Skip to main content

Fire in Al-Areesh

At the Ghazala
I eat Tiramisu for breakfast and drink a Nescafe Gold, with a drop of milk.
It is early afternoon, the sun is up and the Sea is exceptionally blue.

Last night, in the city of Areesh-Northern Sinai, clashes erupted between masked locals and the police. The news on the net is inconsistent in regards to the numbers of killed and injured. I get my news first hand, from my friend Al-Arabi, who comes from that city. He works here.

"Ten people were killed, and 35 injured, when members of Al-fawakhiriyah attempted to free members of their tribe held in Egyptian prisons. Al-fawakhiriyah sought help from their armed Bedouin brethren. The police abandoned their station, and the prisoners were freed" Guns were fired in the evening, celebrating the departure of a dictator and the return of loved ones."

Early this morning, another police station was attacked in Al-Areesh. This time, the police knew about the attack beforehand and fled the scene. The station was set on fire, no injuries incurred.

'We just want the police out of here," Al-Arabi tells me, as we play tawlah (backgammon, Egyptian style). "Now that the military is in control, there is nothing to fear. Everything will get better. The food that was supposed to be exported in the past couple of weeks but was not, is now being distributed to the people. The finest quality of flour, sugar and rice. The young people are spearheading the revolution, and if their demands are not met, they will riot again."

Al-Arabi is optimistic. I am skeptical. I think of Iran. The fall of a dictator, and hopes for freedom and reform, prematurely killed by the iron grip of the Islamic revolution. With time, another dictator came along, but this time armed with religion.

We are joined by Al-Iskandarani, a 28 year old lawyer from Alexandria. He couldn't find work in his field, so he's working at the beach here.
"Islamic law is the only thing that would work in Egypt". he declares ... and our conversation takes on a whole new direction.



Popular posts from this blog

Lessons from a fox: On beauty

A fox family lives on our land. We became aware of them early this spring. It began with a kit standing clumsily by the door to our house. We were drinking our morning coffee and could not believe our eyes. The little thing was adorable, slightly smaller than our cats. Over the next few weeks and months, we met the rest of the family: two additional siblings and the parents. Our land is abundant with food, cherries and mice, so the foxes stayed. They must have quickly learnt that we were no threat to them, because with every day, they became more and more brave. They would see us standing at a relatively close distance, look up and continue doing what they were doing. Observing them became our daily (or rather nightly) activity. They were beautiful golden/red foxes with healthy looking fur.

One afternoon, after a storm; a new fox made an appearance on our terrain. Given his size, we could tell that it was a male. He was not of the fox family. His fur was unevenly patched with what lo…


The wind doth deceive me and your voice I hear in the tree shrubs
Possessed am I with your eyes
They pierce my womb and into earth's core
I fall to your embrace

عشقٌ وجنون

Smile to me
For you I set my eyes on fire
With the lashes of your eyes
Hide me in the wallpaper
So I can stay near you

De Paardenbloemkamer

My first dutch language publication is out!
Mijn eerste Nederlandstalige publikate.  De eerst van een serie fabels.
"De Paardenbloemkamer"
A short children's story in the book
"4321....Lees: Verdwalen in Verhalen" 
The book is the fruit of a wonderful project by the Lionsclub Venlo, aimed at encouraging children to read and write... and most importantly, to imagine.
Children from 27 schools in Venlo were asked for story ideas. 43 ideas were chosen. Those were given to writers to inspire them to make a story,  and then to artists to make an illustration.
The result, a wonderful book full of imagination. Venlo might be a little city, but it it's een stedje with big ideas.

Photo from the book launch in Domani, Venlo on 23 November, 2016 with Tristan Thijsen (our idea-maker) and Floor Kurstjens (illustrator)

De Paardenbloemkamer: is a story about dreaming, facing one's fears, and growing up.  The title means: The dandelion Room.  It's all in one word, because one can…