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June 25th, 2004 - The Orientalist

About June 25th, 2004

Dahab 02:57 pm
In Dahab the waves cover the beach and the Europeans are more beautiful then we are. The hotel owner wears a cowboy hat. When he speaks English he has an Australian accent. At night i can see lights from a city in Saudi Arabia. The wind from the Red Sea bends the veils across the faces of the Beduine children.

I bussed from Luxor, it took 15 hours. During the night I crossed a bridge and arrived in the Sinai peninsula. Sinai means sin, or rather the sins of the Isrealities who wandered aimlessly though this region because of their ignorance of God. In the last thousand years not much has changed in Sinai.

Dahab is where Israelites, Germans, French, Russians and Australians come and wander. There is the scuba shop, the koshery, the beer garden, the Internet cafe and the beach. Helen who is a scuba instructor came for a week, she has been here six months, Jason came for six months to work and has been here two years, and Beth came to do nothing, and one year later she still sits on the beach reading last years best selling paperback.
I have accomplished nothing since arriving in Dahab, I ate at a koshey, slept, ate again and soon I plan on reading.

In the afternoon i walked to where the paved beach and the sand stretches from the sea to the mountain. Brown children swam naked in the water. I had heard Bedouin children do not like tourists so i hide my wallet in my back pack and worried they might throw stones at me. Two camels sat with their hooves in the fine sand thats burred underneath the pebbles. I talked to a man who drives a taxi, he has a child for every week he has not worked. Between his teeth are gaps, too much sugar in his tea I think.

Before Dahab was Luxor, i remember little. There were many monuments. All were standing in sand and some where older then others. What has not left me is the politics. Today it acurred to me that Israel and Gaza are a two hours drive from here, not just a thing people argue about. People love their politics everywhere and here the actual politics are middle east politics (i hope that made sense). I am surprised by the attitudes of people here, for a part of the world drowning in violence people are tolerant and want peace. Most have the same political rant, they hate Blair, but not more then they hate Sharron but not more then they hate Bush. However, following their disgust of Israel, England and the United States everyone I have talked to has pointed out that it is not the Americans or Israelis they hate just the politics. What has struck me the most with those i have spoken to is there respect for Christians and Jews and their belief that they have a place in the Middle East. All want democracy and many are embarrassed by the lack of it in the region, but in till the Israelite/Palestinian conflict is solved this will not happen. One very nice Egyptian many pointed out that the root of the problem is that most Egyptians are not educated and have little idea of what is going on.

Anyways, I should go, i have accept an invitation to visit a good friend of thefamily in Israel and will, assuming i can find my way out of the hendoist wilderness of Dahab i will be in northern Israel around the 30th. Its nice talking to everybody, and if anybody has taken offense at my reading of the politics (not that likely) or just thinks i am plain naïve (more likely) let me know.
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