I'm a graduate chemical engineer who has decided to travel before settling into a career. I've been a part time teacher for 6 years now and I love working with children. I am also married and have a beautiful daughter named Rehma
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  • Day66

    Dahab- Cycling, Lagoon & Arab Police

    May 17, 2015 in Egypt ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Today was a great day. I decided to leave the herd (whom I don't really get along with) and make my own way. So I hired a bike (a Giant- decent) after a delicious breakfast (Egyptians do a good brekky) and a cool morning swim. After some pool with the receptionist (I won- yay), I made my way towards the lagoon. There wasn't much to see so I headed back to get some respite from the heat and to fill my belly.

    I had a voucher for a joint called "The Kitchen" but had to stop to find my way. I happened to have stopped outside a police station. Some moments later I heard an insulting tone coming from an upper window, perhaps a senior officer. He had concluded I was Egyptian so had proceeded to berate me for having the nerve to stop outside the station, I mean, who do I think I am? I was laughably angry and so gestured to him dismissively. That was it. I had made his ego wince. I was ushered inside and asked to produce my passport but not before a kind young lad (actually older than me) came to my aid in the former of a translator/go between. They had decided that based on my name and my beard that they would have to conduct a check of the highest level to determine whether I was a threat to national security. The whole situation was a joke and took around 30 min.

    During these shenanigans the young but older than me lad showed me to his friends nearby coffee shop whilst the checks were in progress. Turns out to be a divorcee and father of a 4 year old. He showed me his political sketches and we discussed dreams, goals, Islam, women, etc.
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  • Day56

    Aswan - The Slums

    May 7, 2015 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 35 °C

    I figured it would be a nice idea to walk back through the local neighbourhood. It wasn't a slum as such but it was defiantly a poorer district, however, there was anything but poverty in these people's hearts. The streets were narrow making me feel as if I were back in Cairo's Old City, except with less noise and pollution. Many adults and children alike greeted us with honest curiosity. At one point 3 children started following us and I took their picture and showed it to them, hoping this would fulfill their curiosity. Little did I know of their appetites! They continued to follow me and my travel companion, and as we walked and conversed with them, asking them their names and telling them ours, the small band grew to a small mob of excited boys and girls. Thinking to placate them I asked them where the nearest dukaan (shop) was and bought a few packets of bubblegum which I distributed around. They flew into a frenzy but finally were satisfied that we had paid our baksheesh and so after some minutes the last of the children lost interest and stopped tailing us.

    One of the nicest experiences so far...
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  • Day56

    Aswan- Coptic Church & Cemetery

    May 7, 2015 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 35 °C

    The Coptic church was a clean recently built building still undergoing construction. There is a strong Christian community in Aswan and the church's seating of around 3000 reflected that. It has a dome and as you walk in you can see white Jesus looking down at you. The artistic style reminded me of the mosques of Istanbul but I have to remember that Christian and Islamic art have an intertwined history so I'm not sure what is borrowed from whom.

    The lady showing us around was a stiff-lipped-to-hide-her-judgement-but-still-do-good-to-those-in-error sort of woman. She told us about how the oak wood came from America and how the wall paintings were 50 years old taken from the old mosque upon which this one was built. It was clearly a building loved by the Christian community as there were youngsters helping clean it. It was a nice church.

    After we tried to get into the Nubian Museum but it wasn't open yet so we decided to make our way to the unfinished Obelisk. I decided we should cut through Aswan Cemetery. It turned into an interesting experience as there were mini mausoleums hundreds of years old there, some supposedly containing local saints. We took momentary respite from the heat in one of them. Some locals had previously placed 2 upturned metal containers in it to form makeshift seats. So we hadn't been the only ones to take sanctuary in these mud brick structures. I managed to get some decent pictures before we got to the other side, only to find the guard tell us he was closing the attraction. Unfortunate.
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