“The period spent in Egypt for a student is inversely proportional to his/her complaints & reactivity towards certain local issues.”
I remembered during the first year in Egypt, we lived in Masakin el-Fustat, Masr el-Qadeemah, Cairo. At the main entrance, proudly stood a big sign-board “جنة الفسطاط” or “Fustat Paradise”. (Yeah that sounds ironic!)
The so called "Fustat Paradise"
First year was the year full of complaints & reactions. Finding any possible reasons to complain, quarrel, & to fight for. The rent, electric, water bills, 10 cents rise in Tokmiyyah’s price, crowdness, zahmah, taxi, bus, Visa, household prices, weather, winter, summer, almost every corners & points in our daily life. Complaint has been a matter of daily basis for 1st year students in Egypt. At restaurants, at shops, at emigration office, at university, everywhere even in the ‘masjid’! There MUST be something wrong, somewhere & somehow. And most of the fights & complaints definitely have something to do with MONEY, SYSTEM, & BAD COMPLEX of EGYPTIANS.
Second year, the complaints reduced by 25 % in most of the cases. As a matter of fact, the ‘joy’ of complaining & quarreling diminishes progressively as the result of ‘tolerance’.
Third year, most of the students start to realize that complaining & quarreling give them nothing but a severe acute migraine headache which in most cases progressively turns into chronic migraine headache in 2-3 years time. Unbelievably, this symptom happens only after 2 years of enjoyment in complaining & quarreling with Egyptians. The theory of “why only after 2 years? Why not earlier, so people can avoid the migraine headache” is not known. Perhaps the enjoyment & tension released by quarreling overcome the pain of the headache. (Well, thanks to seniors who did well in exaggerating the ‘dark side’ of Egypt during pre-departure orientation that was influencing enough to enhance the hatred to Egypt & Egyptians.)
Stop 'ache-ing' your head!
Years after the 3rd year, most of the students get bored & tired, & suddenly stop complaining & quarreling. They become cool & more relaxed. I think the reason is,perhaps they start to understand the meaning of ‘Peribahasa Melayu’ “ bagai anjing menyalak bukit” or “bagai mencurah air ke daun keladi” or ‘yang sama waktu dengannya’.
I just want to share an Arabic phrase I remembered, taught by Syeikh Redha of Masakin Fustat(many of Cairo University students know him)…
الحر حر والبرد برد
“Hot is very hot, & cold is very cold”
Which means, the summer here in Egypt is VERY hot, & the winter is VERY cold(for Egyptians & most of Malaysians). Meaning, there will be always something to complain of, reason to start to feel ungrateful, to start quarreling.
And the only solution, is to be grateful.