Judith Barry | Cairo stories | Deena

…Cairo stories – Deena

Deena | A Trade Attaché

I often think that Egypt has no sense for time, but that is what I love about it. Itʼs like all the times are jumbled up together in one place.

I come out of my apartment and see something Pharonic with a line of people around it. And then I go work in a nineteenth century government building that looks Parisian. And inside, we are working in a big room that looks like the early twentieth century.

Eight phones for sixty people, intermittent emails… pencils… green forms…

So in my generation, there are only four of us working here, all on our mobiles, trying to make it happen. I work as a commercial attaché for the government trade organization. Before this I was in Kenya.

It makes me wonder about the all the things in life that matter, the things that we can not see, for which there is no measure… no value… no acknowledgement.

It is like Aid money… Who sees it? And where does it go? Or ʻfloating currencyʼ… like a Chinese koan, but missing a few words…

I just got married, I am twenty-seven. My husband, I met him in China, five years ago. He is a trade lawyer. We have a lot in common. We both want to travel and we love adventures. Our parents ʻarrangedʼ that we meet. Well, we were both in China… I mean, how likely is it that you meet an Egyptian in China.
So we decided to get married.

In a year, he may be posted in China. And I may have to go to Spain. In all our time together, weʼve only been in the same city for a few months. Yes, it seems odd; my friends seem to think so. His family wants me to quit working, while my father wants me to continue for security… But I am the happiest that I have ever been…