Egypt From The Home Of Al-Aqsa Victor Sultan Saladin
By Shofi Ahmed
In a mix of excitement and wistfulness, I recently returned from a trip to Egypt. I found myself transitioning from a challenging reality to an emotionally rich ideal in Egypt. Let’s start with a warmer tone and explore the more idealistic side first.
On a bright, sunlit Egyptian morning, my first delightful experience was at the breakfast table. A small bowl of (perhaps traditional) Egyptian rice porridge paired with a dollop of yoghurt. It was almost like traditional Bangladeshi Pantha Bhat. That got me hooked; I received my first impressive impression. With the wondrous pyramid on the horizon, I started sniffing the proverbial Bangladeshi Banyan tree in the Egyptian soil. Then, on a felucca in Cairo, I set sail on the mythic waters of the Nile, not to mention memories of mellifluous Vatiali songs, downstream lullabies, on Bangladeshi rivers made me brisk.
Meandering through Cairo’s time-worn lanes and byways, I wondered where the companion to my humble porridge (pantha bhat) might be. Will the air suddenly be filled with the matching melodious tune of a flute beneath the Burflower tree that gets wayfarers hooked time and again on Bengali soil?
To whisper to the Sphinx’s ear, perhaps, or not. I felt like there was tons of room for a new Saladin to rise anew atop the pyramid’s peak! And to him, I shall present shines and sizzle, Krishnachura, the fiery blossoms of timeless Bengal.
The sad reality is that Egypt is feeling the heat of the conflicts in Gaza at their border. They are deeply affected and almost feel helpless in preventing the atrocities occurring in their immediate neighbour. Moreover, it seems they are not in a position to take in any victims, adding to the complexity of the crisis. Egypt, a country with a rich cultural heritage and history, finds itself in a challenging position. Unlike its oil-rich Middle Eastern Arab counterparts, Egypt is a slowly developing country, struggling with its own economic and social issues. This situation places Egypt in a delicate balance, trying to navigate its role in a region fraught with conflict while addressing its internal challenges.
However, it’s important to remember that it’s the will to make a difference that matters more than the current circumstances. As the saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. This adage holds true even in the face of overwhelming adversity. The resilience and determination of a nation and its people can often lead to innovative solutions and pathways to peace and stability. I am sure Egypt is well aware of this.
The country’s history is a testament to its ability to overcome challenges and emerge stronger. With a collective will for peace and development, Egypt can play a pivotal role in not only addressing the immediate crisis but also in laying the groundwork for long-term stability in the region. The path forward may be fraught with difficulties, but with determination and international support, Egypt can strive towards a future where it not only overcomes its current challenges but also contributes to a more peaceful and prosperous region.