Monday, February 11, 2008

Champions of Africa?

All text & photographs in this post copyright Yasir Khan 2008

Ask most Egyptians if they're African. You'll hear a resounding "la" (no). They're Egyptians. Not Africans. Not Arabs. People here proudly proclaim they're different.

They're descendants of the Pharaohs.

But last night, after their 6th victory (2nd consecutive) in the African Nations Cup (football), Egyptians were definitely Africans... and damn proud of it.
This nation of party animals kept us awake until the wee hours.

The evening belonged to Egypt's star player Mohamed Aboutraika. He scored the only goal in the finals against Cameroon, in the 77th minute of a very tight game, and became the lord of the streets for a night.

Aboutraika was a political hero here a few days ago. He earned a yellow card in the game against Sudan. After scoring a goal, he lifted his jersey to show an undershirt inscribed with the message “Sympathize with Gaza”.

The yellow card was for for violating a no-politics rule. But to the people here, he was a champion for
the Palestinian cause.

At that time, Egyptians were Arabs. I think.

1 comment:

Dwight said...


Am I still invited?

I haven't seen a response yet to my latest letter, asking if you need maple syrup.

-Dwight, packing his bags for your doorstep