Friday, February 12, 2010

Committing to Being Committed

So, the day before the last day in Cairo before going to Sinai to work on my painting project and to spend my birthday in my favorite place on earth, I finally finished this one exercise I like doing...through which I became committed to everything that I am doing! I know, you think its weird, because you think Im obviously already committed, but I find myself thinking and worrying and backtracking and not completing and doubting, so, I gave all of that up and began being fully committed in everything! You still think Im crazy, Im sure, because what the hell does any of this mean anyway, and how does it manifest itself in reality? right?

Well, Ill tell chronological order....That day and the next were ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. First, that same day, I found a 2 of hearts playing card on the street near the hostel (i used to find cards all the time, but hadnt in a long time, and it usually serves to mean something special)!

Finally walked down the Souk street, across from Khan el Khalili, with a wooden roof thing at its beginning, that Andrew Mitchell, the Cultural Affairs Officer of the US Embassy, suggested I walk down because he said its the most beautiful street in Cairo and because this guy Heny who makes the most amazing tapestry in the world!

When I did, I found a mosque, at the end, a mosque that I wanted to film at and when Islam and I met, we found the muezzin, Sheikh Mahmoud sitting across the street being sweet and relaxing. He was more closed off than many previous muezzins, but still sweet and natural, and the most interesting thing was that he would not do the adhan outside of the prescribed time...I had many many thoughts about this possibility, and finally it happened!!! So we decided I would come back the next day and give him the microphone to wear during Maghrib....

After that we had an amazing interview with Sheikh Mohamed in Sheikh Abdullah Mosque in Gemileya (across from Arabian Nights), which is all green inside from the green fluorescent lighting! The interview was the best one yet, and his voice was the best one yet! I know, I know, I say this a lot, but really, really, Islam and I both agreed that this man was not only born to do what he is doing but that he is pure magic, pure wonder. His demeanor is that of a teacher, a giving soul, yet he didnt even finish high school and is a volunteer muezzin at the mosque and also functions as an imam there as well. When he demonstrated the adhan for us, we both melted. When we left, we agreed that he was the most wonderful man we had interviewed yet! He was number eight by the way! I hope to get to 10, shouldnt be that hard!

Next day...found a 10 of spades (Islam pointed out that in combination, the cards make up my birthday!!! the universe's way of saying MABRUK=congratulations). Then, I ran into yet another person on the street, Sheikh Muhammad Saleh Shedeed from Al Azhar, who was in fact the man who I was on my way to seeing to find out when we can do an interview....and running late to everything else, naturally! I was looking down, as always, and all of a sudden I hear his voice calling to me. We talked for a few minutes and I kept walking, suddenly on time for my next appointment!

After filming on the bridge with Islam and putting the sexy new OLF Canon 7D in really dangerous situations, I went back to the Souk street just in time for Maghrib and saw who I thought was Sheikh Mahmoud...(yes, this is where it gets funny) at the very beginning of this street next to the Al Ghury Comlex - at the other end of the street from the mosque I met him in, and asked him to put on the microphone...keep in mind, neither of us speak a language that the other can understand, so the conversation about the mic was awkward, but he took it and went into the Al Ghury Mosque after a small altercation with the police (handled only with Islam's help)...and then his son hung out with me, his grandson and their was awesome! I thanked him when he came out and gave me back the microphone and then ran down the street to get the gps coordinates of the mosque we met at!

Lo and im running down the street so I can get back to the hostel and hang out and also pack before going to Sinai, and theres Sheikh Mahmoud!!! WTF!!! This time, hes wearing a different colored gallabiya and he is super happy to see me! weird. He asks me to get a picture of he and I and I take my camera off and hand it to someone who Sheikh Mahmoud calls over (yes, im really confused too) and he takes a picture. cute! and then he invites me over to his place for tea while we wait for Isha to do the recording.

As I look at him and see his shop...I realize he is Heny...the man that Andrew Mitchell told me to meet!!!
oh my god!

Theres so much more. so many days unaccounted for, so many stories untold, so many wonderful beautiful amazing unbelievable things happening for the project and for me personally, its amazing! Cairo is a place where every corner brings something new infinitely no matter how many layers you think you uncover, no matter how much confusion and hard work there is to unveil the treasure, its always worth it. AMAZING!

ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHT (c) Anna Kipervaser, On Look Films, LLC
All Rights Reserved 2010


Rodion said...

Hope you had a great Birthday!

Lynne Jordan said...

Fabulous adventures and all of these spiritual encounters. beautiful stories Anna! You are committed. i only hope I can ever be so committed to my art. You are my inspiration...

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