Aisha’s Egypt: 11 Little Secrets & A Liebster!

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I Love The Red Carrots In Egypt

I’d like to thank Sarah Sandoval, of In the Life of Sara Sandoval for being the inspirational muse responsible for this post. On 24 April, 2014, Sara nominated me for “The One and Only Liebster Award!” The rules for accepting this award are to link back to the post where you received your award, reveal 11 things about yourself, answer 11 questions from the one who nominated you, nominate 11 more blogs for this award, and ask them to answer 11 questions. There’s obviously a special relationship between Liebster and the number 11, and I am an especially big fan of special relationships, so I’m quite happy to accept this award and let you all in on 11 Little Secrets of my life in Egypt:

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Aladdin at 35, with his pet monkey

11 Little Secrets About Aisha’s Egypt:

1. I am married to Aladdin!

Lol, not really, but this is my husband when he was working for the Egyptian Government in neighboring Sudan as an Arabic teacher. He had this gorgeous little pet monkey for a while, and the monkey liked to ride around on Mohamed’s shoulder everywhere he went. This special relationship came to a quick end, however, when the monkey kept ruining Mohamed’s nice white galabiyah by refusing to go behind a tree like good monkeys ought to do when they have to go to the bathroom! Buh-bye, Aboo! I’m really glad someone took this photo so I could see how adorable my husband was when he was younger. He’s still very handsome to me, but I have to admit that this is probably my favorite picture of him!

 hit Refresh to display this! 2. I am in love with the donkeys of Egypt

Especially in the countryside, where the agricultural way of life is more common, it often seems there are more donkeys here than cars. There is a very special relationship between a farmer and his donkey. Donkeys are able to find their way into the fields, going where no car or truck can go. They feed themselves politely from the field while the farmer is loading up their backs with bundles. They are the most patient of companions, traveling daily back and forth from home to field and field to market, and finally from market back to home. They obediently carry whatever is required, patiently pulling a cart or a piece of farm equipment, and I love the sound of their clip clopping hooves on the street as they pass by our home.

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3. I love being allergic to cats

That way I don’t have to develop a special relationship with them. I leave that one for Mohamed. Cats give me the hives, but Mohamed loves them. They don’t like to ride around on his shoulder, so he gets along much better with them than with monkeys. We regularly adopt stray cats, and name every one of them “Boosy.” This one in the picture was our first Boosy here in Egypt, we brought her from the city to our home in the country, and she repaid us by running away after the first week. That happens pretty regularly too.

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4. I love camels

Especially the ones in front of the butcher shop. This fine looking fellow is happily munching on a breakfast of sweet “berseem,” or clover, waiting for the butcher to finishing cleaning his shop and preparing his tools. Freshly butchered young camel meat tastes incredibly delicious. Egyptians don’t ride camels too much in Egypt, that’s mostly for the tourists, but there is a huge market for them here, because we do love to eat them!

 hit Refresh to display this! 5. I love learning new things

Especially since I really miss Burger King, I’ve had to learn so many new things. Maybe the bigger hurdle to a homemade Whopper was learning to grind my own meat into burger. That hand crank meat grinder in the photo was a real pain in the you know what. I think it belonged to Mohamed’s mom, but now I’ve got a great electric model and we can have camel burgers any night of the week! I’ve even learned how to make ketchup and mayo, and the lettuce and tomatoes are growing up on the roof!

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6. Carrots are my favorite vegetable

Especially the amazing red carrots of Egypt. These carrots are a really pretty red color, not orange like normal carrots. They taste similar, perhaps not quite as sweet as baby orange carrots, though. Farmer ladies stand in the middle of traffic carrying their bundles of red carrots on their heads, their points sticking up and out like the strangest crown imaginable. They take advantage of any opportunity, selling the popular red carrots to folks creeping slowly in their cars through the congested street leading into the entrance of the big city beyond our village. Aren’t they great?!

 hit Refresh to display this! 7. I can make a pretty decent “Bizza”

There’s no “P” in the arabic alphabet, so “pizza” becomes “bizza”, “pepsi” becomes “bibsi,” you get the “bicture,” right? But almost everyone, at least out in the countryside, has a “forn.” A forn is a gas oven with no regulator on the hose to control how much gas comes out of the tank. It can produce a huge amount of heat – just right for baking a great “Bizza Bie.” Of course it could also just as easily explode the whole house, so it sits outside on the patio, now, waiting for me to get up the courage to light it again. It’s really scary!

 hit Refresh to display this! 8. I love chickens

Especially because I don’t have to cook them in the forn! This is a great shot of young broiler chickens on one of the floors of our chicken farm next door. If I don’t want camel or bizza for dinner, there’s always chicken. Of course, those feathers don’t just fall off by themselves, so there’s another new thing I’ve had to learn, but on the other hand, it is fresh when it goes in the pot! I guess I’ll never get tired of chicken and rice and red carrots! (Insha’Allah/God willing!)

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9. Snakes love chickens too, but I don’t love snakes

Especially 6 ft. Cobra snakes. This amazingly long cobra skin was found by one of the workers in the chicken farm as he was cleaning some trash away from the land around the outside walls of the farm. It happens sometimes when the baby chicks get first moved into the farm, they are so small that they find their way into the drain holes in the walls and fall to their death on the ground outside the farm. If the fall doesn’t kill them, the cobra will. One way or the other, every thing alive will find its food, and snakes have a preference for chicken. In a pinch they will eat rats and mice, too, but that’s probably only because they taste “just like chicken.”

 hit Refresh to display this! 10. I have a special relationship with this lizard

I don’t know if it’s a he or a she, lol, they all look alike to me! But this lizard lives on my sun deck, among the chicken feeders I use for planters. He loves to play among the rocks I filled the bottom of the feeders with. I’ve never actually seen more than one at a time, so I just imagine it’s always him that I’m seeing. He’s always out there, so I guess this is his home, and probably he’s just tolerating me to be nice. He doesn’t run away when I appear, he always turns his head to look at me, and he watches me as I go about my business in his garden. He doesn’t talk much, but I kinda like that about him, too!

 hit Refresh to display this! 11. I’m crazy about rocks

Especially if they have strange markings on them, like the one in this picture. When I was lining the chicken feeders with rocks, I developed a fascination for them. They are just leftovers from making concrete so they’re not special to anyone around here. But these are river rocks from the bed of the Nile River, and in my book that’s pretty special, so I was looking at them really closely when I was moving them around my garden. When I found this strange rock with these interesting markings, I felt like I won the lottery! I have no clue if those are fossils or alien hieroglyphics, but it’s probably the coolest thing I’ll ever find in a pile of rocks! Take a closer look at both sides, and give me your opinion. What do you think about this interesting rock?

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A Nile River Rock with Alien Hieroglyphics (showing both sides)

Ok, now I’ll show you my nice new Liebster Award, isn’t she beautiful?! Thanks once again, Sara! Please don’t forget to check out Sara’s excellent blog!

Next, here are 11 Questions from Sara, that I will now answer:

1. Where do you live?
I live out in the countryside in the middle of the Egyptian Nile Delta, in the province of Dakahlia. Here’s a picture.

2. Were you named after anyone? Your name meaning?
I chose my name, Aisha, for myself when I became Muslim. It is the name of the first child born into Islam, she became one of the wives of the Prophet Mohamed, and some say she was his favorite wife but I believe he loved them all equally. “Aisha” is the feminine form of “life” in Arabic, and in Egypt the word “aish” is also the common word for bread.

3. Do you have a talent?
I love to make my own jewelry, I suppose that’s a talent. You can see an example of my bracelets here .

4. Favorite TV show
Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Did you ever watch them do Dicken’s Bleak House? It was awesome!

5. Favorite music genre/band
I love all kinds of music, especially foreign folk music. If you haven’t already, you might like to read my post about how much I love the kazoo and the Mizmar. My favorite western genre at nighttime is Ambient Music, but when I’m in the kitchen, I love Smooth Jazz. Richard Elliot is my favorite Saxophonist, and Keiko Matsui is my favorite keyboardist.

6. Person you look up to & why
The person I look up to the most is my husband, Mohamed. I just lately wrote a poem you might enjoy reading, called, “I’ll always look up to you.”

7. What is your biggest strength? Weakness?
I think my biggest strength is my faith in Allah, because my religion guides me very strongly.
My biggest weakness is probably candy. It’s miserable for my teeth, but I love it anyway.

8. What is something you regret doing?
We all make wrong choices in our life, but dwelling on them is unhealthy, so I don’t have an answer for this question.

9. What is your biggest fear?
That I will never see my children again. It’s really scary as I get older because I live so far away from my kids. I worry about that a lot, and I thank God for facebook, at least it’s better than nothing!

10. What is your biggest accomplishment?
I created a reconstruction of Achilles’ Shield, based on Homer’s description in The Iliad. You can see it here, if you’re interested. I’m migrating it to a WordPress Blog, but it’s very slow work.

11. Why is your reason for blogging?
I blog to share my life in Egypt with anyone interested, hopefully my children and family members, and also my many friends, like you! ♥♥♥ ; ^)

Okay, on to the really fun part! drum roll please…

Here are my 11 Nominees for the next round of Liebster Awards, CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU ALL!

1. Aquileana, of La Audacia de Aquiles

2. Cybele Moon, of “There Was A Time”

3. Sue, of Deamwalker’s Sanctuary

4. Maria, of The Tropical Flowering Zone

5. Lumar1298, of Let There Be Peace On Earth

6. Della, of The Passion Dew

7. Mani, of A New Life Wandering

8. Journeyadmin, of A Journey In A Journal

9. Y. Prior, of Priorhouse

10. Tine, of Fractions Of The World

11. Ayesha, of Cooking With Ayesha

Please take the time to visit all of these wonderful blogs, and I’m sure you’ll understand why they are my nominees for this round of awards. I really love reading everyone’s blogs, you are all awesome! ♥♥♥ ;^)

Finally, here are my 11 Questions for you, should you choose to accept “The One and Only Liebster” Award:

1. Where is your favorite place to live?
2. What is your favorite character trait?
3. Do you have a talent?
4. What is your favorite movie of all time?
5. What is the most important thing to you in your life?
6. Who is the person you look up to the most, and why?
7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
8. Do you have a dream you’d like to share?
9. What gives you the most happiness?
10. What is your biggest accomplishment?
11. Why do you like to blog?


50 thoughts on “Aisha’s Egypt: 11 Little Secrets & A Liebster!

    • No camels in canada, that’s so sad! Hopefully one day you will not only see one in person, but maybe even ride one, it’s lots of fun! Thanks very much for reading, and I’m really happy you enjoyed it!


  1. Aisha, I appreciate you sharing your life in a photojournalistic way. It’s so interesting, following your blog is my first learning experience with Egypt and its culture. The Nile river rocks have a very interesting pattern, I see all sorts of images within them. Do they need to be oiled or preserved in some manner?


    • Thanks so much, Maria, I’m so honored to be your first representative of Egypt! I’m totally addicted to blogging now, it’s so enjoyable, and I’m completely thrilled when others enjoy it too, thanks so much for your friendship and encouragement! ♥♥♥ ; ^) Oh, and about the rock, you know what, I mailed it to my older brother in California because he knows way more about rocks than anybody else I know, and I knew it would be a great treasure for him. ; ^)


  2. thanks for the nonimation Aisha – Love your photos though I got a pang over eating camels!! Poor thing standing there waiting for his doom!! I don’t like our conventional gas bbq’s either, I always envision an explosion!! I love the rocks. They don’t look quite like fossils to me (I collect rock fossils too) by the picture but perhaps carved! At any rate what a find and mystery ( which I love!).


    • You are so welcome! Glad you enjoyed the photos, I can definitely understand your feelings about the camel, but of course that’s what food looks like before it gets processed and packaged and shipped to the grocery store! Lol, it took some getting used to, for me, too! The rock is certainly interesting, I hope my brother is able to figure out the mystery about it. ♥♥♥ ; ^)


  3. Hello dear Aisa…

    As to the posts, beautiful as per usual. I really enjoy it and found the way to point out each topic quite amazing my friend- You are allergic to cats, well I guess I am allergic to snakes!!! 🙂
    Those carrots totally caught my attention, they look huge!!!.
    Overall; a very nice post which I enjoyed reading.
    Now to the awars, as I will be posting two nomination (one of them includes 4 awards, I will let your award for my next post… I will post it surely in a week !…
    I am delighted to know that you thought of me as I also did for the four award nomination !,
    Much love and I´ll be back soon to send you the link; hugs
    Aquileana 🙂


    • How sweet of you, Aquileana, thank you very much! Of course, take your time, it’s always a challenge to do everything at once, and your posts are so well researched, I’m sure they take a lot of time to put together. Thanks so much for your friendship and encouragement, my Dear, you are amazing! ♥♥♥ ; ^)


      • Hi Aisha.

        Well it took me a while to do the Awards nominations in my latest posts as I had to nominate 32 bloggers (plus the posts itself)…

        I work in the draft before posting, so step by step and little by little, you know what I mean, don´t you?.

        Many hugs my friend, Aquileana 😀


        • Yes, I sure do know what you mean, Aquileana, wow that kept you busy! I work in private mode rather than draft so I can see it live, then I update the date and change to publish when I think it’s ready. Hugs back! ♥♥♥ ;^)


  4. Thank you, Aisha… Greatly appreciate the nomination… I’m strapped for time this weekend, but I hope that by next I could have answered some of the questions… Love the eleven the eleven things about me… I wouldn’t want to go plucking feathers or twisting it’s neck either… I grew up on a farm many many years ago, but after being in a city most of my life, I don’t think I can do it… Kudo’s to you… Love, Lor


    • Lol, I understand about the chickens, Lor! I let Mohamed do the butchering most of the time, last time I cut a chickens neck I cut my finger too! I like the farm life very much, its so peaceful for me, so feathers are just part of the package. And of course, dont worry about the time it takes for the award, its supposed to be enjoyable, and it doesnt matter how long it takes, theres no deadline on accepting ♥♥♥ ;^)


  5. Dear friend Aisha, you’re a great writer. Fantastic to read all your bio stories and photos. I am enjoyed!. Thank you very much for this nomination, very touching
    I will look forward to the future to continue this award to another bloggers.I feel proud, once again thank you and big hugs ❤


    • Dear Della, its my pleasure to pass along the enjoyment that awards and recognition bring to friends whom we like to see smiling! Thanks very much for you friendship and sweet encouragement, I’m really happy to share and so glad you enjoy it! Its fun to pass the smiles along to others, take your time and enjoy! ♥♥♥ ;^)


  6. Thank you for this peek into your life. It’s fascinating! I can’t imagine eating camel, though I would definitely try it if I were in Egypt. More than that, I can’t imagine having to grind meat and de-feather chickens. I’m so spoiled. I know if I had to do it to survive, I would. BUt I’m very thankful I don’t have to.

    The snake picture might have scared me off Egypt forever. (I’ll block the image out eventually, I’m sure.)

    I’m so glad you were picked for this award because we were all rewarded with reading your answers. 🙂


    • Hahaha sorry about that snake! hoestly, I’m very happy I never saw more than the skin! And yes, to survive, we can do lits of things we never imagined doing, I think that’s what appeals to me the most about knowing how to do this stuff – God forbid, I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where I was worried about survival, but it is really good to know how to do this stuff, just in case!
      Thanks so much for visiting and reading, and for your sweet comment about the award! ♥♥♥ ; ^)


  7. Hey girl, congrats for the award and thanks for nominating me! 🙂 P.s LOVE the photo’s……. Makes me want to visit Egypt someday and make bizza traditional style! 🙂


  8. How nice to have found your blog through #blogging201! I like camels and learning new things too! I saw my first camel in the wild when I lived in Australia for a year. There was a baby camel who was just so adorable! He wasn’t wild anymore as they capture them to use as rides in the Australian dessert. You might want to check out my post on that here – and here for pictures –

    Perusing your About me page, I noticed you met your husband online. Another thing we have in common. We’ve been married 4 yrs now. I actually started my blog as a way to remember the details of our engagement and marriage preparation as we kept it secret so we could elope. What a fun thing to do at my age! You can read all about the details starting on this page –

    I’ll give your blog a follow as I want to come back and read all about your romance. Who could resist?


    • Lol, you are following in my footsteps, it seems, thats so wonderful! I’m doing the same thing, posting the emails before we eloped because its my favorite story and I love reliving it as I’m writing! I’m really happy to meet you and I can’t wait to read your blog posts too! Thanks for following and for your great links! ♥♥♥ ;^)


  9. Aslkm, sister Aisha. JazakAllah so much for the nomination. I am in holiday mood atm, so on a complete go-slow. Your blog is truly fantastic and skillfully written. Loving it! Masha Allah. Take care, dearest sister!


  10. Thank you so much Aisha for the wonderful nomination… I just loved reading this post.. I learnt several new things too… Like no P’s and what a gas oven is called.. I should imagine cooking on such a powerful none controllable surge of gas can have some interesting outcomes! 🙂
    That ‘Bizza’ looked delicious by the way.. Not so sure about the snake skin though.. I expect the snake loves eggs 🙂
    When I went out to Sri Lanka with the firm I worked for in the 90’s I saw a Huge Python’s photo of it eating a dog.. it was half way ingested at the back of the factory where I was visiting only the week before my visit.. … It made me look twice where I was putting my feet I can tell you lol..

    I thank you again for the award Aisha… I have lots pending at the moment, and I am in a bit of a quandary as I had told myself that this year I would become award free.. But so many kind bloggers have thought to nominate me… I will come up with a solution I know.. As I am trying to manage my blogging time… Which runs away with me.. as I so enjoy commenting and reading blogs…. so find I spend hours reading others blogs and not having time to post on my own LOL…

    Your posts always hold so much enthusiasm for life They are a joy to read.. Thank you xox
    Love and Blessings
    Sue xox


    • Hi Sue, wow, that python was eating a dog in the same place you were visiting? That’s scary! And yes, the forn is not really my favorite kitchen appliance, for sure, but it really does make an awesome “bizza!”

      Dont worry about the award, just know that I wanted to show you some special attention and love! Accepting is optional and doesnt decrease the sentiment at all! ♥♥♥ ;^)


  11. Not gonna lie, the first thing I thought when I visited your blog was “woah, am I on a yoga website right now?” hahaha. Egypt is one heck of a cool place. It’s nice that you dwelve into things that isn’t like really mainstream? Like the Pyramids and stuff like that haha. Do impart more knowledge to us in the times to come 🙂

    Take care! Love my trip to your oasis!


    • Thanks very much for your visit, Lhu! Yes, I’m totally not into mainstream egyptian stuff, since I’m not here as a tourist. I love the interesting things that make up daily life in Egypt that are totally different than anywhere else I’ve ever been. I’m not really into yoga, either, lol, I can’t sit crosslegged for 30 seconds without getting a cramp! I’d probably love the music, tho! Come on back to my oasis anytime! ; ^)


  12. Big giant congratulations on the award, Aisha, you’ve really earned it! I so enjoy learning bits and pieces about your life and your journey. Clearly you know how to find great love, and it shines through so consistently in your delightful reflections on the people with whom you spend your time and all that you see in your everyday life—if that isn’t the very definition of Liebster, I don’t know what is.


    • *Smiling Widely* Thanks so much, Kathryn, that’s so sweet of you, I’m very honored by your words! It’s been such a pleasure staring this blog, probably the happiest “me” time I’ve ever had in my life! I’m really enjoying sharing all this, and *so* happy you are enjoying it too! ♥♥♥ ;^)


    • Oh, it’s easy, just make a post. Your post can be about receiving the award, or it can be any regular post, and just mention this award at the bottom of the post. You can select the rules and the questions from my post and copy them to your clipboard, then paste them into your post, so you’ll be able to follow the directions and answer the questions. If you have any questions, dont hesitate to ask, I’m happy to help!


    • Lol, I’m sure you did great! Honestly, I never check how many followers my nominees have, or even if they already have the award I’m sharing, it’s a bit of a challenge to do an award and I like to enjoy it without spending a huge amount of time, it’s really the thought that counts, and it’s fun to share the appreciation and recognition. I can’t wait to see how yours turned out, I’ll be right over! ♥♥♥ ; ^)


  13. Aisha, many congratulations on winning the award. I loved the facts about yourself and your rock is just amazing. Thank you for another wonderful post.


    • Lol, another rock lover! I still check out the rocks in a new pile of gravel outside our door leftover from a job this past winter, but never see anything as interesting as that one. Thanks so much for visiting, Zainab, always a pleasure to see you! ♥♥♥ ;^)


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