Tuesday, July 24: This morning, I get a response from R to my email of last night, which told him of my fiasco of a trip to Alexandria.
C, Well, you just can’t imagine my disappointment that the trip to Alexandria was not everything that it could have been. And I so wanted to hear of the life-changing, ‘Eureka’ moment that such a trip with a brain surgeon could bring. C’est la vie. I am so sorry. But I’m very much looking forward to a wine-laden full post-mortem. Indeed, many of them. Hopefully more post than mortem. But, we shall see.
As much as I love wine at the Tavern, I may have a suitable alternative (or at least additional) venue to explore. Hopefully it is to your taste. But, we shall see.
I appreciate the image of you hot and sweaty. So thoughtful. I’ll be carrying that around for some time. And certainly II can identify with the idea of lots of showers. I may need another one soon myself. Oddly enough, the temperature here is quite pleasant.
All goes well. I spent Sunday doing toilets and showers. I don’t like plumbing. Some hiking, and I read a book for someone dying to to discuss it with me. I’m dying to figure out just what in the fuck he thinks is valuable in this piece of shit infomercial of a book about having the ‘mind of a millionaire.’ I spent from pages 7-162 just trying to figure out how to get my $20 back from Borders. Jeez I hate when I do something that stupid. Other than that, just overworked, overcommitted, overwrought, overshowered, and overwhelmed. But not over you. Can’t wait to see you again.
I head to Al Azhar again, after being absent for four days: the weekend, the one day I skipped, and the National Holiday. We had a crazy time in Tajweed class today with Mona. As usual, Lisa cannot read Arabic, but she can understand it when spoken; I can read it but not understand it. At one time today, we burst out laughing so hard we are almost in tears, because of our inability to learn these Quranic verses.
As I discussed in an earlier post, here is what Tajweed is all about:
Tajweed of the Holy Qur’an is the knowledge and application of the rules of recitation. The goal is to read the Qur’an as the Prophet Mohammed recited it.
It is expected that you should have certain manners when reciting the Qur’an:
- Purity of body and clothes and place.
- Using sawak, a teeth-cleaning twig taken from the Salvadora persica tree. This is supposed to be used at every prayer or recitation of the Qur’an.
- Facing the Qiblah, a direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays. Muslims everywhere should pray facing this direction to achieve unity for all Muslims throughout the world.
- Seeking refuge from rejected Satan and reading the basmalah, or the formula prayer in Islam “bismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm,’ “In the name of God, the most kindly merciful.” It is recited before each sura except for the 9th. It is recited several times as part of daily prayers.
- Not reading when yawning.
- Avoiding cutting off reading to talk with people.
- Stopping at a verse of warning and seeking protection with Allah, and stopping at a verse of mercy and asking The Merciful for His Bounty.
- Humbleness and crying when reading.
The last rule is most definitely broken by us today with our uncontrollable laughing fits at our inability to do this recitation. Oh dear.
Later in the evening, I get an email from R, but it seems to be quite unintelligible.
Gttng rdy 2 hd hm + wntd 2 sy gnt. Bn txmging w/ sm tngrs + pkd up sm
nw trks 4 btr wys 2 cmmnct. Isnt ths fn? hddspf? m2. smmo. thn I
sslfo!!! + i thgt, hly sht. Its so comcal. dnt u thk so?
wll, rly lvd tlkg w/ u.
Obviously, he’s having a bit of fun acting like a teenager, omitting the vowels from words. I have to admit I don’t even understand half of what he’s saying. 🙂