September 28, 2009

Cairo: Egypt’s Future

It’s been over a year since I had the privilege to visit Cairo. The past week’s events have prompted me to share. I have to say that I barely scratched the surface of Cairo, but what I felt was a city full of energy, with nowhere to put it.

Lots of young, smart and educated people with no place to put their intellect to good use. Our two guides were no exception. Both, full of energy and running out of time to use it. Like all of us, I suppose, but they had alot less options.

Mount Sinai, Egypt (click image to’s a stunning shot)
Egypt is a land of stunning beauty...

...contrasted against an ancient past.

...With people friendly, beautiful people who were more than happy to interact with us.

However, I figure in an land like Egypt, you have to be sharp witted and on your toes all the time. There is no safety net. If you don’t have your sh*t together, you are going to get cast out, or worse.

That’s a tremendous amount of pressure on the young. The young who see the world passing them by.

It seemed like one generation was imprisoned by the past, while the young generation was struggling with the realities of the current situation. The young seemed as though they were being shackled to a world that was dragging them into the past.

That seemed like a dangerous situation to me. I know I would not stand for it. I am not sure, but there must be a way to throw out the bad, while keeping the good...but Egypt is an ancient land. Very ancient.

So, I have a question: if Egypt is an ancient land and possibly the root of our Western Civilization, isn’t it really our future as well?

Only time will tell...the next generation of Egyptians will have to decide that for us.

I must say, though, Cairo was a pleasant city to stroll through at night. Even more so, since we happened to be there during Ramadan.

It was quite oppressive during the day. One, the heat was unbearable, especially at noon. Two, because you could not eat food or drink water from sunrise to sunset. This had to be torture for all those women draped in black burqas under the midday desert sun...we could hear lots of fights break out at about 3:00pm...

...But what a relief after really, really tasted good by then!

And relaxing with a cup of sweet tea was never so satisfying!

I look forward to the future Egypt that the younger generation now has the permission to build.

September 8, 2009

A Season...Emil Goh

I have been remiss in sharing my experiences for the last week. Mainly, because I have been missing my loved ones and mourning the departure of my children. However, I must apologize. I have learned so much about sharing, recently, that I should know better.

I have learned about it in an unexpected way from a very unique and talented person. Emil Goh, I have been privileged to know, is one of those people who had an unlimited supply of himself. Always, he enthusiastically shared of himself, his photography, his design projects, his artwork, his opinions and above all his friendship. His energy and good nature was both charming and intoxicating to those graced with his presence.

This morning I got a dreadful call...that my good friend Emil Goh had passed away...

I can not express the sense of loss I now feel, but I will never again let my self pity keep me from sharing my experiences, thoughts and ideas.

I have been shocked back into reality of how short and precious life is. Cliché, yes, but I have been left to pass the lesson on to you...

Two of my most favoritest people I love to miss...I don’t have the heart, yet, to tell Lyra...

So, I share with you the following. It was inspired by a kitchy chain e-mail I received from a dear seemed helpful to me for this post. I have edited it so that it is in my own words...

I honestly believe it is best to treat people people who come into my life as though they are here to experience something important with me.

I never know what that might be...sometimes I never figure it out.
Often, unaware, they usually show up because I have somehow shown a spiritual need for them.
To me they can seem like a godsend, which they usually are.

But, without any perceived wrongdoing on my part... or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring our relationship to an end.

Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they do something that forces me to take a stand. And sometimes they die.

What is painful and hard to understand is that my need has been met, my desire fulfilled, their work is complete. The SOS that I sent out was answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into my life for just a season, because our turn has come to share.
They bring me profound ideas or make me laugh. Or both
Often, they show me something about myself I never knew.
But it is only for a season.

Thank you for showing up in my life, Emil, it has been a season of a lifetime. You have helped me on my quest to find who I am and taught me the importance of sharing one’s self. I will never forget your lesson.

Emil Goh, 1966 - 2009
Updated links...
Australia Council (FaceToFace)

Emil and Dong Yoon Park’s iPhone etiquette application...with Amanda and Alex...Take 1

Take 2! Let’s get it right this time... OMG... Austin!!! Emil is in the background...directing.

Emil at his finest...taking photos to share with the world... (SuperLocal) (SuperLocal via Poketo)

Yes, we know you are proud of your T-Money card cellphone accessory thingy...What do you call it?!! Now let’s eat the bop-bing-su!

You’ll always be in the background of our minds as we walk through life remembering that magical summer in Seoul and how you taught us to share...

Your Friend,

2009.09.09 (Wed) 5pm ~ 2009.09.10 (Thu) 1pm at Ewha Mokdong Hospital

2009.09.11 (Fri) 11am at Hannam International Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi

...please share your comments about Emil...

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