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Cairo Update

Date Written:
  6 September 1998
Subject:
  Not Much Happening
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Greetings,

It has been an uneventful three weeks which is the reason why I haven't written. Due to my foot injury I've been unable to go very far but now it's getting better and I can now walk without a limp. I've used the time to concentrate on some computer work with the company I work for in London.

Family life has changed suddenly with the arrival of my Mum from England. She will be here for a month and during that time we will go to the main tourist areas of the city. Her case was filled with lots of nice things for the family but not much for her!

Last Sunday I went to a meeting in one of the poor areas called Hagaana. The roads around the meeting place have now been repaired so we don't need to walk the last part of the journey. I'm beginning to feel more comfortable there but still the low attention span of the children can sometimes still be a challenge. I found that the subject to speak about always needs to be a simple idea that is very easy to visualise and conveys a single main item of truth. For this reason most of my talks have concentrated on the teachings of Jesus- his type of teaching was perfect for these kind of people.

Sometimes the culture itself causes difficulty with some of the teachings. When I was talking about the wise and foolish builders there were some items that I had to explain clearly. First, in the poor areas everyone builds on the sand since that is all that's availble! Second, there's hardly any rain and certainly no severe storms. In contrast there are certain points that they understand much better than children in England. For example- the washing of feet in a hot and dry climate.

Tomorrow we have some Egyptian visitors from this kind of a poor area. Like us, they are a young family and they have always made us feel welcome when we have gone to visit them and this is the first time that we have been able to return the compliment. Since they speak no English it is a good test for our Arabic but we always seem to make ourselves understood most of the time. They were supposed to visit us last week so we agreed to meet first since they didn't know where we lived exactly- the arrangement was done on the phone and the result was that we waited for each other at different Metro stations for a long time!! This time we made sure that we both understood where exactly we would meet up first.

There's more planned for the next couple of weeks so I think that life is going to get interesting again . . .

Toodle Pip,

Jason

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It's a Fact!

Facts about Egypt:

  • Egypt's population is 66 Million

  • Egypt is four times the size of the UK

  • Only 3% of the land can be used for arable crops

  • Cairo has 18 million people and is growing by 1 millon each year.

  • Cairo is the Largest city in Africa and the Middle East

  • Official literacy rate is only 45%

  • A total of 11 languages are spoken in Egypt

  • Public Debt per person is $790

  • Average annual income is $630

  • Unemployment is estimated to be 17%

  • Religion: Approx. 85% Muslim and 15% Christian

  • Most Christians are affiliated to the Orthodox Church, less than 1% of the population are Protestant

  • There are an estimated 100,000 street children in Egypt

 

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