Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Forum... in Arabic ;)

Picture: Majd Biltaji

A beautiful resort 140 Km from Cairo, over 300 Arab young people gathered in one place, over 20 countries represented in one event, and 5 days of work and fun – all this put together gives the flavour of the forum I have just attended in Egypt.

I won’t talk much about the “academic” content of the forum (workshops about building youth capacity, STDs, youth participation in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, social challenges etc.) but will tell you how great it was to meet such a lovely and lively crowd of young Arabs. The young people I met came with loads of ideas and initiatives – all meant to serve a particular social (or in less numbers political) cause. Women, children, the environment, youth, education, health, etc… the projects contained associations, networks, websites, but also blogs / publications and arts performances.

The Moroccan group was the largest in number – but no need to tell you that Moroccan Arabic was the least spoken there :s A real problem of communication arises when it comes to our language. But this being said, no n
eed to worry about Moroccans and their culture ;) : almost all Arab participants went home with a very Moroccan reflex: replying “tiwliwla” every time they hear “TIKCHBILA” :p

It’s clear now: the atmosphere combined serious work and crazy attitudes. What would you expect when you gather hundreds of young people in one place? :D We particularly enjoyed the cultural day when all participants wore their countries’ traditional clothes. An experience which increased my pride of the Moroccan Caftan with all its kinds ;)

The Moroccan flag didn’t miss doing its job there. While having dinner one evening, we were approached by a Moroccan couple who happened to spend their honeymoon there, and, a few minutes later, by another Moroccan lady who works at a nearby hotel. At Khan El Khalili we were attracted by the red and green sportswear of three men who turned out to be members of the Moroccan team who participated in the Pan-Arab Games in Egypt.

Whether I made some tourist activities during my stay in Egypt? It’s a pity but although we stayed there for several days,
Picture: Mohamed Ezz Aldin

the forum’s program was too full to allow us to reach Cairo early enough to visit important places like the Pyramids!! We were based 140 Km from Cairo and entry to the Pyramids is currently stopped at 4 pm :s. Otherwise, I and a small group of friends visited Suez city on our second day there, and one day before we left, I had a beautiful walk along the amazing Red Sea beach of Ain El Sokhna.

But this wasn’t everything! We didn’t manage to visit the Pyramids, but we did visit other places in Cairo at night. We visited Sidna lhussein, (Shillah ya Sidna l7ussein :p), went to Khan el Khalili and walked on the bridge over the Nile river! Amazingly beautiful at night! We had planned to enjoy a tour by boat on the Nile but, having reached the place at 1 am, it was impossible to find a boat working! Cairo’s street stay animated at 1 am though as are Rabat’s at 8 pm!.

At Khan el Khalili, shopping is not much different from that in Moroccan bazaars and medina shops: The golden rules is: Always bargain and propose a price less than half what the seller asks for! I must say that three Egyptian friends - Tammam, Amira and Khaled - did their best to send us back satisfied with our shopping and the whole visit to Cairo. Ta3abnakou ma3ana ya gama3a ;)

On our way back to the hotel, we were all tired and hungry and the solution was a couple of delicious sandwiches of Ful and Taamya :D

Now three days after my come back, I’m still tired and sleepy - and I’m back to the bitter reality: work!!- but I don’t regret having gone for the experience. I’m also glad that the trip went fine lhamdullah – no luggage loss, no major complications in the airports, … and no plane crash :p


Anonymous said...

Hey Kouka!
It's been a while! i missed ya...
looks like iv missed a lot in here...well, i am glad to lived such a wonderful experience!! especially the one of tasting their famous Foul w ta3amiya !! ;)
Let's meet someday ok? bizz

Kaoutar said...

Ana!!! A fiiiin a benti! I miss u too! It would be a big day like l3id if we get to meet someday! Please do make a visit jihtna! Ana I'll let u know if I come to Casa.

SABA said...

@Kaoutar: i'm happy the trip was great but im happier u're back home now!!!

@Ana: wa fiiiiiiiiiiiin????

Teshmesh said...

Kouki, bsa7a w ra7a le voyage, and welcome back ;), Saba kanet m9at3a ras bla bik.

Kaoutar said...

SABA & Teshmesh >>> Thank u sweet girls. W rabbina ma i7rimni minkoum :p

Anonymous said...

Dastoooor !
Saba: i was lost...I have just found myself and found back the way to the world of this big learner..I missed you all Girls ! Kouka ill see you oneday...imta? man3ref! bssah ill see you oneday!
wellah ta twahachtkoum ! i feel like i was in another sphere!

Kaoutar said...

Ahlan wa sahlan, khouchi b reglik el yimin ya 7abiiiibtiii :p

We miss you too dear, and it seems like u're back, so khaaaaaaaasna chi glissa ;)

N.B: In the name Big World Learner, it's the world that's BIG, not me!! loool

Anonymous said...

So put it this way..Big World Big Learner...Arent you a big learner? I heard some say the world is small that's why we have all met each other...(si ce né pa le ca vas le dire a Disney land...ils ont nomé un manège Le monde est Petit)

Nader said...

تغرب عن الاوطان في طلب العلى و سافر ففي الاسفار خمس فوائد

تفرج هم و اكتساب معيشة و علم و اداب و صحبة ماجد

فان قيل في الاسفار ذل و محنة و قطع الفيافي و اؤتكاب الشدائد

فموت الفتى خير لة من قيامه
بدار هوان بين واش و حاسد