Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Where is Paradise?

February 1, 2011 marks a momentous day for the country of Egypt. It is amazing to see that a movement by the youth, through the social forum of Facebook, could be such a potent catalyst in the revolution of a country. But I have to say that before the rise in protests I was unaware of the social injustices that were taking place in the country. Even though one of my best friends is Egyptian, I always had the illusion that Egypt was some sort of paradise.

I find that certain countries that are far-away and off the beaten track have a certain mystic and allure to them. An allure that sometimes causes us to forget about who lives there and what is facing them. It's not just Egypt that faces this issue, India is also a victim to it. All the Shahs, Rajas, and the famous Aishwarya Rai make India out to be some land of exoticism, wealth, and glamour. In reality, people there are still victimized by the caste system and the Untouchables (I HATE that word) are demoralized by working "grotesque" jobs. In addition, slums are a major part of cities across the country and the caste systems seems as though it is here to stay.

Reality is far from those romantic ideas conjured in our foreign brains. Although dreaming and fantasizing is no crime I wish everyone, including myself, could make a conscious effort to try to understand the modern world.

But maybe there is some paradise in this world in which there is beauty in the landscape and the people of the country are genuinely happy.

Here are some pictures from my trip to India in the Summer of 2010.

Although I have never been to Egypt, I thought I would make a nod to a trip that I made last fall to Little Egypt in Queens, NYC. Alyssa, Deena, and I ate dinner at an amazing Egyptian restaurant. Notes on the trip are at my former blog: 188 Days to Go

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