Around 9 yrs ago, the place that I was working at, used ICQ for inter-office messaging, which I left running in the background, all the time. One late afternoon, I received a message from someone asking :
“May I have an audience with the King”( my narcissistic screen name at the time).
I thought it was witty and it made me chuckle. I checked their profile and saw the location as Egypt. Being the skeptical person I am, and thinking it was a web-bot or someone screwing with me, I quickly concocted a test. I replied:
” What’s the capital of Egypt? ”
Intrigued, I continued to chat and here it is, almost a decade later and we still communicate at minimum, once every few weeks.
My friend, whom I’ll call Sesame, is a Muslim female, approx 10yrs younger then myself. Now your thinking,….. “what the hell would you have in common with her?” and I ask myself the same question. Or someone like myself would think, “Ahhh, trying to get some younger, exotic, online ass….sweet. Cheers man.” But it isn’t that way at all…..Don’t get me wrong, I truly love her and I know she truly loves me, it’s a deep friendship. Infact during the Egyptian Revolution, if the shit really hit the fan and Egypt descended into total chaos, I was willing to tell her to get on a plane and get over here quick. The internet was down and I was worried, as that’s the only way we had really ever communicated. We’ve since exchanged #’s and addresses etc., so we can’t be cut off again.
She’s a devote Muslim, prays 5 times a day and even wears a Hi-jab. Basically the opposite of everything…me. She’s knows I drink, smoke, don’t believe in organized religion and have done and continue to do many naughty things. I’ve answered honestly to any question she’s asked and vise-versa.
Now I must admit, I was abit pre-disposed to be interested in her world as I’ve been curious about Egyptian history/culture. I can remember my Grandpa taking me to a exhibition / carnival when I was 3-4rs old and there was some sketchy looking Pharaoh/Pyramid exhibit, but to me it was memorizing ….my first contact with King Tut, gold and blue….the pyramids. It was so mysterious and foreign, it blew my mind and a life long fascination of ancient Egyptian history, history in general, was born. Which lead to a passion for learning, knowledge…. figuring things out…..Pink Floyd was in the house motherfuckers! Some that know me well, will know that I even own a copy of the Egyptian Book of the Dead( an extremely boring, confusing read) and my only tattoo is a simple, small triangle.
Our conversations have touched on all the heavy subjects; religion, politics, love , and arts or even just trivial, mundane, daily life . Some emails have been truly epic in size and content. I know I’ve told her things that not even some of my closest friends may know. And she the same. When a message from Sesame appears in my inbox, it makes me smile, because I know that for a short amount of time, I can forget everything and just enjoy her thoughts, ideas and even, share her worries. Become immersed in her world. I’ve learned much from her and I hope, her from me. I’d trust her with my life.
Now, why have we become such good friends when we are so diametrically opposed? Is it through the anonymity of the net that we can express true feelings that we can’t in real life? No barriers, no social pre-texts and worries of appearance. Or it is even more? Did we strip away our differences and realized we’re more alike then not. That 35yr old+, white, non-religious male from Canada and a younger, arabic Muslim female from Egypt could actually be similar underneath. That maybe we’re after the same goals??
So what’s the moral of this blog entry? I’m not completely sure, but I think ……I’m hoping , it’s to have an open mind and heart, because you never know when or where, a kindred spirit will fleetingly cross your path. Take it all in…..deep breath. If only all the world could embrace that.
And to think, we started out just as pen-pals. I think Bob says it best for the both of us.
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