Wednesday, April 22, 2009

  Preferring to webchat with my mother, brother, and grandfather who I'd not spoken with in ages, I haven't reserved much energy to type out anything extensive and inspiring today.  I will say, however, that some sort of sublime Zen calmness and pleasantness has followed me back from Tunisia.  The break was even more recuperative than I'd anticipated.  I'm ready to get back to work and end the semester strong.
  This was undergirded by the discovery of the finest grocery store I've yet encountered in Cairo.  It may sound silly, but grocery stores are something of a sanctuary for me–my "happy place".  Ok, I sound like a nut.  Anyway, the Alfa Market in Doqqi is much better-organized and better-stocked than the other branch in Zamalek.  The employees are courteous and attentive and even generous-they let me try physalis fruit when I asked how it was meant to be eaten.  Something I first saw in France, the fruit grows inside a flower that vaguely resembles a little birdcage and tastes a bit like a tart cherry tomato.  I dropped over 200 LE in hopes that the groceries will last me for a while.  
  Prior to this excursion, I grabbed sushi with a contingent of my classmates after visiting my friend Cynthia in the hospital.  While I was away, she fell ill and ended up extremely dehydrated.  She's been in since yesterday and will be there at least through tomorrow.  They haven't clearly diagnosed her yet, but they think it may be parasites.  She looked good today and sounded better than she did last night, so hopefully the myriad IVs they've got her hooked up to are of benefit.  The hospital, though appearing a bit like something out of a movie from the 50s, was much cleaner and better-run than I anticipated.  Cynthia's a trooper, trying her best to parlay her limited Sudanese Arabic into some kind of lingua franca to help her half-communicate with the nurses and doctors.  I'll probably head over to see her again tomorrow if she hasn't been released by the time I'm done with class.  She'll be staying with us most likely when she's free.
  On the topic of health, I'll segue into the news:

  Even as experts explain their belief that H5N1 has not undergone any significant mutations in Egypt that would suggest adaptation to humans, an Egyptian boy has died after contracting the virus.

  Egypt is pointing fingers at states it believes are directly linked to supporting Hizbullah whom it accuses of plotting attacks on Egyptian soil.  Iran, for its part, claims that Egypt's recent arrests are an attempt to influence upcoming elections in Lebanon.  Egypt's state-owned newspaper, Al-Ahram, has also suggested that Qatar is intent on bringing Egypt to the point of a coup.

  In an ever-more macabre twist on the problem of organ-selling and organ-stealing in Egypt, an operation in which Yemeni children were trafficked to Egypt in order to have their organs harvested and sold was uncovered by Egyptian authorities who have since returned the children to their country of origin and arrested five suspected human traffickers who will face trial soon.  The ring, whose leader was a Jordanian, included Palestinians and Yemenis.

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