after January 25th

When will it be
that a generation
has its baksheesh
not as some grudging gineh
tossed into a palm
but as a sweet freedom
dripping off of kunafa.
A huriya lingering and sticky,
smothering old bitterness,
of bread queues,
and wanting,
and wanting,
and needing,
and needing.
Bukra Insha-Allah.
His Will is Today.

hura – Free
baksheesh – gift/ euphemism for a tip
gineh – the Egyptian Pound
kunafa – a type of sweet
huriya – Freedom
Bukra Insha-Allah – Tomorrow, God Willing.

25 – fi misr

With rain in hair, qahwa in belly and the cardamom still coating the insides of our noses, Cairo soaked through my shoes, socks and skin. Done in by puddle misjudgment, who-knows-what solutes were beginning to squat under my toenails from the dodgy detritus of doings and the leavings of 7000 cats.

After a great dance of squishy hopping about, I felt less eeeghwaikeeooogheey and a bit more 9-years-old-after-madressah-braving-the-oceans-of-the-civic-centre-parking-lot-as-a-keen-stomping-adventurer-on-her-journey-home.