Sunday, May 31, 2009

Down and out in Cairo

I just saw a young Egyptian girl in the street next to the AUC campus gate. She seemed to be passed out. About 8-10 people surrounded her. One person was trying to wake her up by patting her cheeks gently. I asked one bystander “hussle ey?” or what happened. He had no idea.

I looked around me for a police officer. None. So, I quickly walked over to the AUC gate and greeted a police officer and asked him to contact the ambulance for the girl. As soon as he saw the commotion, he thanked me and walked over to her.

This incident reminds me of last year when I fell ill and lay down on a bench in the metro station. Ten people surrounded me within a minute. It is this strong community and caring which I will miss dearly when I leave Cairo in about 30 days. While people do help strangers in the US, my sense is that it doesn’t happen as quickly or in such numbers as it does here in Egypt. I could be wrong. I hope I am. In either case, I hope the ambulance came for her and she is resting in a hospital bed tonight.

Rabina yakrimha. May God be kind to her.

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