Sunday, January 31, 2010

Another Win For Egypt

The team celebrates immediately after their win.

This is what the majority of the streets look like after a win like this.

Yesterday evening, January 31, 2010, Egypt won the African Cup for the 3rd time in a row. They did this by beating Ghana 1-0.

Earlier in the year, Egypt was ousted out of World Cup competition by their fierce rival Algeria. If you heard anything about the matches between these two countries, then you know the confrontations were anything but pleasant. There were reports from both sides about violence that caused several injuries. But, after all was said and done, Algeria beat Egypt, and sadly, Egypt was out of the World Cup.

Well, just a little less than a week ago, these two teams met again in Angola, this time battling it out for the African Cup. This time, Egypt beat Algeria and beat them good. It was a 4-0 victory. I believe it was a victory that felt good to the Egyptian team and fans. There was partying and celebrating in the streets. You would have thought it was for the African Cup, but, they had one more team to face, and that match was last night.

I didn't get a chance to actually watch the game, but my husband was watching it and kept me informed the whole time. They were well into the match, I think around 80 minutes into it, and my husband informed me it was still 0-0. Then, all of a sudden we heard our normally quiet neighborhood erupt into cheering along with fireworks, horns, etc. Before my husband could say anything, I knew Egypt had scored. They managed to hold off Ghana to the end for their 3rd African Cup Championship in a row, which by the way is a world record.

Mabrouk ya Masr! Which in Arabic means "Congratulations Egypt"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

An apology!

Just wanted to write and say I am sorry for not posting in so long. The school I teach at is trying to obtain accreditation, and we have visitors coming this next week. I don't think I have ever been this tired or busy my entire life. Can't wait till things slow down a little and I can get back to my blogging! Hope you all can hang in there and be patient with me till that time comes, which hopefully won't be too long.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Follow-Up on Bread = Life

My husband sent me this article that he had recently read on the internet. It tells just how much bread/wheat Egyptians actually eat. I thought it was very interesting.

The article was from a link entitled: "Bikya Masr"

Cairo: The International Grains Council has ranked Egypt number five on the list of the top 18 countries importing grain worldwide.Egyptians eat about 220 million loaves of bread on a daily basis, which makes them the number one consumer of flour with an average annual consumption of 180 kg per person; the average consumption globally is only about 90 kg. Egypt annually consumes an amount of wheat equivalent to the consumption of 37 European countries.

The report of by council anticipated an increase in Egypt’s production of grain from 15.2 million tons last year to 15.5 million tons in 2010, which will mean a decline in importing grain from 15 million tons to 13 million in 2010. The report noted that wheat and corn would be the most likely imports to decline as a result of the expected increase in the production of local of crops.

The report also expects an increase in domestic wheat production of about 300 thousand tons in 2010 for a total production of 8.2 million tons.

The report pointed to a possible decline in Egypt’s imports of wheat from 9.9 million tons last year to about 8.2 million tons in 2010, and a drop in imports of corn from 5.2 million tons to 4.7 million.

Alaa’ Hasab Allahm, a researcher and member of the Scientific Association for Food Industries, said that Egypt consumes about 220 million subsidized loaves of bread per day or about 3 loaves per citizen. The country also consumes around 14 million tonnes of wheat and bread subsidies which cost LE 22 billion annually.

**reporting by Mohamed Abdel Salam

Bread = Life

In Egypt, the most commonly eaten food among the people has to be "iesh baladi" (pr. long "i", lone "e", sh). This word "iesh" is the Arabic word for bread, and the Arabic word for life. I find this very interesting, because here, without this bread, in some cases, there would be no life.

Bread is an essential part of the Egyptian diet and served with nearly every meal. Access to cheap, ready-baked bread has helped liberate Egyptian women from the kitchen, allowing them to enter the workforce or spend more time with their children.

Traditionally, Egyptians baked bread in their own home. The women of the household would mix flour, water, yeast and salt, then leave the dough to rise. Fist-sized balls of dough were flattened out and left in the sun for an hour, then baked in an oven for 20 minutes. The bread was made in large quantities and what wasn't eaten fresh was consumed the following day.

This bread can be bought very cheaply here. At the bakery I buy from, I pay 3 Egyptian pounds (approx. $.40) for 10 pieces. I understand that in less modern and poorer areas it can be bought much cheaper. It has to be cheap, for it is a staple, and in most homes is eaten at every meal.

I love this bread. It can be eaten with so many foods. Egyptians eat it for breakfast with fava beans, eggs and cheese. It is good with a mixture of vegetables and cheese stuffed inside of it like a pita, and one of my favorite ways to eat it is with dips, such as hummus and tahini.

I have often heard people here say that it is the best bread in the world. I really do not know this for sure, but I do know that if I ever move back to the States, it is one of the foods of Egypt I would miss the most.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The North Coast

The North Coast of Egypt is a very popular resort area. Situated on the Mediteranean Sea, it is a beautiful place to visit. These pictures are taken during our very first visit to the North Coast ever. We have friends that own a villa in a resort area there. The top two pictures are the view out the back of their villa, and the third picture is one of my favorite pictures ever. It is a picture of our two sons when they were small and they were the best of friends.