Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sounds that you find pleasant

While on the long drive to Maadi this evening, I was tuned in to 104.2 Nile FM.

Safi was jockeying the "Big Drive Home" He asked listeners to sms him about which sounds they found the most pleasant.

This set me thinking back to which sounds I find comforting and welcoming. This was a pleasant activity to distract me from not just the traffic, but also the pain of losing my grandma earlier this month.

My partial list is below:
1. Waves lapping on the sea/lake shore.
2.Excited yips and yelps from a dog happy to see you again.
3. The contented purring of a cat which runs like a low motor.
4. Chirping of birds.
5. Sounds of silence in the desert/Sinai plateau.
6. Roar of a waterfall, sound of a fountain.
7. The pitter patter or throbbing of rain (if and only if, I am dry and cosy indoors)
8. Beep of an oven timer indicating that the cake/roast is done.
9. Voices of the people I love.
10. An unreserved laugh or an uncontrolled giggle.

These never fail to bring a smile to my face. I'd love to hear your list to. Do comment.

Church of St John the Baptist, Maadi

Headed over to the Church of St John the Baptist in Maadi for the Ash Wednesday service this evening. This was the only church where I could get reliable information about the service timing which was in the evening.

It took me almost 2.5 hours to drive from Mohandaseen to Maadi in the crazy traffic this evening. (traffic seems much, much worse in the last few days, anyone know why?)

Although, today the drive was worth it. The church is very small and intimate (compared to the All Saints Cathedral). The service was well attended and there was beautiful instrumental music accompanying the singing and the hymns.

I wouldn't mind driving back here on Fridays for regular services.

Although the church is small, the church is extremely active in helping its congregation including a sizeable number of refugees, especially through their Spirit of Giving Catalogue among other initiatives.

Their newsletters indicate that they have youth meetings regularly for various age groups, book club meetings and plenty of other group activities.

More details on Church of St John the Baptist, Maadi are visible on their website

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Freezing Cold

The cold in Cairo seemed to be getting better and I had almost packed the room/space heaters up to put them in and then suddenly the cold struck again and it is impossible to even wash ones hands without turning out the water heaters.

Which got me thinking about Alaska. What would it be like to live there? What would it be like to Travel Alaska?

This American state situated at the Northwest tip of North America sees temperatures as low as -52C (-60F). But there is something exciting and adventurous about traveling here, given its remoteness, extreme temperatures and fantastic tales read and heard about eskimos and bears. The all combine to make Alaska Travel sound like an adventure of a lifetime. Especially now that we have sailed the Nile and dived the Red Sea.

Denali Park is home to a huge variety of Alaskan birds and mammals, including grizzly and black bears. Caribou, Dall sheep, moose and gray wolves are just some of the animals you can expect to see here. f dens, both historic and active. The park is also well known for its bird population.

Think its worth a visit?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bomb Blast in Khan el Khalili

Seems there was 1 or 2 bomb blasts in Khan el Khalili a couple of hours ago. This is an area that I frequent quite regularly. I've taken all my guests to this area for shopping and sight seeing and I visit it myself at least twice or thrice a month. I was right here 2 nights ago on Friday evening.

After the blasts in Bombay and attacks on women in my home town this is another incident which is so close to me and makes me question the world that I live in.

The people who carry out these attacks anywhere in the world are cowards. They attack those who are unprepared/unaware and in most cases, completely innocent.

Reports on various channels are conflicting. Here are links to some of them in random order:
Al Jazeera
Sky News
Yahoo News
Googe News

I hope you, your family and your friends are ok. Stay safe and pray for sanity in our world, so we may leave a safer world for the next generation.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

STAR refugee craft bazaar- on till the 18th

Sorry for disappearing suddenly. I just lost my grandmother - an absolutely wonderful woman - I went back home for the funeral and haven't felt up to writing very much since it happened.

I did get out of the house yesterday to meet some friends in Zamalek and decided to stop by the STAR refugee craft bazaar.

The bazaar is being organised by the STudent Action for Refugees and AUC at the Reida Gallery (opp AUC Tahrir campus, 31 Mohammed Mahmoud St., next to Cilantro) Reida gallery is on the 7th floor, so take the lift to the 6th.

The number of stalls this time is extremely limited compared to the last 2 years at the refugee bazaars in AUC and All Saints Cathedral.

There is a stall from Tukul Crafts and a few others selling some bracelets and jewelry and clothes. Total of about 8 tables.

There is Ethiopian coffee being served daily for 2LE and Ethiopian food on Saturday and Sunday.

The bazaar is on until the 18th if you want to pop in for a look.
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