A few days ago I feed the kids, got them ready for Quran school (3x a week), and sent them downstairs to wait for the driver. Ten minutes, no driver. After twenty minutes they troop back upstairs complaining she is not coming. I call her cell phone, it’s off. Later I find out she’d taken the day off for Milad Al-Nabi (Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday). Islamically there are two celebrations or holidays, Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr. Of course, twice a year just wasn’t enough for some people so they added more. Egyptians celebrate a large number of mawlids, not to mention other holidays, too many to name here.
Not the first time I’d been caught offguard by a holiday. I missed my first and only day of class during one of their national celebrations (I think some victory over Israel). Today is Sham el Nessim. Yesterday was Easter. Schools, government offices, and of course drivers take both days off.
I can tell when Milad An-Nabi is coming because the stores and bakeries began to sell these really delicious and bad for you sweets. And of course the dolls and horse figures appear. People celebrate by giving both as gifts.
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