Thursday, August 12, 2010
Real Recognize Real
Many of my fellow travelers have expressed a certain level of discomfort since our arrival in Luxor as have I. Some of the things that I have witnessed and been a victim of are the same racial double standards we find perverting American society on a usual basis. Today, I admit I lied to a vendor to test his seemingly sincere demeanor. He approached me and a female student and asked where we were from, obviously expecting us to say America or some other Western nation. When I replied "Ghana" he immediately lost all interest in trying to make a sale to us. It is quite ironic that even though we are in Africa in some ways due to the high Arab population and the Islamic tone of the country, we are not in Africa...... if that makes any sense.
Yesterday, however there was a very interesting thing that happened while we were at the Luxor Temple. Our group ran into a group of young people from the Congo and a group of you men and myself locked eyes as though we were distant relatives (which we are) and immediately embraced one another. At the time we did not know if we even spoke the same language (we did) but all we knew was we saw some familiar faces in a land that has been for centuries occupied by foreigners even though it naturally belongs to us. The Asian and Caucasian tourists walking around probably didn't notice as some of them were crazily walking around a statue of Kheper-ra in a circle because of some old wives tale that it will grant them a wish. However had I made a wish it would have only been for that which I received. A subtle reminder that although Kemet is now largely in the hands of outsiders and visited by people who truly only come for the novelty of it at the heart of it all was once the idea of African men and women like us who wondered what was beyond the rocky patches of the Nile, that we now call the the cataracts. As we departed and exchanged Facebook information one of the Congolese Brothers repeated an oft spoken phrase that we use in Urban America..... "Real Recognize Real"...... That experience yesterday proved it to me.
Posted by James Morgan at 8:22 AM