Sevcik's Blog

A year in Cairo Egypt

Sunday, September 11, 2005

EFL, Al-Azhar Park, and Aida

The past two days we have been taking English as a Foreign Language (EFL) class. Especially compared to Arabic, I am really enjoying it! Beginning next month I will be teaching English to adults at the Coptic Cathedral located down the street from Ramses College for Girls, which is also where class is being held. Walking into the Coptic Cathedral area you feel like you are in a completely different part of Egypt—and I found out why. The Coptic Cathedral is home of the Coptic pope, in essence we are just down the street from the Egyptian ‘Vatican’ if you will. Wherever the pope lives it must be nice!
Friday night we went to Al-Azhar Park in the Darb al-Ahmar district with Victor Makari, the coordinator of Middle East Interfaith Ecumenical Relations, and all the Presbyterian mission personnel. Al-Azhar is a 500-year old land-fill that has been transformed into an incredible leisure and recreation park. It’s been called the ‘green lung’ for Cairo—as Cairo homes 22 million people and one of the lowest ratios of green space to urban population in world—an area the size of a footprint per inhabitant according to one estimate. Spending time at Al-Azhar was the most beautiful moment I’ve experienced in Egypt. The park has an incredible vantage point, viewing the entire city, including the Citadel. We arrived just before sunset and as we looked over the city the call to prayer began. Mosques all over Cairo started shouting out their prayers and the sound was extraordinarily beautiful. I will definitely make my way back there some day. I encourage you to visit the website and to learn more—make sure to click on “gallery” to see photos of the park!
Last night we went to the opera Aida—the same opera I went to two years ago this month in Cairo with the Global Semester group! It’s crazy—only $5 to go to an opera. It was a great performance, but I have to admit, I spent most of the time with my eyes closed just listening to the music. I’m excited to attend orchestra concerts once they start.
The “new” Egyptian president-Mubarak!
Questions for you: How many Americans does it take to start an Egyptian oven? 4
How many Americans does it take to figure out Sarah’s air conditioner? 3
How many Americans does it take to figure out how to use the microwave? 3


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