Monday, February 25, 2008


So in the middle of loan applications, selling cars and meeting with construction workers for the daycare this is the week that Layla's report on her heritage is due. On Wednesday she has her presentation and on Thursday we have to bring a snack/sweet that doesn't have nuts from the country she is presenting on.

As per my previous post DH was opposed (and still is) to the whole Egypt thing. I guess it comes down to feeling like the school has no business asking about relatives and family ties to other nations. He feels like they are gathering information from the kids in the name of education. I see where he is coming from. So, I bid on Germany but the teacher said that there are so many other people doing it that she would rather see Layla choose something else. So, I decided that there were some positives to doing Egypt and we are going with that.

I am going to try to focus on modern Egypt. Cairo to be specific (since that is where DH is from) and point out that it is a modern city blah blah blah. Maybe we can dispel some myths that Egypt is all about some guy on a camel taking tourists to the pyramids (although I do have the obligatory photos of said guy and me with my DD riding that camel). Since Discovery Channel and the like always seem to bring that. I mean, the average American probably thinks that Zahi Hawas is the only man that speaks English in Egypt!LOL

So, I am trying to think of something to cook... Grape leaves? Hmmmm. Also, I am going to play some modern Egyptian music. Hopefully my niece will be able to come through with some Mp3s for me. The one thing I am stumped on is clothes... She is supposed to wear something "traditional from the country she is presenting on. But what is "traditional" Egyptian dress? I don't think that DH will laugh if I put her in a jilbab, braids and a scarf with pom-poms around the edges!LOL I mean he's from Cairo guys... Traditional for him is what? A school uniform?LOL I'll have to think about that one some more. How can I represent without being all upper Egypt about it????


Anonymous said...

You would rather cook Kushari-

UmmLayla said...

Hmmm, anon you are not the first to say that! I was just thinking finger food...

Mona said...

I second the koshary and people love it.. She could wear a galabaya, a nice one if you can get your hands on it...people wear those, even city folks at home, plus I think they mean traditional, like do people walk around in lieder hosen(sp?)? but that's considered traditional.

Anonymous said...

Today is Monday.
You have manic energy right?
Love and Peace,

alajnabiya said...

I am sure the "average American" would have no clue who Zahi Hawas is. I had to Google the name.

Molly said...

the zahi hawas reference made me laugh.
I actually favor the grape leaves. its easier to pass around. BUT MMMM. KOSHARY.

I definately miss koshary.

Imagine how many parents have their kids on low carb diets though.....

rahma said...

Mmmm, koshari. Could you do basbusa without the nuts? I'm thinking kids would freak out at the green rolls of grape leaves, although those are also very very nummy (and time consuming).

Hmm, traditional clothes. The only thing traditional my husband has are house galabiyas. Maybe it would break some stereotypes if she wore "american" clothes and said this is what my family wears in Cairo.

UmmLayla said...

Mona, I know what you are saying about the clothes.. I am just trying to be sensitive to DH's feelings about representing Egypt as what it is for him, a modern place.

Brooke, OK... I am holding you personally responsible for walking around singing Manic Monday all day yesterday!LOL

Molly, You know I heart Zahi Hawas... He's always so excited about Egypt's history. Maybe if there were more people like him in positions of authority there antiquities wouldn't be given away to foreign dignitaries... Maybe the best artifacts and displays from ancient Egypt would actually be IN EGYPT!!! Oh, careful... Don't trip over my soapbox!

Rahma, I just told my husband that I want to send her in a blue skirt and white shirt (aka school uniform) since that is what the kids there actually wear!LOL

Bridget said...

Another vote for Koshari!!! And I agree she should go in normal everyday clothes, like the uniform you suggested. That will make the kids think that they are just like us in the US, which, for the most part, in Cairo anyways, they are. :) Good luck! My 11 yr old is studying Egypt in middle school and she said she wishes my husband had his visa already so she could bring him into the classroom! lol

Forsoothsayer said...

yeah grape leaves sounds appropriate. and maybe some kofta.

there is no traditional egyptian garb other than upper egyptian. cairenes wear western clothes, in the case of the women with hijabs on top or khimars or whatever. it'll have to be the galabeya and the braids and the "scarf with pom-poms around the edges" - called a mandeel be 2ooya btw. that's how my mom dressed me when i had to do this sort of thing when i was a kid. everyone knows no one wears traditional clothes every day anymore, except maybe indian people.

Molly said...

my friend gave me this totally touristy head scarf with dangly gold coins on the edge so I could be "ma3alema".

I've never worn it. Cuz then I'd have to smoke argila and swear like a sailor in arabic to complete the effect.

UmmLayla said...

Forsoothsayer, point well taken... I had her wear a jalabaya in the end;)

MMMM, Molly... Was it black by chance? Bring it next time and I'll save you a chair at a coffee shop in Khal-khalili. We can put on some kohl and black abayas too... ROTFL

You know, that is one of my Egyptian imitations that always gets DH going!!!LOL You and I have a similar sense of humor;) If you have a picture of the guy on a camel in Giza with a cell phone... I'm officially declaring you my long lost sister!LOL

UmmLayla said...

Oh and Molly, ask your DH to get you a "Limby" movie if you haven't aready had the pleasure... He's a funny character;) His mom is one of those types. You'll be on the floor, trust me!

Molly said...

ok dearest, no picture of a guy on a camel with a cell phone, but I did manage to squeeze off a picture of a camel at the pyramids with a decorated butt-flap that said Lufthansa.

Its the closest to modern camels I could get.

And its actually purple and sparkly and I promise to bring it back to egypt with me. I have to wear it to crack hubby up as he never saw me in it. I think we'd scare the pants off the locals.

:D I'm glad someone else thinks ma3alema references are funny.

I heart egypt.

I'll definately check into that limby movie thing, I'm sure my hub will be all excited to show me. :D

Ugh I want to be back in egypt.