The drive home

Cairo's streets, the way a crying driver would see them, on February 9th, 2015. Rana Taha

Cairo’s streets, the way a crying driver would see them, on February 9th, 2015. Rana Taha

It hits you when the engine starts running, as soon as you exit the street where you’ve been parked, where you’re likely to run into familiar faces. As soon as you get on the road, the crying fit hits you.

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We failed

movingcarsThe agony of knowing her surpasses that of losing her. It’s only when I remember how we used to walk together in that quiet street that it kills me to realize we shall never walk alone any time soon. Her picture, the one when she’s gazing at the camera, lost as the cars pass her by; it tears me into pieces every time I come across it knowing I shall never escort her while crossing the street ever again. Someday, for all I care, she might get run over while crossing with her usual negligence, me not there to forcefully stop her before she hits the ground. Continue reading

On goodbyes

I just don’t get it. Why does every goodbye have to end with pleads not to forget? If it’s worth remembering, then why isn’t it worth sticking to? And if it’s not worth sticking to, then why should it be worth remembering?

She hurls down the stairs, as if I had just stung her. I can tell the crying’s started, but there isn’t exactly anything I can do about that. Follow her? I wish; she’d get even more aggressive. One thing that always made us tick was how I would tell what she exactly needs at any given moment. Right now, I know she just needs to be left to her own devices. Continue reading


New York from the top

It was only three seconds into the rain. Five seconds tops. But I was drained enough to know that a serious cold was gonna reign over me for the night. My modest Burger King dinner had been soaked with acid-saturated water, the soda in my drink had most definitely run out, and I was simply out of budget to the extent that I couldn’t afford to buy another dinner.

Fine! I thought in anger as I dropped the brown paperbag into the nearest garbage, No dinner for me tonight! Continue reading

The Surrogates; Extract (2)

MY MOM FED me “the Cranberries syndrome”. As a little girl, I remember late-night insomnia, my father fast asleep, Noor a baby girl – barely over six years old – and the relaxed sound of my mother’s humming, painting in the dark with some Cranberry song in the background.

“Ferry,” she’d scold in her drawling, sweet tone, “why are you out of bed? It’s a school night!”

Yet, her displeasure would soon falter, allowing me in a minute to share her late-night creative incursions. As I sat at the couch opposite her easel, sipping hot, sweetened milk from a music-playing mug – my favorite mug – I’d think I’m the luckiest daughter in the world. And indeed I was lucky, for I was the daughter of the unique Dina Maghawry. Continue reading