Ep. 5 – Joyride to Egypt: I’ve Got Mail!

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Looking back now on the message I sent out to “Mr. Answer To My Prayer” with so much hope, I think I sounded so forlorn. It was a really difficult time for me, trying to find my wings after being caged for so long.

I really wanted to marry again, but I certainly didn’t want to make another mistake like my first marriage had been. My ex was a miserable husband, angry at me all the time and completely impossible to please. If he asked me a question and I answered ‘no,’ he could blow up. If I answered ‘yes,’ he could blow up. His temper was so irrational and explosive, I fell into an emotional coma as a coping measure to avoid confrontation with him. He was so controlling, so I just turned myself into a robot. I didn’t speak much, I just did whatever he wanted me to do. 


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omg there's a stock photo for this - how horrible to be reminded

I was responsible for waking him every morning, which was an impossible task requiring an hour of jostling and bothering until he woke in an angry fit. I swear I put the socks on his feet because he demanded it every morning after once doing it as a favor when he hurt his back. I had his clothes laid out waiting for him, his lunch made and ready, his wallet, watch and cap sitting on the table beside his breakfast, every workday morning. I did all this and tied the workboots on his feet every morning before he left for work, no matter how badly he had abused me the night before when he came home late and drunk and angry as usual.

I never left the house that he didn’t know exactly how long it would take me to return, and he would call home at that moment to make sure I was there. I was so stupid, I complied with his every demand, hoping to keep the peace in my home. It didn’t work, of course. Thank God, there’s an expiration date on everything!

hit Refresh to display this! I learned in therapy that I was codependent and responsible for my husband’s bad behavior. I learned at church that I didn’t need a divorce, I just needed to go home and pray. I went home and prayed. And God answered my prayers! I cancelled my therapy appointments. I cancelled my subscription to the Christian Church. I filed for a divorce, and I became Muslim. Now I stay home and pray five times a day, and that was the best advice I ever received in my life! In fact, I’m sure it was the advice that saved my life. Islam has given me a balanced way of life where everybody has rights and responsibilities and boundary lines drawn clearly around every soul’s personal space. I obviously needed that!

Don’t let anyone propagandize you regarding the enslavement of women in the Middle East. There is no race of man with a corner on that market. The oppression of women is a disease that affects the whole human race, everywhere on the face of the Earth. It was the teachings of Islam that gave me hope of overcoming my weakness in the face of male domination. I agree I was codependent but I refuse to take responsibility for the abuse he heaped on me daily, even if I made it easy for him because I was too weak to stop him.

So now, I was learning to draw lines, and I was learning to defend them – with the knowledge and faith that what is wrong is wrong. And I  trusted Allah to punish only the criminal for his crime! But I was still scared to death of making another big mistake, even though I knew I wanted to marry again. I knew what I was doing was more than adventurous, it could possibly be quite dangerous! How would I know if I could trust a man I met online? I didn’t really know the answer to that… But it didn’t stop me from returning to my computer the next night, after my children had gone to sleep. I went directly to my email, and opened my inbox with a mixture of fear and hope.

My heart jumped to my throat and stopped my breath. There it was! An email from ‘Mohamed Abdel Hamid’ and the subject line read, ‘Re: Salam wa Smiles from Virginia.’ Oh, My, God!! He wrote to me!! I clicked on it, still not breathing, and my heart was skipping beats like crazy!

From: Mohamed Abdel Hamid
To: k_aisha@hotmail.com
Date: Wed, 09 June 1999 06:38:10 +0300
Subject: Re: Salam wa Smiles from Virginia
Dear Aisha
How are you doing? I hope you are fine.
Thank you very much for your reply, I saw your profile and your photo. I feel I like you very much, and we could be a very good family. Before I ask you any question, you also have the right to know everything about me. This is some description about myself – I wish it’s an answer for all the questions in your mind.
It is my pleasure to introduce myself to you, and I hope that you will like what you read about me. I am seeking marriage with a good looking wife interested to retire now, because I don’t want her to work anymore – we have more than enough to live.
My name is Mohamed Abdel Hamid, in good health, I am a non smoker and non drinker, so God gave me a very clean strong healthy body. Always I am very straight and honest all my life. I believe that is the best way to show my behavior as a Muslim man.
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I was born in Egypt and I still have my Egyptian citizenship, besides my Canadian citizenship. I am a professional in my back home, I graduated from Egypt, I used to work as a teacher in the Egyptian Government Schools, and rose to my position as Headmaster of a Secondary School.
I am romantic, very loyal, courageous, emotionally stable, independent, kind, very caring, especially for my wife, respectable, sensitive and have integrity and a sense of humor. I am a non  controlling person, but I don’t like anybody to push me around.
When I started my own life, I have had my own business besides my job, because I like to make a good life for my family and myself. Many different business I did in my life – the best business I did, and I still have it, is my poultry farm (chicken) in Egypt. I like it more than any business I have had in my life.
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For some reason, especially family reason, I started a new path for my life. In 1991 I left Egypt. It was very difficult for me to start a new life in very cold weather, with poor English language, when I came as a new immigrant to Canada, but I always ask God (Allah) to help me. I tried hard to make myself again in Canada. I kept my financial position in Egypt and I have never sold anything there. It was OK and I worked as a security guard and after two years I was able to start my small business importing Egyptian products to Canada.
hit Refresh to display this! Also I applied to become a resident of the States in 1994 – some good fate Allah gave me in 1995. My Canadian citizenship makes me happy, and my “Green card” to USA makes me more happy. God (Allah) gave me this good fate as a gift for my faith and my seriously trying hard to put my feet by legality on North American land.
I am the oldest for my two brothers and one sister. All of them are married and has their own family, and all of them are in a good financial position. My Dad passed away in 1977 and my Mom followed him in 1993. I was married when I was a student at 18 years old (one of our bad culture at that time), I have had a good professional family, but I am divorced now, with no dependent kids.
I have a big income in Egypt enough for five families to live a nice life there (the rent from my farm). It is more than enough for a husband and wife to retire there and have a nice life. If I run the business myself, it could make more money than Canada or USA, and could be four times the income I get from renting it out. I am not rich in Canada, I am like most of the people there – I have to work to live. I am not lazy to work hard for the money, but I think that this is the right time to relax and take it easy.
Anyway, when I have a wife she doesn’t have to worry about anything – she will be my responsibility here or there. Also I have a big house right beside my chicken farm,
hit Refresh to display this! never rented, waiting for me and her to live in, and a four bedroom apartment (I didn’t see like it here or in Vancouver) in one of the most important cities in Egypt, 20 minutes from our farm, 1 1/2 hr. Drive to Cairo, 2 hr. Drive to Alexandria.
I came back to Egypt on December 31, 98  My thinking about the future is to get the right wife whom I can trust, and also I wish she can trust me, too. The life is so nice when you feel in love with your partner. The reason I like to have my wife non Egyptian is because my mind has changed very much. I prefer a wife to share with me all the opinions, as a good friend and very fairly, rather than to be someone following me with no feeling.
My plan is to live in Egypt for good. I find it is the best place in the world to relax and have a happy easy life. Especially I have a very good income here without working hard. Maybe I’d go back to North America in the summertimes as a vacation for a change every one or two years – the weather is much better there in the summertime. But if she doesn’t like that I am interested to live with her anywhere she likes. My only condition is it must be more comfortable for us there than Egypt, without working hard as most of the people must do in Canada.
hit Refresh to display this! I found out Egypt is the best country to relax in nice weather, nice life and respectable culture. I believe this is the right time to enjoy our life in a comfortable place, without any hard work anymore, especially I have enough to live with her a very nice life with no responsibilities.
I do not like to ask my wife any question about the past, but on the other hand, I like to learn more about the lady whom will choose me. I would like to see her photo and know some details about her first – what she likes? What she doesn’t like? So I will let you tell me what you like, and keep for yourself what you like to keep.
Please feel free to ask me anything you would like to know about me – for sure I will give you all clear, true information.
I hope I haven’t bored you so much by all this detail, but I like to make everything in my life very clear for you at once, and I hope you do the same, if you feel interested to me.
I will send some photos for myself and my area in Egypt to you by next e-mail. [I included them here] Now, can I ask how about you? Please tell me enough about yourself, as I did, and send me some photos, because I hope the people treat me fairly!
I am in Egypt now but I will keep my Canadian citizenship. My address and telephone in Egypt: [removed for privacy]
With my deep thanks and all my best wishes to you.
Sincerely yours
Mohamed Abdel Hamid

I found the photos waiting for me, as well, in a following email. I can’t say how many times I read and re-read this email, sitting there in my quiet little condo. The music was playing in the background, but I couldn’t hear it. It was really late at night, but I couldn’t move away from the screen. I really wasn’t thinking straight, I was quite overwhelmed by the magic of it all. Finally, I printed the email, so I could read it again in the morning. I shut everything off in a daze, and I tried to sleep, but I kept repeating to myself, “Is this man for real? Do you believe all this?” Over and over, all night long, “Do you believe all this? Is this man for real?“

Would you trust this man, if you met him online?


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14 thoughts on “Ep. 5 – Joyride to Egypt: I’ve Got Mail!

  1. I dont trust anyone, my dear, but I am happy that you have found happiness.

    I wish you and your honey many years of companionship. 🙂


  2. “The oppression of women is a disease that affects the whole human race, everywhere on the face of the Earth.” …I kept wanting to read this over and over. It’s so true and it’s beyond me why the majority doesn’t feel the same way. I dove in to your story with this post…I’m looking forward to a quiet moment when I can start from the beginning. 🙂


    • Thanks very much! I’m so pleased you’re enjoying it, and I’m really happy to share the ride! You are right, too, I don’t know why we don’t recognize this problem on a more local level… it’s really awful how many women experience this – mental and/or physical abuse are terrible forms of oppression!


  3. I’m sorry to hear of your abusive relationship–how terrible! I am glad you got out of that relationship safely. I agree that men can oppress women anywhere. I felt uneasy in Morocco. I traveled with my family as part of a group, and it was fine when I was with my husband or the group. When I occasionally went for short walks on my own, though, I got very hostile stares from the men. I thought I was imagining it at first, but it happened consistently whenever I was alone. (I was dressed modestly, by the way.) I have heard about women in similar situations getting spat on or worse. Of course, plenty of horrible things happen to women in America too, but I got the impression that it made the men angry to see me unaccompanied by a man. Have you experienced that in Egypt?


    • Thanks for reading and for your comments, Marcy! Yes, this can happen anywhere – I once got white stucco splashed all over me and my backpack while my girlfriend and I were walking to a bus station in Tijuana, Mexico, of all places! We were so uncomfortable travelling in Mexico because we got harrassed so much by men that we cut our trip short and returned to the states! So I can definitely relate to your feelings in Morocco… in Egypt, when I’ve had family members visit, we’ve found the only successful way of dealing with the “honey bees” is for the girls to wear similar clothes and headscarves wrapped similarly as the native women. “Modest” clothing by western definition still looks “western” to the native men… and unfortunately they have as many preconceived and mistaken notions of “loose western women” as western women have of “scary middle eastern men” – it’s a crazy mixed up world, isn’t it?!!


  4. I am just now reading your story and it is amazing. I am not religious at all, but the fact that you plainly stated that “Don’t let anyone propagandize you regarding the enslavement of women in the Middle East. There is no race of man with a corner on that market. The oppression of women is a disease that affects the whole human race, everywhere on the face of the Earth.” speaks a lot to me. No one religion or group of people is solely responsible for this. Racism, hatred, discrimination, slavery and abuse happens everywhere and is a disease on the planet. I am so happy that you trusted yourself and wasn’t afraid to take that leap. How amazing that you had the courage to do that for your happiness. I look forward to reading the rest of the story.


    • Thanks for reading, and I’m really happy to meet you too! You are right, these problems find their roots in human beings, regardless of divisive categories. Your kind words have me smiling early this morning, thanks again, and so happy to have you along for the ride! ♥♥♥ ;^)


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