Sunday, May 10, 2009

Brawling in the streets

I witnessed my first real street fight two nights ago.

A commotion broke out close to my apartment. Two women were yelling at each other. A small crowd gathered around them. I tried to listen, but could not make out the jist of the fight. Soon, a rock was thrown. The shopkeeper at the corner quickly shuttered his gate. People started running, including this observer. It resembled the beginning of a riot in Los Angeles.

“What happened?” I asked a few people. No one knew. “A fight” one man responded.
Obviously. But, why? Over what? Honor? Romance? Football?

The next day, my Arabic teacher commented that this behavior is very common, especially during the summer months and in the Holy month of Ramadan, when people are fasting. And sometimes, Egyptians use whatever is available to them, including empty pepsi and coke bottles. At these moments, I’m glad that the people here generally don’t drink and have no guns. Alhamdulillah!

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