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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Egyptian Farm....

The Egyptian Series

The Egyptian Farm

One of the stops on our unending trip is at an Egyptian farmhouse where ten people live in the small flat-roofed concrete and mud brick home.  The grandmother is the head of the household , but an older son talks to us about their life, while his young children run around playing with sticks in the dirt and the grandmother builds a fire in an outside oven. The son speaks excellent English.
The women are in Muslim dress.  The grandmother wears black and a black shawl. and her daughter-in-law wears red and a red scarf.  Several generations live together as is the custom in Egypt. The children are dressed in western clothes. All are beautiful with big eyes and happy smiles. One tiny girl is still a toddler, so small she can use a soccer ball as a seat. Soccer is the major sport played in Egypt where they call it football. 
We see only inside the main room of the house. The floor is rough concrete or hard dirt and there is a carpet on part of the floor, pictures of relatives on the walls, and a water jug in the corner. Much living seems to be done outside where there is a large shaded courtyard with benches and a table. We are served the customary hibiscus tea.
On the front of the house, words are painted in Arabic that say the occupants have traveled to Mecca. Muslims are supposed to go to Mecca once in a lifetime if they can afford it.  We suppose that they probably earned the money to go by entertaining tourists. The family takes great pride in the fact that the grandmother and son have been to Mecca, and regret that the grandfather died without every being able to go.
In back of the house is another courtyard with stairs to the roof where things are stored and the family sometimes sleeps. Because there is so little rain, things can be stored in jars outside. Off the back courtyard is a chicken pen and the chickens that provides eggs. The water buffalo that grazes by the river provides milk.   
The people grow wheat and grind it by hand with stones. After bread dough rises in the sun, it is baked in the outside oven. In the winter the land around the house is flooded by the river and they fish.  Without the river, life would be impossible in this dry, arid land.
The family has a camel and has borrowed other camels from neighbors so we can go for a camel ride.  I decide to pass on the invitation since I nearly broke my foot on the last camel ride, and have had enough of camels for a while. But some of the guys go riding again.
Life is primitive on the farm. They live close to nature and the land. They have lived on the Nile River for generations and live the same as their ancestors have for hundreds of years. My sister and I were reminded of our own ancestors and how they farmed the land and lived without electricity or running water in a lifestyle not that different from this one.
While the people are poor in material goods, according to our standards, they have great pride and are rich in heritage and family values.  We appreciated them allowing us to visit their home.


Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss

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