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Morocco! (1) February 4, 2007

Posted by Khawarizmiya in ACM, memoir, recovered from blogspot.
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On our way to Ifrane.

You’re going.. You’re not going.. No actually, you’re going!

There are situations in one’s life that can only be described with one word..”Miracle from God”..Umm..ok three words.

This was the thought that crossed my mind when I was told that our trip to Morocco was actually approved, and our chance of joining the competition together, me and my two best friends, is not gone forever. The reason we were so thankful for this trip is that 2 weeks prior to the competition we were told that Kuwait University did not approve the trip due to budget constraints or something like that. Of course, we felt great disappointment back then. It was a life time opportunity to travel with your best friends for the first time –and the last- before graduation, and join such an interesting competition.

So, as I said, 2 weeks before day zero we stopped any practicing –as if- , we had only practiced before that for 2 short sessions, and that was it, and we prepared ourselves for another trip to Turkey instead, to make it up to ourselves… Just kiddin’.

The miracle..
2 days before the competition, some miracle happened. One of my friends who has been insisting on going to the Univeristy Dean (The Big guy), and talking to him personally about our little problem, provided she was his student one day, got the chance to meet him. And after listening to her complain he promised her that the budget problem would be solved. So there we were.. 4 or 5 days away from the competition date, 2 days away from the traveling day, not knowing if we will make it or not. To be honest, I doubted it.

Day minus one:
It was pretty awkward.. when my parents asked me, “So, dear. Are you traveling tomorrow to Morocco or not?”.. I didn’t know back then what to answer, and frankly, I didn’t know what I wanted either. It was one of the situations where you start asking yourself, “Do I really know what’s going to end up for my best eventually?”. What if the trip was cancelled, this was definitely a situation where your submission to God’s will is being tested. I didn’t want to object on what God wanted for me. If we are not meant to join the competition then for sure something else better is waiting for us somewhere else, or a harmful thing is being pushed away from our way. Yes, it is Destiny.

Day zero
Finally, on Wednesday, 29th of November, at 11:00AM I was told “Pack your Bag, be in the airport at 7:00pm” (If Im not mistaken). And so I did.
When I reached the airport, I met the dr who was going to accompany us for the first time, and the other team, I knew only one of the guys. We were also introduced to a female supervisor “Mrs Amany”, who had to accompany us –the girls- due to some constraints in Kuwait University regarding such trips. She was pretty nice to us, a little panicking but no problem, she was really sweet, and carried a bag full of different kinds of chocolates and biscuits.. Did I mention she was “sweet”, I meant her bag…

A little more about my team..
Lama is palestanian, CS senior, Khadige is Lebanese, Electrical Engineering senior, and Im proudly Egyptian, Computer Engineering senior student. We represented Kuwait University team.. –Yeah, go figure!-. The three of us, Walhamdulellah, have quite of high gpas relatively ,each in her own major. This made drs, TAs and colleagues put high expectations on our performance in the competition. It was disappointing to think about that during that trip, knowing that we haven’t practiced at all for the competition, and weren’t prepared for it. Having a high GPA doesn’t mean you’re a good ACM programmer, but tell that to the people, tell that to the governments, tell that to the mass destructive weapon makers!..bluh.

“I’d be very thankful if we got one problem solved, but I’d be quite happy if we solved four” I thought to myself while we were on the plane. Oh I forgot to mention that our first flight was to Dubai. We had to stay in Dubai Airport for 8 hours, then take another flight to Casablanca. The 8 hours started well, we had dinner, then some coffee. Afterwards we had aimless walks around Dubai airport..it wasn’t the first time I went there, its not so bad. The best thing was the company of my great amigos.. until it was 4 am in the morning and we desperately needed somewhere to sleep. We went to pray Fajr in the musallah and get some rest, we didn’t know that sleeping in the musallah was forbidden.. but at the time nobody kicked us out. I couldn’t sleep anyway..

I could use some sleep right now though.. I’ll continue this later on..

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