywhere. It changed me greatly and gave me a new direction for my life. In addition, it renewed my spirituality and sense of purpose. I still communicate with several of the people I met while I was in Egypt, via free social media. Several are people who were my tour guides along my journey, I realize it is best to get a local Egyptian tour guide from each area that you wish to visit - not only will they provide you with the most local flavor, they become wonderful friends that you can keep long after you go home.
We are all in this world under one God, and God wants us to live in peace and unity. We all have a free will to choose how we live. So, I decided to embark on this journey, leaving the USA and travelling by myself, despite some people questioning my sanity as to why I was going there, given the media exploitation of trouble in that region. The 10 hour flight from JFK to Cairo was direct and uneventful on Egypt Air. The Holy Quran was recited at the beginning of the flight and directions for the safety of the flight were given in Arabic and then English.
I walked off the boat and a handsome Egyptian man asked me if I would like to take a ride on his boat, or felucca. I could see the kindness in his eyes so I went with him. His name was Ali Mohammad. He told me he did not continue in school, but had learned English on his own. He was a mechanic by trade, and also a boxer. He took me across the Nile River to Banana Island, where there were monkeys and bananas and some other animals.
For the next leg of my trip, I was off to Aswan. My flight to Aswan took off in the early am. I sat next to a Filipino woman and her husband on the plane who told me they were Catholic. I told them that I too was raised a Catholic in America. I asked them how they felt living in Egypt, they said they felt completely safe even though Catholics make up only about 1% of the population, they loved Egypt.
The Language Culture Connection
Language and culture are intricately intertwined. "Whenever you teach a language, you also teach a complex system of cultural customs, values and ways of thinking, feeling and acting." (Bonnie Norton Pearce and Diane Larsen Freeman) Key points to remember are: