December 10, 2007

Luxor!



Having to wake up at 2 am to take off to Luxor for our 4 night cruise, caused most of us not to sleep until we had to meet in the lobby. Seeing everyone waiting in the lobby with all their bags packed and all ready to load the buses wasn’t really a clear image as my eyes were barely open to catch such a sight. Streaming the streets of Cairo at 3 am with all the streets lit and empty was a new sight to everyone as they have experienced Cairo’s real traffic.
The airport was packed with passengers. We were striving our way to the gate to get to our airplane. The next thing I could see after I got on the plane was the runaway of Luxor’s airport. Everyone was waiting to take the buses to start our touring around Luxor.
I opened my eyes after a deep sleep to find myself in front of the Valley of the Kings. It took us some time to get out of the buses as we were all dreaming already. But once we were inside the temple, it blow our minds away. It was just fantastic. All the colors, different designs and the huge amount of things written and drawn by the ancient Egyptians were very impressive for me, because it was the first time to visit these historical places.

Maged - Egypt








We went to the Luxor temple with tired minds but what lay ahead of us was to only reenergize our passion for the ancient monuments and our own search for ourselves and the mission of peace. From the outside it appears as though these royal figures, very tall and regal with eyes shining into eternity, were keeping watch over some sacred secret. Well today some of that secret was unlocked. We walked passed the towering obelisk, imagining the golden tip touching the unreachable sky. That is the key to the secret: the ancient Egyptians did the impossible, they conquered that eternity and they accomplished the un-accomplishable. And I think we are much like those people that lived five thousand years ago… we, like the ancient Egyptians, are here to build something to last for eternity. We are here to make friendships that will withstand all time. We, like the ancient Egyptians, are here to inscribe not upon stone but the hearts and minds of our fellow delegates and these warm hearted Egyptians that have been so welcoming. We are here to make our own monuments, shape our own destiny, and the world’s future. We walked through the columns, and like those ancient priests with shaven heads, we have a passion for our beliefs. For what ever has caused us to come and reach this point below the countless papyrus topped columns of the Luxor Temple, we are here now, bridging the gap between those ancient times and our own hopes for future peace. This massive monument was expansive and on its walls was a story of a whole society, and as tourists we might be able to identify the god Horus or Ma’at, but the whole meaning is yet to be discovered. Our wonderful Egyptologists verbalized some of those stories. The massive Ramses II was sitting upon his enemies, conquering them, while uniting the crowns of both upper and lower Egypt. Like this ancient king, we are here to conquer our stereotypes and make peace through understanding.

We went back to the boat and started our second peace camp session. We were all divided into groups and we were set to the task of discussing culture. We spent time to open our minds and hearts to new ideas of what this means to us. Each persons experience was unique and I am unable to capture all that we do here. It is just unable to be put into words. We are living here, being who we want to be in these few and precious moments and realizing that with every new seed of knowledge, every new growth of a friendship we are changing into more vibrant and worldly people. We came back all together and people began to share their thoughts so far. Each of us had a story, each of us has a reason to be here. Some among us do not have a real country (Palestine) but as Shahd said today, everyone has a country…each of us belongs to a country of peace, each of us belongs to friendship. We are here to realize that instead of first seeing what country we belong to, we should first look at who we all are individually. We are all the same… we are all human beings that suffer, love, hope and change. Maybe we should look upon our nationality as something that enriches us, not defines who we are. Our background and countries are part of our identity but we are not only people who belong to countries but are people of the world. Hearing fellow delegates speak so passionately only makes us want to hold onto every moment here and we know that it will be the hardest thing in our lives to leave this adventure into entirety. But that is thing about this peace camp, because it is an adventure to eternity, we will never forget and our words, experiences and actions will shine like the eyes of Ramses II into infinity.


Samantha – USA

4 comments:

Debi said...

These entries are so well written and a joy to read. Thank you to all of you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.

Patty B. said...

I am so amazed and touched at the eloquence with which these entries are written. This is allowing us a window into the profound impact this trip is having on our children. I am literally brought to tears.

Patty (Alicia's Mom)

Anonymous said...

dude that is my girl friend sweet (Samantha)
well i hope you are having a blast (i can tell you are)

Fernando said...

dude that is my girl friend sweet (Samantha)
well i hope you are having a blast (i can tell you are)