Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Aftermath of a Fallen, Modern-day Pharoh


After returning home from Egypt and spending almost three months psychologically healing, while helping my mother and sister physically heal from a fatal car crash that claimed the lives of my grandmother and aunt...having returned to Egypt after Hosni Mubarak's fall from dictatorship will have an interesting impression on my new stay in this, now, military-state.

Its interesting seeing student street clean-up crews, sweeping the collected sand and dust and picking up trash and rubbish that's typically a norm to dispose anywhere at will, here in Nasr City, the area where I live, and throughout Cairo. I am eager to see how long this new "Spirit of Egypt" will last! Actually seeing the Egyptian Army military tanks along the main streets, securing what the now ousted Egyptian police once secured, delivers a strange, but facinating impact of the reality that a 30 year ruling pharoh has fallen and an Egyptian Revolution, inspired and lead by a majority of youthful Facebook users, occured.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts in the aftermath of this, The Egyptian Revolution 2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1.1.11 - A Happy New Year


Today is the 1st day of the rest of my life! 2011 has arrived! How do I feel? Well, this is a bitter-sweet moment for me. Bitter, because I lost my grandmother and aunt in the last weeks of 2010 , and they are not here in the physical being with my family and I to embark on this new year. Sweet, because it is a new year! New hopes, new dreams, new goals, new blessings, new opportunities, new smiles, new laughs, new travels, new life.




Thank you God for allowing me the blessing of living through another 365 day cycle. Thank you. I ask that you continue to bless my mom and my sister in their speedy recoveries. Thank you for sparing their lives. God, I ask that you further bless my family and keep them in your Will. Bring us all closer, The Whites, The Amos', The Palmers, The Griffins and The Brooks'. Grant us safety, healthy lives and peace of mind for another year. You, God, are the Master of everyone's steps.
Bless my father and thank you God for bringing him closer in our space and allowing him to share his bigger than life spirit with my mom, Mala, Lewis Essic and I. Its great to have my family together!
And God, only you know when it is time for me to return to Egypt, so use me, my mind, my hands, my words, my spirit, my talents, my laughter and my presence to aid in the physical, psychological and emotional healing of my mother and sister. And once my work is done here, Lord, in your name, return me to Cairo fulfilled with pure academic genius to complete my master's studies.
Lord, bless my bff, Nicky, Nadia and Erica, my closes friends, new friends and colleagues both here stateside and abroad.

I'm sending a special prayer to my Uncle Rocky, Uncle Danny and Uncle Jesse. Bless them all.

I ask all of these blessings and prayers in your name, Lord. Amen.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eva Mae White - RIP

How does one supposed to react to heart-wrenching news of the death of a loved one? Sure death is apart of life. It is inevitable. And, yes, I am cognizant that we should embrace the passing of a loved one and celebrate their life. And, though, I am terribly torn to pieces that my grandmother, Mrs. Eva Mae White, was tragically killed in a car accident, yesterday, I will embrace the pain and grief of losing a phenomenal lady. My mother, sister, aunt and uncle lives were all spared in the tragedy. Al  hamdulillah! The are currently recovering in the hospital.

Recently turning the seasoned age of 84, my grandmother lived her life as though it had just begun. She had a successful marriage that lasted well over 40-odd years, until my grandfather passed away in late 1994. My grandma was a very giving and caring lady. She gave to the poor and fed the hungry. She volunteered to the elderly, (she didn't consider herself as such). She was a wonderful listener and even more out-spoken. She was a "tell-it-like-it-is" kind of lady, and she offered sound and wonderful advice. In her ripe age, she was still slick! A foxy lady till the end, known for her dazzling suits and big, down-south, "church-going" hats. She loved to dress-up!
My grandmother had a sense of humor that could keep you laughing for days. She was a family woman and loved all of her children, grandchildren, great grands and more the same. She was a mother-figure to many people and even more individuals considered her their grandma.

My grandmother was born, September 12, 1926 and she died, November 20, 2010. A wonderful woman she was... A beautiful soul she has.

May you rest is pure and abundant peace. I love you forever.

Your grandaughter,
April Georgette Brooks

Friday, July 2, 2010

I WAS ATTACKED AND BEATEN BY A DIRTY EGYPTIAN!!!

Today makes the the second time that I've been attacked by nasty Egyptian men; Taxi drivers continuously trying to cheat me, women, and foreigners out of our money. This time, the Ali Baba taxi driver attacked me over 5 pounds! The charge for the taxi ride was 15 pounds. After we arrived back home from our destination, the effing nasty Egyptian taxi driver raised the price to 20 pounds.
My friend and I paid him his fare that we agreed on and he yelled, "What is this!!! You give me 20 pounds!" (But in Arabic) We told him no and that he knows 20 pounds is too much and he agreed on the 15 pound fare. Plus, we were charged the same 15 pound fare to initially get to our destination with another taxi, who was fair. As we walked away to enter our flat, the effing taxi grabbed my arm and snatched my sunglasses from my head. I turned to take them back from him and yelled, "What the hell are you doing? Give me my glasses!" He then pushed me, and I pushed him back. He then slapped me and I punched him back. He then kicked me, and I found a big rock on the ground and hit him in the chest with it. He then charged at me and put me in a head lock. I tried to break free, and I continued to hit him back. While all of this is going on, and my friend is yelling and screaming out of fear for him to stop, there are old men, old women, young men and boys, young women and girls, standing around watching and laughing. LAUGHING!

No one tried to help or intervene as this man was attacking a woman. I’m sure if I were an Egyptian, veiled woman, many if not all of them would have attacked him... furthermore, he would not have even thought to hit an Egyptian woman... whether she is veiled or not. This type of thievery, exploitation, discrimination or whatever you chose to call it, happens too many times that one expects this to happen. You get tired of these Egyptians trying to take advantage of you. Are they doing this because I'm woman? Are they doing this because I'm a Black woman, as the first thing that comes out of their filthy mouths is, "Hiya Sudani!" This means, “She’s from Sudan!" Which implies, "She's a Black, dirty woman from Africa (Black Africa, as they call it), and she's like trash, so I can treat her as I please."
Because, Sudanese people are refugees here in Cairo, they are treated as they are animals. The children are not allowed to attend Egyptian schools. They are charged triple the amount for housing and the housing conditions are below substandard. There is no healthcare for the Sudanese refugees, and they are normally beaten by the Egyptians, sometimes killed in the streets. When does this stop? The moment I pulled out my AMERICAN PASSPORT after the plain clothed, undercover police asked me for it, everyone changed their attitudes, and began to whisper, "Hiya Amerikiya" The dirty, filthy ali baba taxi began to lie. And simply because I hold an American passport, the police made him apologize. An apology?! Are you serious?! But what good is an APOLOGY after you beat and attack someone? If my passport was from Sudan or any Sub-Saharan country, I would have been dismissed as though I was trash. DON'T RESPECT ME SIMPLY BECAUSE I HOLD AN AMERICAN PASSPORT AND I AM AMERICAN, AS IT IS NOT ME YOU ARE RESPECTING. IT IS THE AMERICAN PASSPORT YOU ARE RESPECTING. YOU ARE NOT RESPECTING ME AS A HUMAN, AS A WOMAN... YOU ARE RESPECTING THIS AMERICAN IDEOLOGY AND THE TROUBLE YOU FEAR FROM THE AMERICAN EMBASSY. The cowardly taxi driver tried to apologized, but I would not accept it. He laughed at me during the attack after he called me "Sudani", and I yelled and told him I was American. He laughed and called me "kabdaba" which means "liar".

Many silly Egyptians do not believe there are Black people in America...that only white people live there. And, if you are Black and "happen" to hold an American passport, then you somehow stole it, lied to the embassy, your parents moved to the US from either Nigeria or Sudan and got an American passport and helped you get one also. Sheer ignorance. The first attack was just the same, only I was attacked by two taxi drivers at once. Yes, I fought back, pressed charges and they were arrested. After I finished writing the report in the police station, the police and I returned to the scene and I pointed them out. Because, this sort of attack on us happens all the time, the stupid fools felt comfortable to remain in the same place laughing and talking about how they attacked me, not thinking that I would go to the police.



How does one counter such attack, counter such ignorance? Even when you understand, that, yes, these people are uneducated idiots, poor and hungry for money, that has not respect or regard for Black people. Do you brush it off and just accept it? Do you run away, leave the country because you know nothing will change? Hell NO!!! YOU FIGHT BACK! YOU PRESS CHARGES! YOU WRITE THE TAXI TAG NUMBER, HIS TAXI ID! YOU WRITE ABOUT SUCH BEHAVIORS AND BLAST IT SO THE WORLD WILL KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THESE COUNTRIES…THE BEHAVOIRS THAT THEY TRY TO KEEP HIDDEN FROM THE WORLD. Each time you allow it to happen and do nothing, the more it will happen, and the attacks will get worse. Sure, many may think that nothing in going to happen. And you may be right! But unless you press charges and find out, you will never know.

I REFUSE TO BE A VICTIM! IM NOT A VICTIM IN THE U.S.! SO WHY THE HELL WILL I COME TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY AND PLAY VICTIM? NOT LOGICAL!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Challenging Thesis...


Greetings All,


Most of my readers are aware that I am a Global Diplomacy, MPPA Candidate (Masters Public Policy Administration) in the Faculty of Global Affairs and Public Policy. I have been writing my thesis for the past month and consequently, I am feeling somewhat discouraged, suffering from writer's block and just thinking that my thoughts are not scholarly or theoretical enough at the graduate level. While my thesis question/topic was approved by the department, I am nervous, to say the least, because (1) I have never written a thesis, and (2)there are so many stages of a thesis that I have begun to feel overwhelmed and a bit of anxiety. The basis of my thesis is if the UNHCR-Cairo implements a program that aids in a safe and conducive acclimation into Egyptian society for Somali refugees.

I just want to produce a great, scholastic contribution of literature to public policy that will aid in possible reform and empower the reader. How does one measure their ability to push themselves to greater limits beyond their own cognitive capacity? That's the level I am seeking, not fear.


Buck up, April... Get your mind right! Focus.


Monday, March 8, 2010

A TASTE OF CAIRO!!!

Welcome to Cairo... One peculiar place!

everywhere  is crowded.
people are moving.
talented bread man delivers his load.

life is hard.





mosque here.




masjid there.

the word, "Wallahi"
(I swear to Allah)...
rings out loudly from every direction.
the Azan sounds over a city-wide PDA system and everyone prays.
(call to prayer, in a chanting voice).
"Allaaaahu Akbar.
Ash-hadu an
la ilaha ill-Allah"



taxi cabs EVERYWHERE.




three to one motorbike...sometimes even four or entire family with sheep or lamb!
horns hunking.
stop. go. stop. go.
beep! beep! beep!
the monotonous conversation of the traffic.
going around the round-about.
my flatmate deeply sighs and says,
"Ohhhh, we're gonna be here (in traffic) forever!"

men smoking.






all of them.
arabic speaking.



men dressed in gulabiyas.




women covered... from head to toe.
sardine packed microbuses.
hustling boy hanging outside the door yelling,
"CUSH!" "YALLA!"
"SABAH, SABAH, SAAA-BI-YAHH"
"RAMSES, RAMSES, RAM-SES"
quickly filling whatever inch of space is left with more willing Egytians.




old ladies sit on the corner to sell vegetables.





children playing.
the day passes by.
the night falls.
nite life begans.
the nile river glows.

egyptian girls dance on the felucca (river boat).
club! club! club!

"PSSSST!..."
(sound of the constant, dirty, demeaning cat-calls from perverted men.)
if only i had an extra shoe to throw!

This is Cairo, Egypt!
MARHARBAN!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 Break-up, 2010 Wake-up...

5 hours before the new year, my FIANCE' dumped me!

What's up AG Worldwide! Yes, I know, it has been a minute since my last blog. I think most of you know that I am no longer in Mexico. I have been living in Cairo, Egypt since August 2009, attending The American University in Cairo - Grad School, however, I am home in Mississippi, USA for the holiday. And, boy, what a painful one this has been...

Yes the title says, "2009 BREAK-UP". Well, the man that I was planning to marry this past December 28, 2009 (my birthday), dumped me, abandoned me and left me cold and heart broken. His name, Wajdi , Tunisian from Tunis, Tunisa, North Africa. Yes, he dumped me and began screwing some woman, that he's only known for 2 months (or so he says) and decided he did not feel the same about me as he did before. And on December 31, 2009, five hours before the new year, he told me, OVER THE PHONE, that we should go our separate ways. WHOA!

The really naive part about all of this, is that I actually believed him all the times he told me that he would never cheat on me, that he would ONLY have eyes for me, he would never have sex with another woman... now you guys know that dating men for me has been an issue for many years! And the one man I felt comfortable enough with to cross back over the fence with, did all the things he said he would not do. Then, he DUMPED ME! Now, thank God, this did not make me want to dash back over that fence, nonetheless, it did make the process of trusting a man more difficult. I'm still for the guys, and I thought I was extra cautious and careful when I chose him, but, I guess you can NEVER be too careful.

WOW! WAS I HURT!!!

Clearly I cried, but no begging went on. I'm not a begger. I just tried to get clarity and understanding. As we are both adults, and him being a grown man (32 years old), he's quite cognitive to make logical and conscious decisions. Consequently, a break-up is what he wanted. As hurt as I was, I respected his decision, told him Happy New Year, then goodbye. A.G.WorldWide, you can't force someone to love you if they just don't.

I wish him well, really, I do. He dumped me in 2009. A new year has commenced! It is 2010!!! Time to start fresh! Out with the old, in with the NEW! Time heals all. It was just not meant for Wajdi and I to be together or husband and wife. And, I'm glad it is over now rather than have gotten married to only become an emotionally abused wife, then a divorcee.

Now, it is time again to regroup and continue to focus on my studies, my thesis, my life in Egypt and my future as Diplomat. My sister tells me to forget about him, and that I have so much to look forward to and a promising future. I believe her! And I thank her so much for being there for me as a big sister should! Thanks Mala. I love you and you are my bestest!

So, I look to my future and forget about my past!

2010, keeping it moving and staying in motion!

A.G.WorldWide... I'm BACK!