Friday, October 26, 2012

Praying with my host family

Today, I had a singular experience.
I think it's fairly obvious what it was.

Last night, my host parents asked me if I wanted to accompany them to a prayer service the next morning, at five. AM. 
I asked them, "hakoon fee ey mushkila an ana mish moslem?" Meaning, "will there be any problem since I'm not Muslim?" 
They told me, "akeed la'a! (of course not)," and so I decided to brave the early wake up time and go with them.

It actually wasn't that hard to wake up. I just kind of...did it. And I didn't feel tired.
We then got in the car, and headed to a kind of mansion, fairly far away from where we live, and there was a congregation set up next to it.
I still don't exactly understand why, but I don't really care about the specifics of that. To me, the experience is what counts.

Basically, I prayed. I sat in the lines of people, next to my host father, and did my best to emulate what those around me where doing. To chant what they were chanting, which I actually was able to pick up very quickly. 
Then, I stood up with everyone, and underwent the customary motions of prayer. 
It was an absolutely beautiful experience. I felt so at peace and close to God. Even though I'm not Muslim, I definitely felt closer to my higher power than I've felt in a long time, praying together with all those people.
And what I loved was that there was absolutely no problem that I wasn't Muslim. Everyone either didn't notice, or didn't mind. I was one among the crowd. All the people didn't seem to care that there was a pretty obviously foreign teenager in their midst. They were just there to worship their God.
I felt welcome. And that was an incredible feeling.

Afterwards, I found out that my host family's relatives live inside that mansion, and we ate breakfast with them, which was also a wonderful experience.

But yeah, today was marvelous. I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling of becoming one with that crowd. It was something so unique and beautiful, unlike anything I've felt before.

No pictures today. But I don't really think it's necessary. Hopefully the words that I've used to describe this beautiful experience in my life will suffice to paint a picture in your minds, my dear readers.

Thank you for following my Egyptian adventure!
Goodbye for now,