I want my marriage more beautiful than my wedding.
Light of Thousand Minarets (english version)
Story from Egypt #1 : Light of Thousand Minarets
Reading Time : 7 Minutes
6th of October - Cairo, 27 Sept 2013
I felt there is something like a hole in the chest, and the butterflies in my stomach. Yeah, I am not ready to go back to Germany yet, to face routine and tight schedule running in front of the eyes, in my daily-life. Yesterday evening, one day before the day I should return to Germany, I told my story about the hole and this butterfly to Akraam, my friend from AIESEC who responsible for interns’ daily activities.
"It’s mean that you have a good memories with good people during your stay here in Egypt. And they will stay in you heart for like for-ever.." he said and smiled.
"I guess so." I replied slowly.
One and a half months ago , I decided to step into the train which would take me to the Frankfurt airport. I secretly did not care what the people around me told me about Egyptian - the revolution/coup and the tumultuous time, they said. Yes, I did receive advices and news from them, indeed. But I also sought information from friends who live in Egypt. Because in the end, I am the one who should make a decision. To me, if I do not see with my own eyes, I could not believe it. Typical of me: stubborn. *grins*
"The fear is there as a danger sign, but it doesn’t mean that we do not have to deal with it." The advice from Abang 2 hours before departure strengthened me.
In order to bring one of the dream I have into reality, to start looking for knowledges and experiences in many other countries, and would like to be one of living-witnesses from Egyptian revolution, with thousands of prayers, I came to the land of a thousand minarets.
Consciously, I can say that I was a little bit nervous at the beginning. The turmoil (at some points in the downtown area), curfew, the tanks from Army which often caused fear to some people, aaand another unique things made ??me thinking about a backup plan to leave Egypt earlier than the date I made in plan A.
Also, at first I couldn’t enjoy to hang out with the other interns here. They had more experience and had adapted very well, I guess it because they came much earlier than me. You know what pals, I tried to talk with the interns here, and the result was. Yup, I couldn’t connect my thoughts with them. Our way of thinking were different. As simple as that.
"Ah, maybe because I’m kind of a new kid here, I can enjoy to hang out with them when the time pass by anyway.." - Me motivating myself few weeks ago.
As the time passed by.
I was deadly wrong.
Our point of view was and IS different. And we couldn’t push each other.
Even one of them asked me: “Do you have a teenage or youth-life? Why don’t you join the parties and hanged out, spending time with us? Oh God, you look different.” OK great, they know that I’m different somehow.
Like everyone, each of them is a combination of good and not-so-good qualities, and the worst of my bad habit was to focus on someone faults while taking their virtues for granted. Dear me, sorry for being so shallow for 20 years. I wished I could do better. I started to change this habit. I couldn’t change anybody. What I can do is trying to inspire them with my thought, action, and habit.
With more effort than usual and supported by the situation which was increasingly getting better, finally I was able to mingle with them and enjoy my daily life in Egypt. Tolerance and patience were the key. Every one of us learned to respect our thoughts.
Then things started to get better.. Even we can see the beauty of the Nile together and realized how this river gives life to the people. Much happiness, lots of smiles and laughter while we shared stories and experiences to each other. Lots of good memories that I won’t forget. Thank you so much guys :’)
A week later, it was time to begin my internship.
Aaaaaa.. internshipppp!! (Having euphoria to have this experience in the first semester of my Bachelor).
First of all, let me introduce you with the place where I did my internship, OK?
Venue : Qafeer Labs.
Introduction : In short, It is a coworking space in 6th of October City, Cairo. Qafeer is such an awesome-yet-inspiring place. (By the way, for you who don’t know what Coworking Space is, google might help you.. Hehee :D)
Main Focus : Marketing & Inner Design.
First impression : “OMG, this is not an office, this is home. And I think I will have no boss here, I will have a friend who leads the team.”
I was right this time.
I really feel that I’m home when I stay in Qafeer. This is the reason for me to stay on the plan A, to go back to Germany on the date that has been set from the beginning.
How could I not feeling it was a home when the Qafeerians (people who interact in Qafeer Labs) are friendly and generous people who has bunch of new ideas and innovation to start new start-ups? They taught me to be more calm, happier and enjoy my life more than ever. No matter how busy we are, being calm is the main thing. It relates to the peace. From this peace, I can grab the situation waaay much better. With peace and joy, happy smiles can spread and unique ideas will show. Learning process is much more fun now. What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while, no? Life feels lighter..
After this, I will mention Motaz Elewa name, a lot.
He is one of the co-founder of Qafeer Labs. Practically young and open minded. Graduated his master degree from Germany. He will not call him as a CEO of Qafeer Labs, but we all know that he’s the one who leads us, Qafeerians.
I did a lot of interactions with him every single day during my stay in Egypt. If there was a problem, I called Motaz, and he would finish it. Need to buy something? ask him. Upset? tell him. Feeling not safe? well, call him again. Happy? tell this guy also! Hahahaa.. :P
Almost every afternoon in Qafeer Labs, I enjoy the sunset and windy desert weather, sitting on a yellow bean bag on the balcony. Motaz usually came after the sun disappeared, and we started to share stories.
From this point, I know that his spirit, logic, unique way of thinking that he has, makes him look smart, generous, and knows what he wants. (Hmm..at least in my eyes.) And now he’s on his way in completing his mission to give lots of contribution for the people around him, by creating Qafeer Labs.
One day, on a trip when Motaz and his friends took me for an arabian-horse ride, I asked him, “Why you are so kind and want to help everyone you know?” And he goes “You know what, in the end of the day, we realize that we do all of the thing, especially those what we have done during the day, are just for our selves. Even you’re saying that you do that to help another people, but you do it for yourself. Right? That’s why.” I was freezing when he said those sentences. The words he speaks are simply inspiring.
Once again, I got a lesson which rein force what I learned before. I have to do the right thing for myself, focus on integrity. From this way, I can also do what is right OR what is right + good for the people around me. Right? :)
Hopefully the action that he has is as strong as his words he speaks. I am amazed with his point of view and how he takes decisions, which makes me believe that he and his team will be a great team one day..
Ever wish you could have an older brother?
Now I do.
*P. S. : this note is written with tears and smiles. And this story is only part 1. Too much lessons and memories that need to be written. I will write the next parts in the next few days after I get some free schedule, pals.*
… to be continued
"It’s been fun but now I’ve got to go.. Life is way too short to take it slow ." - Owl City on Wreck it Ralph