Reflecting on a year long journey of trials, hardships, endurance, and victory is one of the most spiritual essences when you are in Cairo. After a long year of having to overcome some of the most grueling barriers, creating dreams, completing ventures, and making one’s visibility known; it comes to no surprise that the planning for next year’s ventures at the American University in Cairo, Montessori Foundation, American International College, further explorations in Cairo (all of Egypt), and the journey as a world citizen have to offer.
December 22, 2015 came to serve as one of those moments here in Cairo, when a person realizes just how much time has passed. How much living a person has done; and how much more there “is to do.”
Running around to take care of last minute details at the University, and awaiting to partake in a celebratory venture with the crew of AUC Times, for a semester’s worth of hard work and initiatives. Things have come to be a triumph, worth all manner of celebration. It was the last day of final exams, and things were wrapping up. An aura of a peaceful ending, accommodated with a Spirit of new beginnings was just around the corner. The last series of exams were being proctored; as professors and students walked leisurely around the campus, enjoying the last bit of year’s memory; still present among the space.
This was a year of many feats for the American University in Cairo. New ideas and organizations faced a period of renewal and re-birth. From HEYA: Feminist Initiative and the representation of men, who also believe in the dream of gender equality in Egypt; to the Black Student Association (BSA) and the fight for inclusion of Black women’s voices on and outside of campus. Even the upcoming organization that provides safe spaces for the LGTBQI community served as a major feat on campus. Adventures with the Graduate Student Association, and a publication position was an added plus. And the fight against prejudice towards the Muslim community was also a pressing issue.
Who could ever forget the spectacular performance, and success of the Department of Theater’s, The Crucible? The heart fulfilling testimony by Theater Director, Frank Bradley as it being the best cast (and crew) he has ever worked with; in talent and harmony among cast members. The Center for Migration and Refugee studies gained their success in the organizing of two conferences, which highlights the reality that migrant and refugee communities not only affect Europe. The list goes on and on, concerning experiences and successes that even the mightiest of emperors could not imagine.
And who can ever forget AUC’s fitness world showcasing that, it too, can be a center (and space) for powerhouse events? The world of mental, emotional, psychological, physical, and even spiritual health also took a brighter spotlight on the AUC stage. Cultures of the AUC Community were performances of their own.
Sitting under the winter’s moonlight, writing down the feelings of what it meant to live in the moment. Feeling a trajectory of multiple auras that come on a simultaneous dance. The Moon’s painting of the night made it clear that patience in the cold was well worth the sight that lay above. Awaiting in front of the library lay those fortunate classes, whose exams would end at 7:00/7:30 at night. That’s alright. They were blessed with extra time to experience this paradise, an intellectual oasis, which nurtures, and welcomes the existence of international beings coming to get a taste of what it meant to study in the way of the ancients.
The earlier day was also filled with intrigue in the various colleagues and persons by passed. Each one was a positive attribute in one’s career and personal life. Witnessing a fabulous performance in “The Crucible,” enlightening conversations, outside socials, or others. Subconsciously, they came to remind her of a collective journey for the coming year. Walking to take care of needed obligations, they came in different parts. A few entered into the library. A couple saw her face-to-face. One glided past, commenting on how they enjoyed the play. He was a familiar being-a professor the initial semester there. Acquiring his contact, the duties of next year would ensure a shared partnership on intriguing ideas and topics.
Every part of the campus she walked upon that day reminded her of events, struggles, and moments of time that she was part of.
It is no wonder why sitting in Bartlett Plaza, and writing about the year’s memories was necessary for that time. Expressing emotions were necessary for. . . that time.
The sentimental atmosphere of the night was encompassed with a plethora of emotions. And so, upon closing the notebook, while staring at the lonely space, the departure for home began; anticipating the reception of treasures for the coming Spring semester.