As our plane took off from New York's JFK International Airport I could feel my heart racing, I could not believe that I was going to Egypt! The flight was full of deep thoughts and a nice discussion with Dr. Mario Beaty on our plans for this endeavor. The 9 hour flight went by rather quickly as I was surrounded by not only friends from Howard University but also from Miles College. There were many Muslim men and women traveling to their country of origin to handle business, personal and religious affairs. In a new way the flight alone made me realize how small I am in the world but upon gazing at the pyramids of Giza for the first time with my own eyes I also realized how great of an impact one person with vision can have. Even now from my hotel the pyramids appear to be so close even though they are not. In fact as one of my professors, Dr. Carr noted "It is not that they are close, but because they are so big that you think they are closer than they are."
One can feel the influence of Islam and Arab culture permeating through the parts of Egyptian society that are not centered around Ancient Kemetic Tourism and culture. Some of the subtle differences one will notice is that announcements in English are done after the Arabic version, the car traffic seems to be chaotic as there are no visible speed limits or traffic signals. I was amazed when our tour guide Farouk told us "Crossing the street is a matter of luck and timing." We witnessed how Egypts wealthy communities can be side by side with Egypts poverty stricken masses. One way to tell the wealthy from the poor areas are seeing air conditioning units in the windows, amazing that such a regular part of Western life is a luxury in this land known for its scorching desserts. The nile river is nothing less than breath taking. It is no wonder that it has been the inspiration of poets and Pharaohs for all of these years.
I was shocked to run into scholar Anthony Browder and some of his staff, namely a Brother i know named J.P.. I didn't know they were going to be here so this is an added treat. I am looking forward to this next week and a half.
My arrival in Egypt or rather Kemet is truly a dream come true