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Egypwait January 31, 2007

Posted by Khawarizmiya in memoir, Psycho, recovered from blogspot.
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Assalam Alaykom,

When I was in High school we had many discussions about the meaning of one’s “Homeland”; the meaning of patriotism, nationalism, etc. The context at which such topics were discussed was typically intended for strengthening our loyalty for the country we were living in: Kuwait. I had no objections. Kuwaitis the country where I was born and raised. I’m used to most of its roads, people, malls, traditions, schools and so on. I don’t claim I follow those traditions or fully embrace their culture, but I can say that I love Kuwait from the bottom of my heart. I love the country where I met the best friends one could have, where I get free good education, and other stuff that I don’t intend to discuss in this article. However as I said, naturally as in any society one would live in, there are many traditions that I disapprove of on the other side of the river..err..I mean on the other hand.

Where does Egypt stand from this perspective?

They say one’s feeling of loyalty and love to your real country, your real origins, is something you are born with. Or at least, so we have been taught. I don’t find that true at all. In my case, my love to Egypt was unjustified until a point where we came often enough to Egypt; enough to enhance that invisible bond to this beautiful country. Still the question arose to my mind: Why should I love Egypt? Ok I am an Egyptian. I talk Egyptian, I laugh Egyptian, I understand Egyptian jokes, oh doesn’t everyone? I cant say that I’m familiar with Egyptian traditions or feel totally comfortable when dealing with people from my own homeland, I had my concerns over there as well. Come to think about it, Egyptians weren’t totally comfortable dealing with me! I’m a foreigner to them as well, a girl living abroad, “Do you think you’re really Egyptian?” was the Question that their eyes spoke of if they hadn’t said it out loud.

My friends were a mixture of Lebanese, Syrians, Kuwaities and Egyptians. There was not a single sign in my life that indicated any super loyalty toEgypt. I cannot deny however, that the more we came to Egypt, and the more I got to know my relatives, attend their weddings, funerals and share all their occasions, the more I realized that Egypt is definitely a part of me and I am definitely an Egyptian even if I wasn’t completely accepted, yet.

Do I really have to declare my loyalty to a certain country? I asked myself over and over. Do I need to write Composition articles praising this country or that, declaring that I will defend its land to the last breathe of my life? Wouldn’t I do that anyway, I mean that part of loving and defending a piece of land, wouldn’t I have the same reaction if the country was Lebanon,Yemen or Morocco? How about Indonesia, Malaysia or Turkey?

So its not really about Egypt or Kuwait. Since I am ready to love, defend, stand for and protect any piece of land that lies within that beloved region, the Muslim and Arabic region, cant I just declare myself as a Muslim? Im sure some psychologist somewhere well say that’s not enough to satisfy that part looking for a land to belong to. Well fine, if I need to satisfy that part in some phase of my life, I’ll declare myself as an Egypwaity.. or better said: Arabigypwaity.

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