Wakeup call: Etshahhedy ya Lozah

Today I was on my way back from Itsa village in Minia to Minia city to take the train back to Cairo. I was in a taxi with 2 other people and we were in a hurry to catch our train, so the driver sped up and started passing by the slower cars – which was a tad bit dangerous on this 2-lane 2-way highway.

One of the other passengers looks at the ter3a (canal) to our left and says “they should really install some kind of barrier between the highway and the ter3a, it’s easy for a car to swerve and fall in”. The driver says “they did add a barrier but it starts about 2 kilos from here”. A few minutes later we were in between a car on our right going in the same direction as us, and a truck on our left going in the opposite direction, when suddenly the right back tire blows. When the back tire blows it really shouldn’t be a big deal, you just don’t panic and allow the car to gradually slow down. However, the driver, seeing that we were in between 2 vehicles, panics and slams on the breaks. Suddenly the car swerves to the left and we’re moving horizontally across the highway. Somehow I remember exactly what my thought process was in those few minutes: 

–         Oh my God, hanekhbat fel na2l, ana hamoot? Elhamdulellah el na2l 3adda. Yeb2a mesh hamoot inshallah.

–         La2 bas e7na wakhdeen el taree2 bel3ard, law fee 7ad gay fe weshena yeb2a hanmoot. La2 el taree2 fady elhamdulellah yeb2a mesh hanmoot inshallah.

–         Hanekhbat fel soor, wel soor gay fel yemeen ya3ny ana elly hakhod el khabta kollaha, yeb2a hamoot.

–         Bas ma3takedsh enena mashyeen besor3a kefaya en el khabta temawetny, hamsek bas kwayes fel korsy 3ashan matersh men el shebbak, yeb2a inshallah mesh hamoot.

–         El soor bey2arrab…bey2arrab…bey2arrab. BAM!


Elhamdulellah. Nobody got hurt. The car was pretty damaged but nobody got hurt. After recovering from the initial shock and getting another taxi we all started going over the incident, apparently if we had been a only a few kilos back where there was no barrier we would have drowned in the ter3a.

 I was contemplating this when I realized: I didn’t even say the shahaada. I actually believed that there was a possibility I might die in the next few seconds and I didn’t say the shahaada? Tab ezay! All I was doing was analyzing the situation trying to figure out what was happening. I’ve always been the type of person who goes into robot mode as soon as I panic, but I never realized that could be a bad thing.

 Elhamdulellah that I got this wakeup call, 3ashan lama ye7sal el mawdoo3 begad ba3d 3omren taweel inshallah ab2a mosta3edda, wel marad el gaya ha2ool el shahada!

May 2, 2009 - Posted by | Personal


  1. you should say el Shahadateen everyday you leave your home and take public transportation. and also, you should call the people you love to say good by.
    that’s the transportation in my beloved Egypt

    hamdulla 3ala salametk

    Comment by Raafat | May 3, 2009 | Reply

  2. 3ala ra2yak, unfortunately that’s the way the driving is in Egypt and I don’t know how this will ever change. The BBC wrote an article about this actually http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8029015.stm

    Comment by lozah | May 4, 2009 | Reply

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