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Egypt: A Lebanese in Egypt – From Occupation to Liberation

Layal El Katib, is a Lebanese Blogger who lived in Egypt for a while, and here are her experiences as a Lebanese living in Egypt:

I used to speak Egyptian there, in fact nobody would know I'm Lebanese unless somebody tells them, my Egyptian accent was (and still is) flawless!
So, I didn't experience any kind of problems! it was very normal and it felt like home..At school, I made great friends, we were a family, you know hanging out with the same friends everyday for several years, the bond becomes stronger than the family blood because you get to choose your friends! I used to love the first day at school just to meet the new people! I've always loved company and I never had a problem to blend in ANY kind of groups.

But one day, a single incident at school really affected her:

Anyways, years passed by and I'm in an Arabic period in Grade 6. I don't remember what the teacher was talking about but I remember him saying “And Of course, We all know that Lebanon is being occupied now by Israel…”. I wasn't shocked by what he said, I was shocked by the whole class's reaction! It was nothing but a big “BOOOOOOO” accompanied by fingers pointed at me! I can't describe how it felt! But it was so weird and shocking that I didn't do anything but smiling! In the very same day, during the recess, I remember bursting into tears on my best friend's shoulder!
I didn't cry because of the occupation thing, I didn't cry because the teacher said that the whole Lebanese soil was occupied and that he was wrong, I did because it was the first time I felt like a stranger, a minority or an intruder!

Then a few years later:

So I'm still in Egypt, still at the same school, same friends, same street…etc. It's the year 2000, the year when the Zionist army finally left the Lebanese Soil (except for Shebaa farms) because of the amazing Lebanese resistance.

She continues:

We went out later that day, I can't remember where. But I remember that when we reached the apartment's door, a guy approached us and said “Mabrouk, Rafa3to Rasna” (Meaning Congrats, You honored us). I can't describe how I felt. It was simply amazing.
That stranger and few (1 or 2) close friends probably were the only persons who congratulated us. My friends were happy for me when I told them about it. It didn't bother me really that they didn't call, and it doesn't bother me even now. We Arabs are weird! They're the same friends who BOOed, and I'm the same person who cried!!! It was still Egypt, and it was still Lebanon. Isn't it logical for the BOO to become a YAAY?

2 comments

  • Nadousha

    Hello, after reading all this i thought u r female cause i saw Layal El Katib but i just recognise u r a male.

    well i’m lebanese living in egypt till now,with a lot of problems happened to me lol.

    i found ur site coz i was dieing to have lebanese friend in egypt ,as i went to beirut 10 days and came back to egypt,i’m working here since 3 years. and i need a lebanese friend in real.

    hope things are working well with u

    regards

    nadousha

  • ScubaDoc

    I can REALLY relate to layal’s experience…..been here for about 14 years on and off….and been through pretty much everything she’s mentioned and a lot more…and i have to agree on the fact that you sometimes do feel like a stranger here…even though you become “egyptianized” after a few years…you speak the dialect, understand the culture, you’re still a “foreigner” at times….now don’t get me wrong…it’s got it’s perks…but sometimes you’d rather just blend in instead of stick out.

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