Last minute traveler? Yup, that’s me. If you want to call it procrastination, I’ll except that, too. My recent trip to Cairo was finalized on the same day I arrived. This is the best way to go, well not always, but the adventure, the rush and excitement is epic! Finally, I arrived…well to the continent, at least. This was definitely not my final destination, but Africa, aaaahhh! I’ll be back very soon to visit more of your beauty! (West or East Africa, next stop)!
Now most people may consider Cairo to be apart of the Middle East. I beg to differ, considering this country resides in the continent of Africa. Therefore, I consider all things involved apart of the vast and amazing world of African culture. As an African American woman, coming to this continent has always been on my bucket list and even on my “next place to live” list. I mean the people, the beauty, the wonder and amazing adventures. Why deny yourself! Indulge!
As an African American woman living abroad, this experience has forced me to take a deeper look into my true cultural identity. Constantly being referred to as an African women and not an African American, is truly enlightening. Most people on this side of the world have never visited the United States and quite frankly, don’t plan on it. They identify black with black or in other words…same, same.
Where your from is interesting to them but at the end of the day, as people of color, you come from the same common ancestry. Being identified as such does not bother me as much as someone labeling my intellegence and credibility as a human being.
Being on this side of the globe opens my view vastly for me to say, “yes, I am from America but no my roots do not originate there”. I have become more interested and curious in this discovery like never before. I knew that no matter how last minute this trip was, I needed to go. Now!
So when someone says “Hey Africa” randomly on the street, I hold my head proud and say, “yup, that’s right!” Africa!
Connecting on a deeper level, being more attuned to your purpose, history and culture, is surreal. This trip was just the beginning to something amazing. I finally let my fear of taking chances dissipate. I made it. I conquered, I experienced, I’ve grown.
So back to my trip…. This was a questionable time to be traveling to Cairo because the country was on the brink of electing its new president that following week. Luckily, I didn’t experience any protests, fighting, killing and the like as the media often portrays as such. For the most part, my experience was unlike any other, in a good way. Well, let me retract that statement…except for the airport security terminal. Of course, I was asked to perform a bag search and to see my passport 17 times. Racism is real yall…
So back to this experience! I am thankful to God for allowing purpose to manifest in my life. This is where I am at…this is where I want to be. In God’s great graces…let life’s purpose unfold.
The energy of the city was like no other. Do they ever sleep? People often label it as the New York of the Middle East…or Africa, in my opinion.
The best part was exposing my 7 year old son to this experience. He can now say that he had an opportunity to visit one of the wonders of the world. What an opportunity for our children, especially our black boys.
Although I was a far distance away from the Africa I really wanted to explore, I was still on the continent….and at the time, that’s all that mattered. It was a difference in the air. Living in a middle eastern country for the last 10 months has taught me a great deal of patience and cultural awareness. The treatment was different.
In the United Arab Emirates, I know that is not my permanent dwelling place. I didn’t get that sense from Cairo either but I did experience a more laid back, generous, and accepting atmosphere. This is how I knew I was undeniably in Africa. No matter the complexion of the faces or the familiar dress of the arabic/muslim culture, Africa was alive and real. Experience and exposure are our some of the best teachers thus far!
Here are a few more pictures of some amazing places in Cairo!
So remember good people, Life is short. Live it to the fullest. As cliché as that sounds, it stands as the truth in my world (literally speaking)! Visit Cairo, it is an amazing wonder.