Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, my boy!

Sana helwa ya gameel...!

Two years ago this morning, I left Maadi and went to the Al Nada maternity hospital on the small island of Manial in the middle of the Nile in Cairo, Egypt. It was a scheduled cesarean section so I didn’t have to go through the pre-labor a birth usually entails, however several things went wrong and the after-pains were difficult. (Read the whole story here.) Thankfully there was no life-threatening or permanent damage, and the outcome of the event – a beautiful baby boy whom we named Karl-Abraham [Karl to celebrate his Swedish heritage, and Abraham to honor our Egyptian life as well as our American family] – is currently playing with his new toy kitchen here in Beirut, Lebanon.

As I remember those special days in the hospital, the noises and the smells, the neighborhood and the mosque down the road, I can’t help but wonder what it looks like today. I’m sure women are having babies as usual, however those children are born into a different Egypt from the one two years ago. The hospital is close enough to Tahrir that they can probably hear the chanting of the thousands of protesters laboring for a better life.

I’m not going to go off on the whole labor, pain, birth parallel here. A better writer than I am would probably be able to produce a beautiful piece on the matter. I will simply say this: on my mind today is my wonderful Abraham, my boys, and the future of Egypt, and I feel… optimistic.

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