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"Tears fled out of my eyes, streaming down my face as the officials would not even let me hug him at the airport."
- Fee De Hoog

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An Egyptian love story
by Fee De Hoog, 19, Dublin, Ireland
Apr 20, 2000

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I went on a holiday to Egypt recently having been fascinated by Ancient Egypt all my life. On my very first day there I stepped out onto the street to have my first look at the Nile. Crossing the road, I was cornered by a little Egyptian man with funny English. He offered me a trip to Banana Island on his boat. At first I just laughed and politely told him to go away, but when I realised he wasn't joking and did work for a private tourist trip company I decided to accept his offer.

Later that day, I met him back at the docks. With him was his friend Ali. I took one look at Ali and blushed immediatly(no one could see me blush, I was already as red as can be from the heat). Once arrived on Banana Island, which is actualy not an island at all, we, as you can imagine, ate bananas. On our way back the sun was setting and we all had a great chat!

Back at the little harbour, Ali offered to go for a drink later. I accepted without hesitation. I told him I would meet him in an hour after having a cold shower. We got to know each other and he organised really cheap excursions for me and my friends to visit temples. But what I really looked forward to was seeing Ali afterwards.

Then one evening, we were walking around the town and we decided to go on one of the little buses. We sat at the back of the van. He held my hand, the smell of the spices whizzing past through the window, the loud Arab music blaring into our minds. I looked out onto the street as he gently kissed my hand and gave me a look that I will remember, always. He continued to play with my hand in his until we stopped and got out of the van. We walked a little down the road beside the Nile, hand in hand, my palms prickling with sweat. Then we turned to each other. He told me I was like an Egyptian Queen, perhaps Nefertari, the most beautiful, and we Kissed right there and then. It was the most magical, exotic experience of my life, caleches were flying past, noisy taxis were beeping on the road, boats with Arabic music went parading past, and us, in the middle of all this, both thinking of one thing.

That night is wedged in my mind for all of eternity.

A few days later I had to leave. Tears fled out of my eyes, streaming down my face as the officials would not even let me hug him at the airport. His eyes were distant and shady then. Just as I went into the terminal, I turned, and he was crying and rubbing his eyes. He turned and walked away. His Egyptian stride with a touch of shame in his weeping soul.

That was the last I've ever seen of him, I doubt I shall ever see him again.

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